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A Guide for Sewing Professional Shirt Cuffs

Use a few simple techniques to create beautiful cuffs every time.

Apr 04, 2018
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Whether you’re sewing a men’s or women’s shirt, it’s easy to overlook the cuffs. Unlike the collar or the front button placket, cuffs aren’t the first detail to get noticed. Still, it’s nice to know you’ve created the nicest cuffs you can. I’ve learned from experience, including an excellent menswear sewing class at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, that by using a few simple techniques, it’s possible to create beautiful cuffs every time. Shirt cuff corners are most commonly made squared, rounded, or notched (cut diagonally). I’m going to demonstrate rounded and notched cuffs. Materials and fabric preparation Each shirt cuff consists of two pieces: the inner cuff (or cuff facing) and the outer cuff. Interfacing, generally fusible, gives the cuff extra body. I like to use a lightweight knit fusible, as I’m not a fan of stiff cuffs, and I interface only the outer cuff. Is it wrong to interface the inner and outer cuffs, or to use a stiff interfacing? Absolutely not. The crispness of the finished cuff is up to you. Soft knit fusible interfacing yields a firm but not overly stiff cuff. My shirt will be made of a navy cotton bird print…

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  1. KathyKnits1 April 19th

    Love that you are using an old Singer. I too have one and use it sometimes. Does a beautiful job. And your instructions are wonderful. I will be sure to use them on my next shirt! Thank you.

  2. user-2081973 April 17th

    Yeah for old Singer machines. I have a 201 that I love.
    Thank you for the tutorial. Like your blog, it is well written with loads of pictures.

  3. CGinColorado April 14th

    Very well written, I will definitely use this the next time I make a shirt. Love that bird fabric, and I really like that contrasting inner cuff.

  4. user-1116839 April 7th

    Classy! I will try this method for the cuffs next time I make a shirt. So clear.

  5. user-4042188 April 6th

    Nicely done tutorial Peter. I make dress shirts for hubby, yes those with stiffer cuffs and collars. I usually attach the outer cuff to the shirt and then top-stitch from the outside, catching the folded down inner cuff. Will have to try your method. How about collars next? I'm still trying to perfect them, with a lot of guidance and help from David PC.

  6. User avater VintageTailor April 5th

    This is wonderful step-by-step instruction, which I will bookmark! I also love the ingenuity of using a quarter to round corners. I'm hoping Peter will be a frequent contributor in this space.

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