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Hi I’m Pauline, this blog is where I share all the latest Funky Friends Factory News, Giveaways, Competitions plus LOTS of toy-making tips & tutorials to help you sew the cutest soft toys EVER!

How to Sew a Toy out of Neck Ties for Father’s Day

May 30, 2022 | Blog, Toy-making TIPS & TUTORIALS

Father’s Day is just around the corner!

What’s the most popular gift for Father’s Day? A neck tie, of course.  IF your dad or granddad have tons of ties hanging around –  you can make them a humorous and heartfelt gift this year: a toy made from old ties! This blog post includes lots of tips on how to turn neck ties into toys, plus other cool ideas for father’s day gifts…

 

How to turn neck ties into toys

 

Is is a tie?

Is it a teddy bear?

Yes! It’s a teddy bear sewn from neck ties!  

 

Look how sweet Calico Signature Bear looks sewn from neck ties by Lisa Armstrong.

 

Memory Bear pattern sewn from neck ties by LisaArmstrong

 

 

Here’s how to make a terrific father’s day Gift for YOUR Dad – from his neck ties!

Step 1: Raid the Tie Drawer

IMPORTANT NOTE:
It’s a good idea to ask first!

 

Debbie Frank used 19 ties to sew these Melody Memory Bears. 

 

Memory Bear pattern sewn from neck ties sewn by Debbie Frank

 

Want to add a collar to your tie toy?

 

CLICK HERE for
a handy guide to add a collar

to a Memory Bear

 

Collar bear add a collar to a memory bear by Funky Friends Factory how to

(Melody Memory Bear above sewn by by Gail McKnight Anderson of Gail’s Little Sewing Room.) 

 

Step 2: Pick a Pattern

A homemade teddy bear is a popular choice, and you can compare all of the Funky Friends Factory bear patterns here. But don’t forget the 80+ other animal options!

 


You could sew your dad’s favorite animal…

 

Joey Junior Kangaroo Pattern sewn by Joy Davies.

 

 

 

You could sew your dad’s favorite pet…

 

Patch Pussy cat Pattern  sewn from ties by Alice Berntson. She calls him “Tie-ger.”

 

Patch Cat Pattern from neck ties by Alice Berntson

 

 

You could sew your dad’s favorite sports team mascot…

 

Butch Bulldog Pattern sewn from clothing by Gemma Addison.

 

Bulldog sewing pattern sewn from mens shirts by Gemma Addison

 

 

Or a pattern that just shouts, “Hey, Dad, this reminded me of you!” 

 

Igor Iguana sewn from concert memorabilia by Michelle Jones.

 

Igor Iguana Stuffed Toy pattern band t-shirt sewn by Michelle Jones.jpg

 

 

You could dress up Mitch Monkey or any Funky Friend with this free neck tie pattern! 

 

This Mitch Monkey was sewn by Debbie Hendricks Weideman.

 

Mitch Monkey toy wearing tie - free toy tie pattern

 

 

Looking for a *FREE* neck tie sewing pattern for your toys?

 

CLICK HERE for
my FREE toy-sized
neck tie pattern!

 

Free tie pattern

 

 

Step 3: Disassemble the Ties

Unpick the tie – it’s easy – just unpick( ‘rip’) the seam down the back of the tie. I used a “Quick unpick” (Seam ripper) but you can also use pointed scissors for this. Unfold the tie and remove any padding. Iron the tie flat so you can lay the pattern pieces on the tie fabric and work out if you have enough. If you don’t, you may need to add some coordinating fabric to your toy… or cut up another garment.

 

You’ll be surprised

how much fabric is

in a neck tie!

 

Unpick seams, rip seam of neck tie

 

 

Danielle Dyball used the fabric from 5 ties to make this Melody Memory Bear.

 

Memory Bear pattern sewn from neck ties sewn by Danielle Dyball

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:
If a tie is made from delicate fabric, use Google for sewing tips for that specific fabric!

 

Nic Appleton used a hand-painted rainbow silk tie for some special highlights on this Calico Signature Bear

 

Memory Bear pattern sewn from neck ties by Nic Appleton

 

 

Looking for a *FREE* bow tie sewing pattern for your toys?

Calico loves a good bow tie, so why not make him one with this FREE Bow Tie pattern and video?  

 

Calico Signature Bears sewn from neck ties by Susan Hunter,
and they are ALL wearing bow ties!  

Memory Bear pattern sewn by Susan Hunter

 

Step 4: Trace Pattern Pieces onto the Interfacing

If you’re using lots of ties, take a bit of time to plan out where you want the different fabrics to be on the toy. Then trace the pattern pieces onto the smooth (non-glue side) of the interfacing and make sure to transfer ALL the pattern markings.

 

Trace pattern pieces onto interfacing.jpg

 

Calico Signature Bear sewn from ties by Susan Hunter.

Memory Bear pattern sewn from neck ties by Susan Hunter

 

 

Step 5: Apply Interfacing

Iron some fusible interfacing onto the back (wrong side) of the tie fabric.

