Making that particular kind of neckwear I call a cravat, that some call an Ascot, which is perfect for Victorian, Neo-Victorian, Steampunk, etc. is actually quite simple. You need a piece of fabric that is 60 inches long by 14 inches wide, a piece of fusible interfacing (preferably the knit/tricot kind not the non-woven fiber kind) that’s the same size, matching thread, scissors, something with which to turn the points, something with which you can mark on the fabric and interfacing, a space for cutting, and the pattern. While you can sew it by hand, it’s demonstrated here on a sewing machine.
You probably want some sort of fabric that will press fairly easily and isn’t a pile that can get crushed by being pressed. I used duppioni silk for this one, but I have used poly/nylon taffeta, and some slippery brocade. A nifty cotton print will work nicely, too. I think outright nothing really heavy and no velvet and nothing with a lot of stretch.
First, draft the pattern. Don’t worry! It’s easy! It’s a rectangle with pointy ends.
On a piece of paper, make two parallel lines around 8″ apart and about 60″ long. Use whatever you have, as long as it isn’t newspaper. At the two ends, draw perpendicular lines connecting the two lines. Then find the centers and extend out 3 or 4″ until you can make a nice point. Make diagonal lines connecting so the shape looks like the one above. Add 1/4″ all around for the seam allowance. The sides of my pattern are 53 1/4″ long (incl. seam allowance), the center from point to point is 57 1/2″ long (incl. S.A.), and it’s 6″ wide (incl. S.A.). See on the right end of the photo where there are notches and a sketch? The sketch is how you fold the part of the cravat where it goes along the back of the neck. The notches are for where the folding starts and stops. On the long sides, I notched for folding 21″, 25″, and 29″ from one end. When you cut out your fabric, don’t cut the notches. They’re guides for when you’re ready to fold. About the center of the photo above, it says Cravat (call it whatever you want), then the date I made the pattern, then cut 2 listed twice. Black ink is for most patterns, the shell (outer) fabric. The red ink is for interfacing. Do it this way so you’ll remember you have to cut fabric and interfacing.
Once you have your pattern made, cut it out and lay out your fabric (folded in a double layer) and lay the pattern over it. Weight the pattern with something so it doesn’t shift (don’t pin it), trace around it, and set it aside. Cut out your fabric and move that and do the same for the interfacing (double layer, too).
Then fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. (Usually wool setting with highest steam setting.)
Now the pieces are ready to sew together. Use a 1/4″ seam allowance. If you’re used to 5/8″, try 1/4″ and go as slowly as you need to go. It turns out much nicer and you don’t have to trim as much excess off (plus it does save a bit of fabric).
If your machine doesn’t press very hard to meld the fabric and thread, press this flat as it is. Then clip the corners to reduce bulk.
Now, turn the cravat right side out, press it flat, and stitch the opening closed.
Press that. Now it’s time to fold where it will sit on the back of the neck, pin it, and stitch it. This placement is near the center but off by a bit so that one end of the cravat will be longer than the other.
You can press that, too.
Here is a photo of my husband wearing it.