Thumbhole Cuffs: A Tutorial
Today we’re going to learn how to make thumbhole cuffs or wristbands! You can add these to any long sleeve hoodie or shirt pattern, or even add them to RTW! They’re fun and warm and did I mention fun? If you’ve been hesitant to try these, now is the time! This is the place! You can do it! I promise it’s really not that hard. Make a test version or two and you’ll be sewing them with ease and maybe even understanding the hows and whys behind this fabric origami. But if you don’t want to think too hard, just follow along, suspend your disbelief, and you’ll end up with a perfectly formed thumbhole cuff – pinkie swear.
Let’s dive right in. I’m using the pattern piece for the optional thumbhole wristband on the Lane Raglan. If you’re using this pattern, please note that the fold of fabric lays across the top of the pattern piece, which is a little bit different.
With your fabric still on the fold, cut notches through both layers of fabric where indicated on the pattern.
Flip the pattern piece over and transfer the notch markings to the other side of the band.
Now when you open up your full pattern piece, you’ll have four notches on each side. To help you out with this tutorial, I’m going to label them vertically A,B,C, & D. Put a corresponding letter on the opposite notch. For your test version, I very much recommend writing these letters next to each notch using a permanent marker on the WRONG side of the fabric. You can also label the top corners “1” and the bottom corners “2” to help differentiate.
Now flip the band over and repeat the last few steps to sew between the B points and the other A,D point on the other side. Once again, push all the excess fabric out of the way until you can put a pin through the B point and sew without catching any extra fabric in between.
When both sides are sewn up to the A,D point, you should be able to open up the band with the right sides facing up and have something that resembles this. As you can see, there are still four raw edges between the A,D points and the corners of the bands (1,1,2,2).
Pull the band out so it’s not bunched up within itself and you should have something that resembles this. The fold in the center that is standing up will end up being the fold at the top of the cuff that goes around your palm.
Now just repeat all these steps for the second thumbhole cuff! At this point you can sew it to any long sleeve just as you would a regular wristband. The Lane is designed to have a thumbhole wristband, but if you’re using another pattern, measure the sleeve first to make sure it will be long enough. You want some excess length in your sleeve so it doesn’t pull the cuff around your thumb.