Monday, 8 December 2014

Creating a Cuff on a Simple Stretch Sleeve

I recently made this dress.

It's another t-shirt dress, with optional extras. In this case, a funnel cowl neckline and a cuff on the sleeve. You make this with a basic t-shirt (or t-shirt dress) pattern which includes a long sleeve.

[Other tutorials on this blog that will get you there from scratch - How to make a t-shirt pattern from an existing t-shirt - How to use that t-shirt to create a tank dress or maxi dress - How to make a long sleeve pattern from a short sleeve.]

Today I want to talk about how to put a cuff on a sleeve. It's a cute finish, and all of the stitching is hidden within the sleeve, which helps make it really tidy. (These instructions are only for stretch fabric).

In this case, I went for a 3/4 sleeve. The same principles can be used for a full length sleeve,

Looking at the original long t-shirt sleeve.

The first thing I need to do is figure out where I want my cuff.
I measure from the shoulder, and draw on the lines for where I would like my cuff to sit.

At this point I am drawing the finished lines. I don't need to include a hem.

The shaded portion will be left off.

I then trace out my pattern pieces. The top is the same, plus a seam allowance.
The cuff is 2x the height, plus 2 seam allowances.

The cuff should be slightly narrower. With the purple dress, I used a soft fabric with a fair bit of stretch, and the sleeve fit closely already. The cuff is made of the same fabric, but with the wrong side showing. I made this cuff just 1cm smaller so it would be a little firmer, but not pulling.

If you are working with something less stretchy, like a warm fleece, you would be working with a looser sleeve pattern, and the cuff would need to be made of a ribbing fabric (think tracksuits / fleece pullovers). The ribbing would be made much shorter to bring the fleece in closely.

The two pieces are cut x2 each, and the main body of the sleeve is assembled as usual.

The cuff is assembled like so:
Stitch up the outer edge with the right sides together.

Press outwards and fold over. You quarter the cuff by folding, and placing a pin at each quarter. Start with one pin in the seam, lay flat and find the opposite side. Pin it. Then put those two pins together and lay flat and pin the half way marks.
Here the seam allowance is towards us, and the top edges open.

The sleeve is also quartered in the same way.

Keeping the seams aligned, Insert the cuff and join those points together on the sleeve.
All of the raw edges should be facing outwards.

Sew around the top edge. Place the foot inside the tube of the sleeve to make it easier to manipulate.

Once that is sewn, turn it the right way out.

And you have a cuff! Press the seam up into the sleeve.

If in doubt about the size of your cuff, start bigger and baste the cuff on before properly securing it. You can always take it off and bring it in a little if you find it too loose (not so easy to add on).

Too easy!

1 comment:

  1. I do like this method, I find it really quick and gives a neat stable finish to your cuffs.