Pattern Hacks & Modifications

Overlapped Cuffs: The Explorer Cloak

Hi there!

I’m Anisha from @SASSYCreationsByAnisha on Facebook. I got the chance to test Kristy’s new Explorer Cloak, and, like Carina (see her post on adding a lining!) I often seem to have a hard time resisting the urge to add a little extra something. This time around, I didn’t have any matching knit or ribbing to make the cuffs on my cloak, so I decided I’d try out an idea that had been floating around in my head; a cuff out of the same fabric as the main body of my cloak, in this case boiled wool, and my main lining, quilting cotton. And then, because I had already added piping to my curved front seam and to my hood, I figured, hey, piping would probably look neat on the cuff, as well!

And now here we are. I decided since this is such an easy and fun hack to do, and it adds so much to the garment, I would share with you how I did it. 🙂

First off, you’re going to need to measure the bottom edge of your sleeve pattern piece, which you have trimmed at the cuff length line. You will measure this at the seam line, so 3/8″ up from the bottom edge of your trimmed pattern piece.

Measuring the width of the bottom of the sleeve.

Here you can see that my measurement is 10″. Don’t worry about that inch of added paper there, that’s just my sleeve length adjustment. 😉

Now you’ll need to decide on how much you’d like your cuff to overlap. My button is only for decoration, and as such it is tacked on; if you’d like it to be functional, you may want to overlap more to allow for a buttonhole. Also keep in mind that depending on how wide your piping is, it may look like it overlaps more. I went with a 1″ overlap, so I will add that amount to my sleeve bottom measurement, which means my cuff will be 11″ wide.

The height of the cuff is in accordance with the pattern, but since we are not folding it over, we will add seam allowance to the bottom. If you are not using piping, you will cut your cuff pieces 3 1/8″ tall (for all sizes). When sewn, my ready-made piping adds 1/8″, so I cut mine to 3″. If you are using self-made piping, calculate how much will be visible when your seam is sewn, and subtract that from 3 1/8″ to get your height measurement.

Cut a rectangle using your measurements; mine is 11″ x 3″. Next, we will round off 2 of the corners. I used a 2dl IKEA glass because that’s what I had on hand, but you could use a protractor/compass/plate/bowl…you get the idea. Just keep in mind that if you’re adding piping, you will need to get around that curve, so you may not want to make it too small/tight. The glass I used has a 3 3/8″ diameter.

Tracing the edge of the glass to round off the corners.

After tracing your two lovely curves, you can go ahead and cut that corner off. You now have your cuff pattern piece. You will cut 2 of your outer fabric and 2 of your lining (if you are using directional fabric, make sure the side with the rounded-off corners is facing downwards; see image).

Here are my pieces and my piping, ready to go.

If you are sewing the cuffs with functional buttons, you might want to add some iron-on interfacing to the lining fabric here, at the button and buttonhole locations.

We will start by pinning the piping to the right side of the lining along the entire edge with the curves, from corner to corner. You could use Wonder Tape here or loads of pins like I do. Try to make it as even as possible, especially around those curves. If you’re not using Wonder Tape, you might want to go ahead and baste that piping in place before heading on to the next step. Remember that the raw edges of your piping line up with the raw edges of your fabric.

Lots of pins is my jam. 🙂

Next, lay your outer fabric onto the lining piece with right sides facing, sandwiching the piping between the two, and pin in place. Repeat for the other cuff.

Pinning my outer to my lining, sandwiching the piping.

Now we can head over to our sewing machines! Sew along the pinned edges with a 3/8″ seam allowance, remembering to backstitch at the beginning and end. Trim the seam allowance to about a 1/4″ at the curves, turn right sides out and press.

Sewn, trimmed and turned.

You can now topstitch along the sewn edge, about 3/8″ in (measure from the seam edge, not the outside edge of the piping). You can also baste the raw edges together here; it will make attaching the cuff easier.

If you would like functional buttons, now would be the time to sew the buttonholes. Remember to sew them on opposite sides, so that the cuffs are mirror images!

Now measure the amount you have decided to overlap, along the raw edge. Make sure to measure at the edge of the fabric, not including the piping.

I’ve measured my 1″ overlap from the fabric edge.

Form a loop with your two cuffs, right sides out, overlapping the rounded-off corners and lining up the pins with the edges. Make sure you overlap each side opposite so that they are mirrored.

My cuffs, in loops with opposite overlaps, lining up my pins. I’ve put a clip on the curved edges to help keep the shape.

Now we will attach the cuffs to the sleeves. First, turn your sleeves wrong sides out. If you lined your sleeves, you may want to baste the outer and lining together at the raw edge. You will need to quarter the raw edges on both the sleeves and the cuffs. Insert the cuff into the sleeve so the right side of you cuff is facing the right side of your sleeve. The centre of the overlap on the cuffs will line up with your quarter marking on the back side of the sleeve. I put my cuffs in the wrong position, so don’t look too closely at the way I pinned the sleeve on the left in the next image. 😉

Here you can see the overlap should be lining up with the side quarter marking on the back of the sleeve.

Match up the rest of your quarter marks and sew together. Depending on your fabric, you might want to finish the edges with a serger or zig zag stitch to prevent fraying.

Sewn and serged sleeve cuff.

Now turn your sleeves right sides out. You can add your buttons now, or if you prefer, leave it open. And we’re done!

My finished cuff!

Thanks for reading! Please share your make in the Buttons & Bibs Fabric & Patterns group on Facebook and tag me (@Anisha Stapfer) so that I can see your beautiful creation!

Until next time!

Anisha <3 🙂

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