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Sewing Tips: What is needed to make a Tippet


A few days back we were talking about what tippets are and the history of a tippet.

Tippets are an easy church vestment item to create for yourself, especially if the tippet that you want does not require any embroidery. So what is needed to make a tippet?

Tippet preaching scarf church vestments choir dress Ecclesiastical Sewing church vestment patterns

Tippets, as with any sewing project, begin with a pattern. The tippet pattern is one of the many church vestment sewing patterns available through our Ecclesiastical Sewing online storefront. The tippet pattern is sized to have a nice length and width. The pattern also has placement lines for the neckline pleats. The actual sewing construction is very simple.

The fabric is the next consideration.

Tippet fabric Grosgrain silk Bengaline Ecclesiastical Sewing

Traditionally, tippets are made using some sort of ribbed silk. Ribbed silks are difficult to find. And if one is fortunate enough to find a 100%black ribbed silk fabric, the price is often a bit on the steep side.  So the next best option is to select a silk blend to use in sewing tippets. We are fortunate to have a nice silk blend fabric available in our Ecclesiastical Sewing Studios.  The fabric is our black grosgrain silk. Along with being suitable for creating tippet, the black grosgrain silk is frequently used for creating academic gowns, and many other items, including formal wear and costumes.

Silk Blend Grosgrain Tippet fabric Formal wear academic wear Ecclesiastial sewing Church vestments choir dress morning prayer evening prayer

If you are wondering what a ribbed silk is, think of a grosgrain hair ribbon. Grosgrain ribbons have a heavier thread that goes from side to side. When the ribbon is woven, the heavy cross threads stand out like “ribs.” One can rub your hands or fingers over the ribs and feel the texture. A ribbed silk is similar to a grosgrain ribbon, but the ribs are more subtle than their ribbon neighbor.

A few final items are needed to create your tippet project. It is often a good idea to use a bit of interfacing to provide a little extra support for the tippet. If you decide to use a fusible interfacing, be sure to make a test sample to ensure that it will not bubble on the fabric. One option to consider is a black fusible Armo-weft interfacing. These have become a bit more difficult to find, but many places such as JoAnn’s may still stock Armo-weft interfacing. The only other thing needed is a bit of black thread and you are ready to create.

Preaching tippet silk tippet church vestments choir dress Ecclesiastical sewingTippets are an easy church vestment item to create for yourself, especially if the tippet that you want does not require any embroidery. Tippets are worn with a surplice and cassock as part of the choir dress. They are used for the offices of morning and evening prayer or at other times when Holy Communion is not served.

Soli Deo Gloria

N.B. Please visit our online store Ecclesiastical Sewing to learn more about the fabrics, trims, machine embroidery designs, and church vestment patterns available for those interested in creating their own church vestments.

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