The Ladybug Tie

I recently got an email asking if I’d write about Father’s Day gifts from years past for them to check out. I almost said no, in fact I had a courteous “Thanks, but no thanks,” response ready to send, then I read their email again. If you’re a regular reader, you know that Father’s Day is a little rough for me.

When I re-read the email, it brought the only Father’s Day gift that I actually remember to mind, and they weren’t asking me to write about them, they wanted to read about my dad… so I thought, “Why not?” I like writing about my dad. [Posts about my dad.]

I have to preface this by saying it was the 90s. We got this vest pattern for me that my mom sewed. It was red and white checked with a picnic theme and cute flower buttons. The fabric kit included a length of green and white patterned fabric with a line of large ladybugs, maybe a bit more than an inch in diameter. I think it was for some sort of back vest tie that we didn’t use on my vest. (I wish I had a picture!)

Father’s Day was coming around and my sister and I had the idea to make our dad a tie with that fabric. (I’m not real clear in my memory if my brother was also involved in that decision…)

Amateur artist’s rendering of the tie

At that point in time, my dad was back in school to become a pastor and he wore ties regularly. I really liked his ties for some reason, probably the materials and patterns and I remember playing with his ties while mom was putting away laundry in their room.

Our mom encouraged the project by giving us one of dad’s old ties that had a stain on the front and wasn’t going to be worn anymore. There wasn’t enough ladybug fabric to cover the whole tie, so we just put it on the front part with the ladybugs down the middle of the tie. We had to have presented him with the tie before Father’s Day or on Father’s Day morning because when we headed to church on Father’s Day, dad was wearing the ladybug tie. 

My dad wore many ties over the years, some crazier than others. The handmade, ladybug tie (that may have been my actual first refashion) ranked among the craziest, but dad wore it. He selected the ladybug tie for almost every Father’s Day after that. In fact, I remember visiting my parents during college on Father’s Day and he wore the tie.

At this point in time, I have to consider the tie lost. I hope not forever, but it’s a distinct possibility. I’ve asked my mother and brother about it and neither have been able to find it. I don’t have a ton of childhood pictures and sifting through them found that the tie was not captured on film. I did my best to recreate it with my utter lack of drawing skills however.

My dad had an interesting and memorable personal style. I clearly remember his “Barbie pink” short-sleeved dress shirt, his suspenders, his trademark straw hat in the summers, the sophisticated fedora he wore at my sister’s wedding and the classic, black bow tie that I gave him to wear at mine. The bow tie is my other favorite gift to my dad.

There are so many things out there to give dad for Father’s Day, but the really special gifts are the ones that show how much you care for him. The ones that, may be be a tad ridiculous, remind him that his child(ren) love him.

What are some of your memorable Father’s Day gifts that you’ve given or received?

P.S. – I have a guest post up over on Sense of Cents today, about budgets and chronic health conditions.

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