As you will have no doubt noticed, the sleeve hem is a lot bigger than the cuff band. By gathering a large sleeve into a small cuff band we’ll be giving the blouse an elegant puff. Let’s do this…
1) Your cuff bands should have already been interfaced. Stitch the short ends together, right sides together. Press the seams open.
2) Fold the cuff band in half lengthways, wrong sides together. Press to mark the fold line, then unfold again.
3) Slip the cuff band over the edge of the sleeve, right sides together. Match up the seam lines and the centres (marked on your pattern), and pin in place.
4) Pull on the gathering threads at the sleeve hem so it bunches up, then use your fingers to spread out the gathering evenly. Keep going like this until the circumference of the sleeve hem is the same as the cuff band. Pin in place, perpendicular to the edge – use lots of pins to help keep those gathers even.
5) Now stitch the sleeve hem to the cuff. If you position the sleeve side directly under the needle you can keep an eye on the gathers and readjust them as necessary (mind your fingers!). If you’re super earnest and want to make extra sure your gathers are really even, you could baste first (using long stitches). Take your time here, there’s no hurry.
6) Trim the sleeve seam down to reduce some of the bulk. Remove your gather stitches.
7) Press the cuff band away from the sleeve. Now turn the sleeve wrong side out. Fold the bottom edge of the cuff band under by 1cm / 3/8”, wrong sides together, and press. Fold under again along the central line that you pressed in earlier, and press again. The inside of the cuff band should overlap the previous stitching line.
8) All that’s left to do now is attach the cuff band to the inside of the sleeve. My preferred method is to stitch on the right side of the sleeve “in the ditch” – ie. stitch within the seamline to hide the stitches – ensuring the inside of the cuff band is caught in the stitching and the raw edges are tucked away neatly. If you prefer, you can hand stitch the cuff band down.
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