Monday, August 31, 2015

Lucille Ball Cuffs

Today's post is a very small tutorial. After a recent post showing these cuffs added to Marcy Tilton's block dress (Vogue 9081), I was asked how the cuffs are constructed. It is a super simple technique and I like the resulting cuff.

Lucille Ball Cuffs:

1.  Cut the cuffs 1 inch wider than the unfinished lower hem of your sleeve pattern in order to create a 1 inch overlap. Because both the sleeve and the cuff are unfinished, you only need to add enough for the final overlap. I like 3 inch deep cuffs, so the raw cuff piece needs to be 7 inches deep. I use a 1/2 inch seam allowance. My finished sleeve is 14.5 x 6 inches before folding the cuff into position. Each cuff is cut 7 x 15.5 inches.

2.  Interface the cuff pieces as needed based on the fabric (*).

3.  Fold each cuff along the long side right sides together. Sew short ends of cuffs using 1/2 inch seam allowance. Turn to right side and press. At this point each cuff measures 14.5 x 3.5 inches.

4.  Mark placement for the cuff overlap on the sleeve hem: My pattern includes a continuous bias vent, so I just used its placement. If there is no other guide on the sleeve, then I suggest dividing the raw hem of the sleeve into thirds. Clip a mark at 1/3 of the way from the BACK seam allowance. This is pretty close to the usual placement of any conventional cuff opening.

5.  Sew the sleeve underarm seam together, as usual.

6.  Pin cuff and sleeve hem wrong sides together. Stitch together using 1/2 inch SA.

7.  Repeat for second sleeve but make sure that the overlap of the second one is the reverse of the first one.

8.  Press seam towards shoulder of sleeve (up).

Seam between sleeve & cuff is exposed when cuffs are folded down. The seam disappears when the cuffs are folded in place.

9.  Fold cuff back into place. I do not press this fold because I like to keep it soft. When it is on my arm, it stays in place better than it does on my armless dress form, so no further stitching is needed.

*This fabric is quite different from the crisp medium weight linen used in Marcy's block dress. Because it is a very soft cotton, I interfaced each cuff piece completely with cotton batiste. For the orange linen dress, I did not need any interfacing.

This idea was inspired by a collar a friend used on a t-shirt. Her collar finished at about 3 inches deep and it probably overlapped a bit more than an inch. I *think* she said the pattern for her collar came from Pamela Erny's web site, Off The Cuff, but I cannot find it. It looks so soft and pretty as a collar and I look forward to using the technique that way too.

This shirt is the Cortona shirt from The Sewing Workshop. I have made a few goofs along the way but it is now moving in the right direction. Stay tuned!



    1. Thanks, Neufy! I look forward to following her tutorial. Have you made this?

    2. Yes yes. I love this collar and have it on 2 of my current T shirts.

  2. I too have made this collar and love it. It is so flattering.