Making Old Things New - Turning an old necktie into a bow tie.

One of the things people love us for is how we can turn a neck tie into a bow tie. And to be honest, it is a little magical.

Nearly every day, we receive packages with neck ties from all over the country. We rip them open and check out what is inside.

We take out the seams and press them out.

We add our own interfacing and sew them up.

conversion3And just like that.
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Its Magic.


We get to make something new again - and we love it.

If you're interested in purchasing this, you can do it through this link.

*the really good photos - #2 through #5 in this post were taken by our customer and friend and fellow artist, Joe Jackson.  Thank you, Joe for making it look so cool.

In the TCC Bow Tie Studio

We are so fortunate to have our work room on Main Street in downtown Rock Hill.  It is an old historic building with giant windows, tall ceilings and really good lighting.  In this place, we laugh, eat lots of candy, listen to loud music and obviously make plenty of bow ties.  Sometimes we are amazed at the beautiful things we get to see throughout the day.  One of our seamstresses (and abstract artist in her spare time), Dominique took these shots.


We have really good light.


Our "model" is named Bancroft. Here he is wearing a lapel flower and a channing bow tie. We have good times dressing this guy up.  It's always nice to be able to point to him when a visitor picks up a diamond point freestyle bow tie and says what does this one do? 

If you've ever sewn, you know the glory that is the magnetic pin cushion - or pin collector I guess. It's not very cushy.

Yes its true, even our trash piles are a work of art.

And the floor after a series of Neck tie to Bow Tie conversions.

And finally, a pile of freshly pressed four toned gingham bow ties that so far have only been available to our Bow Tie of the Month Society.

Like Father, Like Son


Apparently everyone and their brother wants a bow tie this spring. It's been a crazy April so far and we're a mere 8 days in.

Actually, this week it seems like everyone and their SON wants a bow tie. We shipped out at least 5 or 6 father-and-son combos today. It's been a while since one of my boys and I rocked the same bow tie to church or a wedding. After packing up all these apple-not-far-from-tree deals today, I'm thinking it's time. All four of us guys in the same bow tie? Priceless. As they say somewhere, "you can hang THAT on the wall."

Some of our hardcore dads insist on tie-it-yourself ("freestyle") bow ties for their toddlers. Kudos. If that's your thing, more power to you. If you're lacking in dexterity or are perennially late like us, you'll want to go with the majority report and get an already-tied, velcro-attaching one for the little guy. It's got a nice elastic band, too, which allows it some 'give'.

If you're thinking of having us do your wedding bow ties, we always throw in a kiddie bow tie for the ring bearer gratis.


See all those bow ties there? We can make pretty much any of them in a kiddie bow tie, too. Why not have us make one for your kid with your next order?

Might I make one more selling point before I quit? If you're a single dad, and don't desire to be any longer, I challenge you to come up with a better way to woo a woman than going out to dinner with your little dude in a bow tie that matches yours. Next thing you know, we'll be making wedding bow ties for your groomsmen. Mark my words.

The Cambridge Scarf

Here in the South, cooler weather can't come too soon.  The heat makes otherwise standard things like denim, socks, and blazers almost intolerable until well into October.  As I type, however, the sun has set and it actually feels (now that High School football is almost over) like football season.  In Ohio it's nothing to trick-or-treat in the snow.  In South Carolina, we're just starting to pretend like we need long sleeves.

Before long, though, I'll be riding my Vespa in the early morning, and this bad boy will keep me from turning into a well-dressed, vintage icicle.

We've featured the Oxford patchwork wool scarves a short while back, and they've been moving nicely over at the store.

Now, behold: the Cambridge Scarf. More subtle, somewhat more elegant, and at a lower price point than its patchwork cousin, the Cambridge scarf will be available in several styles.  Those you see featured here, plus a handful of other options, will be available on the store Friday, November 5.

It's hard for me to name a favorite when you've got the two-sided, all-wool option (above), the frayed-fringed, one-piece red tartan plaid option (left), and the part wool/ part chambray option (below).

But why limit yourself to just one?  If you're in some place like Buffalo, Billings or Bismark, you're going to need every motivation in the world to brave the cold for the next 6 months.  The Cordial Churchman hereby offers a money-back guarantee that an arsenal of Cambridge scarves will help.


What else is there to say, really?  Bring on the cold.  Grab a tweed jacket, a pipe, and a Cambridge scarf.  You'll easily be the baddest man in town.

I'm Andy Stager, and I approve of this message.

Bows & Squares in Southern Weddings Magazine!

