Elements of a Shirt Part 3: Cuffs

Follow along in Part 3 of our Elements Of A Shirt series as Myles shows how to sew a two-piece cuff.


1. Prepare your cuff pieces: Apply the interfacing to two of your cuff pieces (one from each side). If you are working with fusible interfacing, simply fuse to the wrong side of your piece. If you are working with sew-in interfacing, baste the interfacing to your cuff pieces within your seam allowance. These interfaced pieces will become your undercuff pieces.

2. On your top cuff (non-interfaced piece), machine baste along your seam line along the notched edge. Press the seam allowance up along this line and topstitch it in place. Remove your basting stitches.

3. Place your undercuff and topcuff pieces right-sides together matching the three sides. When you do this, you will want to make sure that your notches on both pieces fall both on either the right or left side (as shown in the video).

4. Sew along these three edges, starting and finishing your stitching at the bottom of your interfaced piece. When you get to the corners, stop one stitch before your corner, pivot at a 45 degree angle, then take one stitch. Then pivot the rest of the way and continue stitching.

5. Once you have sewn your cuff pieces together, trim down the seam allowance in the two corners. Next, grade the seam allowance on your interfaced cuff piece, being sure to leave at least one inch of the seam allowance at the opening of your cuff intact.

6. Turn your cuff right-side out. Use a point turner in your corners if necessary. Roll the seam towards your undercuff piece and press them in place.

7. Pin the raw edges of your undercuff (interfaced) piece to raw edge of your shirt piece along the inside of the shirt, matching your notches. Pin it in place being careful not to catch the finished edge of your topcuff.

8. Release the free arm on your sewing machine. Stitch your cuff and sleeve piece together making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your seam.

9. Trim the seam allowance on your undercuff (interfaced) piece. Fold your seam allowance toward the cuff and press it in place.

10. Match the folded edge of the cuff with the stitching line and pin it in place. Edgestitch all the way around your cuff, starting at least a few inches in from the edge of your cuff (you don't want to start sewing right at the corner). Instead of backstitching, start and stop at the same point in your sewing making sure to leave long thread tails. From the inside of your cuff, gently tug on the thread until you pull a loop of thread from the other side of the cuff. Using a pin pull the thread through to the inside and tie off. Repeat this with your other thread tail. Clip the excess thread as close to your knot as you can.

11. Give your cuff a final press.


Congratulations on completing your shirt cuff!

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