How to sew a cuff made of rib knit and with a thumb opening

How to sew a cuff made of rib knit and with a thumb opening

This one is a trendy touch in hoodies and sweatshirts. Use elastic knitted fabrics such as rib knits to sew this type of cuff.

How to cut the pieces out?

Measure the circumference of the bottom edge of the sleeve. Multiply the result by 0.75 or 0.8, depending on the stretch factor of the fabric.

In garments for adults, the height of the cuff piece should be 26–30 cm (10 1/4–11 3/4"), and for children — 20–26 cm (7 7/8–10 1/4"). The exact measurement depends on the size of the garment. You should also add seam allowances.

In this video, we are sewing a cuff 26х19 cm (10 1/4" x 7 1/2") for a garment size EU42. 

Cut out a rectangle in the desired size. The grainline of the piece should run along the selvedge and be parallel to the wale.

How to sew the cuff?

  1. Fold the cuff piece right sides together, aligning its side edges.
  2. Mark the stitching lines. Mark at 6 cm (2 3/8") from the top edge. Then skip a section of 4 cm (1 5/8"). Repeat: mark a 6 cm (2 3/8") long segment and then skip a section of 4 cm (1 5/8"). The remaining segment should be 6 cm (2 3/8") long.
  3. Machine-stitch all the 6 cm (2 3/8") long sections of the cuff. Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam. As a result, you should have two 4 cm (1 5/8") long unstitched sections.
  4. Press the seam allowances open, as shown in the video.
  5. Fold the cuff piece in half, as shown in the video. There should have a fold at the center.
  6. Align the edges of the seam allowances. Match the edges on both thumb-opening segments.
  7. Machine-stitch along the thumb opening segment to secure the seam allowances together.
  8. Turn the cuff piece to the other side. Machine-stitch along the thumb opening segment on the other side.
  9. Turn the cuff piece through to the right side (wrong sides together).
  10. The seam allowances along the thumb opening should the secured together. There should be no holes or folds.

Now the cuff piece is ready to be attached to the garment. Keep in mind, that when using such a technique for sewing the cuff piece, the seam on the sleeve and the one on the cuff will not line up. The seam on the cuff should be offset by 1–3 cm (3/8–1 1/8") towards the front of the seam on the sleeve.

If you like such touches in garments, check out our Alison and Andie dress sewing patterns.

More useful posts with sewing hacks are here:

How to make a topstitched elastic waistband

How to make eyelets for the drawstring on a pair of knit pants

How to make an interesting waistband finish on a pair of knit pants