I am finally nearing the end of my 'Copying a shirt pattern' series. By this point, in any project, I am always busting to tie up the loose ends and get started on the next one (although at this stage I am not yet sure what is even up next on my agenda. I have a growing pile of "unblogged" pieces, so have a lot to choose from!)
If you have been following the series, you will know that I have covered: copying the body and sleeves of the pattern, copying the collar and stand pattern, drafting a collar and stand pattern from scratch, drafting a standard button placket, drafting a placket with concealed buttons, drafting a placket joined to the shirt front, and drafting a cuff placket.
And today's tutorial will show you how to draft the sleeve cuff, before I wrap it all up with patch pockets next week.
To start, take the sleeve you are making a cuff for, and measure the length of the wrist line. Remember, if your pattern already has seam allowance added to it, measure the stitch line only, and not the edge of the pattern.
Once you know the length of the wrist line, you can start drafting the pattern.
Take a sheet of pattern paper, and draw a horizontal line, close to the bottom of the sheet (leave enough room for seam allowance that will be added later), that is half the length of the wrist line (we will be drafting only half the pattern and will cut it on the fold, to create a full piece).
Label the endpoints as A and B.
Now you need to consider the width of your cuff. This is up to you really, but remember this may impact your sleeve pattern (for example, if you make a very wide cuff, you may need to shorten your sleeve pattern to accommodate it).
I decided to take the measurement directly from the shirt I was copying. If you are not copying a ready made shirt, it is often still a good idea to refer to a shirt (or two) in your wardrobe, to get an idea of an appropriate cuff width for your design.
Draw perpendicular lines up from points A and B, the length you have decided to make your cuff.
Complete the rectangle by joining the endpoints of the lines you just drew.
Now it is time to decide what shape you would like your cuff to be. Here are three examples (the most common cuff types) of shapes you could choose.
I decided to go with the "cut corner" cuff.
To make this pattern, mark a point, on the line extended from A, just beyond half of the cuff width (my cuff width is 5cm, so I marked a point 3cm up from point A). Measure the distance between this point and the corner, and mark this length on the top side too (measuring from the same corner). This will mean that the triangle you "cut off" from the corner will be balanced.
Join these points with a diagonal line.
You can now remove the corner.
You can leave your pattern as a "half" or you can make a full piece (by folding the pattern on the "fold line" and transferring the details onto the other side).
Having a full pattern will be helpful for the next steps.
It is a good idea to mark notches on the cuff, to make the sewing process easier.
To do this, take your sleeve and cuff patterns.
The cuff placket isn't just sewn to the bottom edge of the sleeve (seam to seam). It is sewn on, once the sleeve seam has been sewn, starting and finishing at the slash line.
To mark the notches, line up the side seam line of the cuff (as well as the bottom edge), with the slash line (as if you were sewing the two pieces together) of the sleeve.
As you may notice, in the illustration, the cuff has seam allowance, while the sleeve does not. This is not a problem, but you just need to be careful to match up "stitch line" with "stitch line," if you are in the same boat. This is why it is always good to have your stitch lines marked on the pattern.
Mark a notch at the point where the sleeve seam intersects with the baseline of the cuff pattern.
You can stop now, or if you would like to mark a second notch (a balance point that will help you match the pieces up correctly when you are sewing) continue on with the tutorial.
Now that the notch is marked, you can move the cuff pattern to the other side of the sleeve (imagine the sleeve seam is sewn and the cuff is just continuing around the wrist line).
Line up the notch with the opposite sleeve seam from where you started (once again also lining up the base line of both patterns).