Nearly 8 years ago I married Andy.  I told him in no uncertain terms that he was not wearing a bow tie* with his tuxedo in our wedding.  They were silly.  Clown-like.  Costumey.  That was in Ohio, in 2002.  It was a thoroughly Rust Belt-ish sort of position to take.

Fast-forward to 2010, South Carolina.  Today, I not only own and operate a bow tie business, but now my bow ties have appeared in--yep--Southern Weddings magazine.  

The ladies at Southern Weddings have, quite aside from my bow ties, put together a gorgeous volume 3 of their magazine.  There are a zillion brilliant ideas and a phenomenal spread of real wedding photographs in these pages. I think you'll love this magazine whether you've long been married, plan never to be, or are in the very process of planning a wedding.  There's nothing stuffy here. Rather, creativity and beauty abound.

Here's Editor-in-Chief Lara Casey with a collection of bow ties from various makers featured in the magazine.

Even the most Southern of Southerners I meet think my run with The Cordial Churchman is pretty weird.  I'd have to agree.  This is a pretty fun story to tell now.  I imagine it will make our grandkids chuckle, too.

PS--I'll see about scanning the pages that feature my wares.  But don't hold your breath.  You should just go get the magazine.

*I had never even heard of a pocket square then.  I have some of them in SW v.3, too.

August 22, 2010


sewing ›

Handmade Ring Bearer Pillow

I wanted to show off this sweet ring bearer pillow that I made for a customer a few months back.  I made lots of things for her wedding party - but this was my favorite.  I used the green seersucker we purchased from Thread Design - the company that made her bridesmaid dresses.  I hand stitched their monogram in the corner to make it extra special.

Pocket Squares are listed

I've listed my pocket squares on my website now.  There are only 4 of each fabric available and I'm not likely to have another product like this for a while so get them while you can.  Here's the LINK.

A Quilt for Baby M

Here's a little baby quilt I sewed for a friend's baby girl due next month.  It was actually really fun to make.  I could see making more baby quilts for gifts in my future.  I didn't really follow a pattern for this one, I just used the fabrics to tell me  what to do.  The squares around the end are machine quilted with random swirly lines.  I quilted around the pattern of the fabric for large middle square.  I think it turned out alright for my first quilting attempt.  There are imperfections but that just proves it's hand-made.




The Back
I always love sewing my label into all the things I make.

July 07, 2010

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Pocket Squares › sewing ›

Hand-Rolled Pocket Squares

Edited 7-10 - These are now available on the online store:


I've been spending quite a bit of time traveling in the car lately.  What does one do with all that time, traveling from South Carolina to Ohio and back?  For me, the answer is: I've been making some hand-rolled, hand-sewn pocket squares while riding shotgun.  


Behold, the madras square in all it's simple glory.


Andy was being a big Presbyterian dork and followed the twitter feed for the General Assembly of a Presby denomination he doesn't even belong to.  One of the sartorial observations from that GA was the following: "Apparently the pocket square is the new bow tie."  While we here at The Cordial Churchman want to insist that this is a both/and rather than an either/or scenario, it is nevertheless true that a pocket square even without neckwear spices things up nicely.  You're almost as certain--if not more certain--to be the only one in a room rocking a pocket square as you are to be the only one rocking a bow tie.  


Mr. Churchman himself came with me to the cloth store and chose the fabrics.  He picked out a couple of madras fabrics, a white tone-on-tone seersucker, a blue chambray and a blue/green gingham.  I'll be able to make about 4 of each fabric, so they'll be a limited edition.  These squares will be carefully hand-sewn with a nice plump roll.   $26. 


EDITED- These squares are now listed on my online store:

April 23, 2010

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Bowties › sewing ›

Five Things

Five Things you didn't really need to know about me but I'll tell you anyway.

1. I wouldn't let my husband wear a bow tie to our wedding because I thought they looked goofy.
2. I recently straightened up my sewing room and my 2 year old came in and said "I See the floor". That's pretty bad!
3. I'm really addicted to caffeine so in an effort to try to cut back, I started mixing regular and decaf - now I drink twice as much - I guess that didn't work!
4. I made 41 bow ties in the past 4 days. (and I haven't been in bed before 1:30am)
5. I'm really tired this morning.

Here's a photo of one of the bow ties I made last night out of a pair of nantucket red pants that Andy found at the Thrift store. I made one for my husband and one for a special blogger who will be showcasing my bow ties next weekend in Boston.  Sorry for the low quality - it was taken very late at night with a web-cam.

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