We’ve finally reached the end of our Kalle Sewalong! If you’d like to see all the posts in one place, check out our sewalong page where everything is organized in sequential order.
Today we will be covering the installation of the arm cuffs, a post a few of you have requested over the past few weeks. It’s easy to get a little confused here since we drafted the cuffs with an angle to match the angle of the shoulder seam (I hate when sleeve cuffs like this are rectangular and stick straight out) but sometimes people aren’t sure what side goes where. Hopefully this tutorial will clarify all of your questions.
Your shirt should be completely assembled; seams finished, plackets sewn, collar installed. The only thing left to do is to sew the sleeve cuffs to the shirt.
To start with, you’ll have four pieces – two front cuffs and two back cuffs.
Pin the front cuffs to the back cuffs, right sides together. The front cuffs are a little bit shorter than the back ones.
Stitch together along the two short ends; make sure you are following the angle of the cuff along the top edge. Clip through the center of the cuff to the point of stitching along the top of the cuff.
Press the seams open on each cuff; the clip you made in the previous step will let you press the seam open along the angled part.
Press the cuffs in half, wrong sides together. Clip off the bits of seam peeking out along the angled side.
Now figure out what cuff goes where. As I said, the angled part of the cuff is the top; it will match up with the shoulder seam and create a nice, consistent slope. The straight part of the cuff goes along the underarm.
You need to decide which cuffs goes where because we need to press in the seam allowance on the inside of the cuff; if you press them both in on the same side you’ll have one cuff backwards.
Staystitch along the side of the cuff you’ll be pressing in at 5/8″. Press the seam allowance in, wrong sides together along this line of stitching. Your cuffs should basically be mirrored as they are below.
Pin the raw, unpressed edge of the cuff to the sleeve opening, matching side seams. You may find the sleeve opening seems slightly longer than the cuff depending on your fabric; they are drafted to be the same length but the fabric can stretch out a little here. If that’s the case, do your best to ease the cuff and opening together.
Stitch all the way around. Press the seam away from the shirt and grade the seam.
Fold the cuff along the crease you pressed earlier. The seam allowance you pressed along the stay-stitched line should line up with the seam line of the cuff.
Topstitch the cuff in place on the right side of the shirt, 1/8″ away from the seamline. Ensure you are catching the underside of the cuff in your stitching as you go around.
The final cuff should neatly encase the arm opening.
And that’s it for this step and for our sewalong! If you haven’t done so already, go ahead and sew your buttonholes and buttons. I suggest taking a look at our post on sewing perfect buttonholes if this strikes fear into your heart.