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Unique Cuffs for Knit Tops

As the finale to our virtual Tabula Rasa Knit Tee and Tunic class, we will take a look at a variety of unique cuff finishes for the Tabula Rasa Knit Tee & Tunic, or any knit top pattern with sleeves you are stitching.  Choosing a cuff design often comes toward the end of the sewing project so it is based not only on a design vision, but also on the amount of fabric that remains and what fabrics need to be repeated again if mixing fabric.

Simple band and hem finishes.

Follow the links, by clicking on the highlighted words, to read about designing and making each of these tops with a unique cuff.

Simple Rectangles that align with the size of the sleeve hemline are an easy way to begin exploring knit cuff edges.  Check out the post Knit Sleeves Tabula Rasa Style to see how an inserted fabric plus a basic band finish makes a great statement in this multi-fabric top.

And here is the finished top.

The Soft Pink Cardigan has a faced cuff with flat selvage edge piping inserted between the cuff and the top.  It pulls together all the fabrics in this fun cardigan.  I could have done a ruched cuff to match the collar but decided that this utilitarian sweatshirt needed a practical edge finish.

Sleeve cuff with grey edging.

The Clever Crossings Variation pattern has a formula for creating cuff pieces for a classic 1½” wide cuff on page 9 of its instruction book, in the sidebar “Details for Shaped Band Tops”.

Shaped Band Surplice

Expand the rectangles in length and width to create the dramatic cuff featured in the Scrolls and Dots Tee.  The cuff was gathered and attached to the edge of the sleeve for a whimsical effect. The cuff was controlled with the cover stitch machine and 2 lines of topstitching.

Ruffled cuff- very dramatic

Take advantage of the rectangular cuff pattern with shaped ends, found in the Twin Set Variations, to make the cuff featured in Twin Set feature: the Tailored Cardigan.

Cuff turned right side out and pressed
Cuff turned right side out and pressed

Face the rectangular cuff pieces, encasing  the raw edges, to create the cuff on this tunic featured in the post New Knit Cuff.  Turn it back and anchor the ends with some coordinating buttons for a very unique look.

Buttoned cuff

In the Sweater of my Dreams, achieve the look by stitching an opaque cuff onto a lacy sweater knit sleeve, then wrap it to the back, topstitching the top of the cuff above the seamline.  This creates a casing for a one wide elastic.  You can read why this is so practical in this sweater.

Simple elastic push up sleeves.

Stack the rectangular cuffs made to align with an expanded width sleeve, as seen in Lace Godets Dress up a Tee.  Stitch them to the sleeve and create a casing with the seam allowance so that ⅜” elastic feeds into it easily, creating a very romantic cuff finish.

Sleeve cuff ready to attach

Use this same technique but roll the hem edges of the cuff with the serger rolled edge setting for a little lettuce edge effect as in Knit Tees for Fall.

Gathered cuff for Tabula Rasa Knit Tee & Tunic by Fit for Art Patterns
Voila! Gathered 2-layer cuff

Use the Flared Cuff pattern in Wide Neckline Variations to create a similar but more tailored cuff that can be faced or finished with the rolled edge on the serger as in the Coral Pink SewBatik Tee.

Pretty flared cuff from Wide Neckline Variations

Here are a few samples I made considering options for the Olive Pieced Tiger Tee which is constructed completely with serger rolled edges.  I chose a very simple cuff to complement the already busy top.

Interfaced facings are the trick to create the clean scalloped edges of the cuff in the Elegant Scalloped Tee

Fusing complete on the sleeves and facings.

Check out our recent post Same Knit – Different Styling to see a variety of cuffs side by side.  

Take advantage of our pinterest page, Sewing Knits, to view other cuffs.  That is often where I start for new ideas. Then make some samples, like those pictured above from the tiger tee project,  until you find the cuff finish that complements your new tee or tunic perfectly.

Happy Sewing, RAE

1 thought on “Unique Cuffs for Knit Tops

  1. Fantastic! Ideas I will try all of them. Thank you for your giving us such good stuff for free

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