Tie up your Administrator: Design Challenge

This creative lesson is a design challenge that reaches beyond your classroom. Students are put in groups and assigned an administrator to interview and then design a tie for. This lesson focuses on the customer side of the fashion design world where customers are an integral part of choosing what they wear and what they’ll pay for. Of course a bonus is that administrators get to see what you do in your classroom!

Time Frame: 2 blocks


  • Students will apply their basic sewing skills and their knowledge of design concepts and work to satisfy a client’s desires.


  • Give an introduction to the project as well as a demonstration on how to sew a basic tie. You can also show how to make a tie via a video like the one below.


  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machines
  • Matching Thread
  • Pins
  • Rotary Cutter & Mat
  • Old Ties from the consignment shop that students can use as templates


  • Instruct students to think beyond the standard ties they have seen. Questions to consider:
    • Texture?
    • Color?
    • Width? (Skinny ties, fat ties, “normal”)
    • Length?
    • Shape?
    • Embellishment?
    • Pattern?
    • Themes?


  • Pair students up
  • Have students interview their administrator
  • Design ties by sketching and choosing fabrics – have them get approval to start cutting
  • Students should then cut, stitch, and press ties
  • When the class is finished, each group will discuss their tie design in front of the class and administrator. Students should talk about what inspired their design, why they chose the color/pattern/style, etc.
  • Administrator should give feed back about what they like and dislike about the tie

Background for Teachers

  • Another way to run this is to have one administrator come to your class and have the different groups interview him. Let the groups design based on their own interpretations of what he would like. When the groups are finished have him come back and decide which group’s creation he would be most likely to wear. He will wear the winning group’s necktie on a specified day.
  • Have female administrators? Have students design a scarf, shawl, or handbag.


  • Ties are graded for construction and client satisfaction.



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