Ahoy Pirates! In our first P4P University blog of the year I wanted to give you a few tips and tricks to make adding knit cuffs to your projects easy peasy. Whether you’re sewing for yourself, your significant other or your little ones, adding cuffs to your sleeves or leg openings can be a tedious job. We can change that!
*Choose the right fabric for the cuff!
As I mentioned in the Neckbands 101 blog post, choosing the correct fabric for your cuffs will make a huge difference. The best one is rib knit or ribbing. If you do not have any ribbing handy or the colors you have do not work for your project the next best thing would be cotton spandex. I mainly use cotton spandex in for my kids’ shirts and joggers cuffs as I like to coordinate it with the main fabric. Whatever fabric you pick, make sure it has at least 50% stretch and excellent recovery.
*Always cut the cuff with the greatest stretch horizontally.
Always cut your cuffs cross grain! Even if the fabric you use stretches over 50% in both directions, you should never cut against the grain. Read all about the importance of “the grain” in Roberta’s blog post, When It Goes Against the Grain.
*Press your cuffs!
I know I talk about pressing a lot in my blogs, but you have to believe me, it makes your sewing life so much easier. I recommend grabbing those cuffs and giving them a good steam press as soon as you cut your fabric. This will create a memory hem that will make it so much easier to fold them once you sew the “loop” closed.
Press your cuffs after you sew them on too! 🙂
*Snip the seam allowance to create less bulk
This is one of tricks for creating less bulk at he seam. Once you sew the cuff to create a loop, grab your sharpest scissors and make a cut as close to the stitch as possible without, of course, snipping the stitch.
That little snip will make it so easy to please the seam allowances on opposite sides when you sew fold the cuff. In doing so, you will have so much less bulk at the seam, your serger will thank you! 🙂
*Place your sleeve inside the cuffs
Mark the quarter points on the sleeve (or leg) opening as well as the cuffs. I find that for the smallest of sizes, marking just the half point is sufficient.
To make sure you will not have your seam allowance on the outside of your sleeve (or ankle) 😉 place the right side of your sleeve inside the cuff and match the quarter (or half way) points.
*Sew or serge with the presser foot inside the sleeve
Most of the time the sleeve opening is pretty small so I find that it is easier the place the presser foot of my serger (or sewing machine) inside the sleeve as opposed to stitching on the outside. This is especially important when you make Baby Bear Joggers or and kids shirts with cuffs, like the Jolly Roger Raglan or the Yo Ho Henley.
*Do not topstitch.
As opposed to necklines, I find that cuffs and waistbands look a lot better if you do not topstitch them down. I do encourage you to press your garments when you finish sewing it, including the cuffs.
There you have it! 7 easy tips to follow when adding cuffs to your favorite P4P knit patterns. My boys are both rocking the JRR with add on cowl neck from the pack and faux layered sleeves from the blog.
Which one will you be making first? Make sure you post your creations in the P4P group and let me know if adding cuffs is now an easier “task”. 🙂