 

Why is interfacing important?
When you’re mixing multiple types of fabric, you need to make sure they all have the same amount of stretch. If some pieces stretch more than others, you risk ending up with a toy that is distorted out of shape! 

 

The most popular iron-on interfacing in our Facebook group is a general-purpose, mid-weight type like Pellon SF 101, but you can look online for the best type of interfacing for the fabric content of your ties. Sew-in interfacing works, too but it’s more fiddly (in my humble opinion!!!!!).

 

Iron on interfacing then cut out

 

These dapper Melody Memory Bears were sewn from ties by Lynn McClaren.

 

Memory Bear pattern sewn from neck ties by LynnMcLaren

 

 

They look so cute together – I had to post another pic here…

 

MORE Melody Memory Bears sewn from neck ties by Lynn McLaren.

Memory Bear pattern sewn from neck ties LynnMcLaren

 

Step 6: Finish Toy as Usual! 

That’s all the special prep you need! Now you can just sew your toy as usual, and present your one-of-a-kind gift to your one-of-a-kind dad!

 

Sweet faces and lots of memories were sewn into these Calico Signature Bears sewn by Emma Emmans.

She even used ties for the noses! 

Memory Bear pattern sewn from neck ties by Emma Emmans

 

Some Common Questions about sewing toys from neck ties:

Q: How many ties do I need?

A: This varies depending on the ties themselves, but 5 neck ties seems to be about average.

 

I love the Christmas tie Lynn McClaren used for this Melody Memory Bear.

 

Memory Bear pattern sewn from CHristmas neck ties by LynnMcLaren

 

Q: Is this a difficult project?

A: It takes a little bit of time to deconstruct the ties, but that’s the ONLY real difference compared to making a regular toy!

 

Q: Help! My ties aren’t wide enough for the pattern pieces. What do I do?

A: You’ve got 2 options.

OPTION 1:
Reduce the size of the pattern on your printer. I suggest printing the pattern at 75% or at 80%.

 

Lori Rodenbush reduced the Melody Memory Bear Pattern to 75% in order to fit the width of her father’s ties.

Memory Bear pattern sewn by Lori Redenbush

 

OPTION 2:

Sew the ties together as you would a patchwork quilt. Then you’ll have a large piece of fabric made up of ties. Interface this large piece of patchwork and trace your pattern pieces onto the interfacing.

 

Here you can see that Nat Egan of Rothmore Forever Bears, joined lots of ties together to make a patchwork piece, then cut pattern pieces from it.

Keepsake Bear pattern sewn by Nat Egan, Rothmore Bears2

 

 

The head is made from a coordinating solid color fabric. This pattern is the Keep Me Keepsake Bear.

Keepsake Bear pattern sewn by Nat Egan of Rothmore Bears]

 

 

More Father’s Day Gift Ideas 

There are some more ideas in last year’s Father’s Day post, which includes other gift examples, like uniform bears, “Dad & me” toy sets, sports themes, and rock concert momento items. 

Father's day toys 2021

 

 

If you’d like to ask questions and get more advice and ideas like these, come join our Funky Friends Factory Patterns Fan Club Facebook group.

 

Facebook Pattern Fan Club

 

 

 

Want to win a
FREE toy pattern?

 

It’s so EASY to enter the Pattern GIVEAWAY!

 

Facebook badge - Pauline McArthur

ALL you need to do is post a photo of a FUNKY FRIENDS FACTORY toy that you have made on the Funky Friends Factory Facebook Page .

At the end of each month I draw a winner and post the winner’s name on the Blog the following MONTH. I have an Album on Facebook for all the MAKER of the MONTH winners. You can check it out HERE!

 

 

NOT on Facebook? ENTER by email! 😀

*** You can send me your photos by email too!

 

So come on! Share your photos  ~> The next winner could be YOU!!!


Pauline McArthur - Funky Friends Factory.
Till next time,

Happy Sewing,
Pauline
xxx

6 Comments

  1. Alice Berntson

    These are all adorable! Thank you so much for including my gray cat. It was the second FFF animal I’d made (after the much easier whale), and I learned so much from making this. Tie-ger is still on squirrel patrol, but the squirrels don’t pay him any attention these days.

    Reply
    • Pauline

      Thanks, Alice! I love hearing the “back story” behind the toys people make from my patterns, so thanks for sharing your gorgeous Patch Cat!!!

      Reply
  2. Kathy Cuthbertson

    So much wonderful inspiration. Your blog posts are always fun and informative. Thanks for doing what you do!

    Reply
    • Pauline

      Thanks Kathy! It’s so lovely that you appreciate the time I put into making these blog posts!

      Reply
  3. Elizabeth O'Keeffe

    ooh Ill have to try making the Calico bear out of ties. I usually give mine a shirt collar and a tie. Thanks for all the lovely photos. Liz x

    Reply
    • Pauline

      I’m excited to see how it turns out!

      Reply

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