Thursday, May 9, 2013

Self-bound petal cuff tutorial

Okay Rockers...or should it be Stitchers?...or maybe just ladies? I have my first tutorial for you!
It's more like a mini tute but I thought it was worthy of sharing since I was unable to find anything like it on the internet. I did look. Even if I know how to do something I still like to be told I'm doing it right. But, alas, I was on my own with this one. But it works! It really, really works! (did you hear the little jingle I was singing with that one?)

So, without further ado...self-bound petal cuffs!

On the pants, silly! ;)

So you may be thinking "Why use this method when I can just use  bias tape to trim my cuff?"
Well, for one bias tape uses up a lot of fabric. This method works great if you are limited on fabric. Also, bias tape trim can be bulky. With this method you will have about 2 layers of fabric less in the trim than you would using bias tape.

To make these capris I started with the Hosh Pants pattern by Emmylou Bee Doo. You can find the pattern in her Etsy store Lou Bee Clothing.
First, we need our cuff. To make these pants capri length I cut the pattern to a size 5 width with a size 3 length. You can cut your pattern shorter, or the cuffs a different width, depending on your preference and size of child. From there I then cut a 3.25" strip off the bottom (this put me right about the 12 month size length). This will be our cuff. 

Alternatively, you could cut the main pant at desired length first, then a separate strip that is 3.25" x the width of the leg across the bottom. Just below the knee is a nice length for adding a cuff.
Next, round the two bottom corners on each cuff. 

Now we are going to use the cuff we just cut to trace the lining/trim/binding. Remember, its all one piece :) To do this you have to know how wide you want your trim to look and double that. So, you want your trim 3/8", then you add 3/4" around the side and bottom edges of your cuff measurements. If you wanted 1/2" trim then you'd add 1" around the sides and bottom measurements.

Here is my unsewn cuff and lining pieces laid on top of each other.  I wanted a visible but not too wide trim. I planned to use a 1/4 seam allowance to sew these together so I added about a 1/2" to sides and bottom for my lining/trim.
Then you will sew a basting stitch around each curve of your lining/trim piece. I visualized where my curve ended and marked just past that spot on the side and bottom of one curve. Then I folded my fabric in half and transferred those marking to my opposite curve. This ensured my basting stitch started and stopped at the same spot on every curve. Sew your basting stitch around the curve between your two marks. Repeat on the other 3 curves of your lining/trim piece. Do not baste the curves of your outer cuff piece. We want them nice and flat.

 I didn't think about the white thread not showing up well in the pictures when I stitched this. So I marked it with blue chalk to make it more visible. 
Next, pull on one end of the basting stitch to gather your curve. I find it easiest to gather it up tight, then pull it out to smooth around the corner as I'm pinning my pieces.

Pin lining/trim to outer cuff piece with right sides together. It is easiest to start pinning at the top corners, then smooth the gathers around to match the curve of the outer cuff piece. 

Continue pinning 'til you reach the center, then stop, and repeat, starting at the opposite corner. Do not pin the top of the cuff. 

Don't worry about the middle looking funky. It will smooth out when we turn it.
Now sew around the sides and bottom of your cuff with right sides together.

Through the top opening, turn cuff right sides out. Iron flat. Do not turn seam allowance under. Your lining piece should now form a nice trim around your outer cuff piece. Stitch in the ditch between outer piece and lining/trim. And your cuff is complete!
So what does "stitch in the ditch" mean anyway? Stitching in the ditch is a sewing technique that involves sewing in the seam line. This technique works great to hide your top stitching while securing your fabric underneath. 
 Now lets attach it. Fold cuff in half lengthwise and mark center. 

Place cuff inside pant leg with right sides together. Align your center mark with the leg inseam. Starting from your center mark and inseam, pin cuff to leg until you get to the end of your cuff. Stop, and staring again at the center mark, pin around in the opposite direction. When you are done pinning your cuff should overlap just a smidgen. I am holding a bamboo chopstick in the overlap above to make it more visible. Bamboo chopsticks make nice turning tools too ;) 

Sew cuff in place and press seams up. And we are all attached! 

Check out those sweet cuffs! Woot, woot!

Keilana just loves them. She was smiling so big her hands had to help hold it!

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