I haven’t done a Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits in ages, so here’s one inspired by discussion on Melizza’s blog the other day: My lazy way to sew a t-shirt cuff so that the serger does all the work!
You may well already sew your cuffs like this already – but I know a few people don’t so I thought I’d share!
Step 1: Make a t-shirt, and prepare your cuffs. I ignore the pattern pieces for cuffs and neckbands. Instead, I cut a long rectangle and wrap it around my arm to get a perfect fit.
Typically your cuff is narrower than the sleeve, so here’s my Lazy Tip…
Step 2: Instead of putting the cuff around the sleeve to sew it on, put it on the inside! See how in the picture on the left, the sleeve is all jacked up inside the cuff because there isn’t enough space? To sew it on you need lots of pins (annoying) and you’ll need to stretch out the cuff which could result in a bulky, puffy seam. In the right-hand picture I’ve turned the shirt inside out, and put the cuff inside the sleeve. Everything sits nicely together, and no pins or stretching are needed!
Step 3: Sew! As you can see, I sew from the inside of the tube – that way I won’t accidentally catch the other side of the cuff. Use two fingers hold the fabric and gently stretch the cuff to meet the sleeve. The feed dogs underneath help pull the sleeve a little faster, which naturally eases it in. Adjusting the differential feed can also prevent the seam from stretching out.
Step 4: Press. Any kind of folded band needs a good press to get it flat. If you find your fabric marks too easily, I often find that a burst of steam and a finger press does the trick. That’s all I did for this cuff, and the seam sits nice and flat now.
That’s it! Do you insert your cuffs the same way, or do you stretch them around the outside of the sleeve? I use the same principle when I’m attaching a bodice to a skirt, or a hem band to a tunic dress: the smaller circumference always goes inside the larger one, so the serger naturally eases them together.
p.s. If you are new to the blog, I’ve got a bunch of other Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits posted here!