Sewn // Snuggly thumbhole cuff tutorial

Snuggly thumb cuff

Winter sewing is in full swing in this part of the world. One detail I love to add to up the snuggle factor on shirts and sweatshirts I make to wear this time of year is to add thumbholes. I’m ALWAYS cold in the winter, and it’s really nice to be able to pull my sleeves over my hands. Once I need my hands back, I just slip my thumb out and push the sleeve down to my wrist. Here’s my method for adding thumbholes.

Thumb hole tutorial

When cutting out your pattern pieces, you need to cut your sleeves about an inch longer than normal (depending on the stretch of you fabric, it could be more). If you’re petite like me, just cut your sleeves the normal pattern length (rather than shortening them). Cut out the rest of your pieces as normal, and then construct your shirt. Stop before you sew the cuffs, and follow these instructions:

Thumb Hole Tutorial

1. Start with your cuff lying flat. 2. Fold it in half hotdog style. 3. Mark the seam allowance on one end. Also mark two short lines- the first is 3/4″ from the top of the cuff, the second is about 1″ lower. 4. Trace the curve of a quarter to connect the two lines. Remember to do the opposite side on the other cuff so you end up with one right and one left cuff. 5. Sew along the seam allowance line and around the outside of the curved line. If you have more substantial fabric, you might want to skip sewing the seam allowance. 6. Trim seam allowances. 7. Turn right side out. Then take the non-sewn end of the cuff and pull it over the sewn end. 8. Sew in a straight line along the matched ends, catching all 4 layers of fabric. *update 2/14/16- if your cuff is folded like it is in the picture (with the fold on the right side and the matched ends on the left side), you will sew along the left side of the cuff.* 9. Turn right side out and sew to your shirt as normal.

Then enjoy having warm hands!

6 Responses to Sewn // Snuggly thumbhole cuff tutorial

    • Looking at the picture for step 8, you would stitch along the left-hand edge, which is the edge that isn’t folded. You want to create a tube with a hole on one side. Good luck!

      • Still confused but I have been awake for 20 hours. Are you saying to sew across the thumb hole area or along the opposite end? Thank you!

        • Sew across the thumbhole end, which is on the left in the picture (sorry that the picture isn’t more clear). You want to enclose the area above and below the thumbhole opening in the seam so that when you turn the cuff right side out everything is connected except for the thumbhole opening. Good luck! And I hope you are able to get some sleep. A friend of mine listens to “Sleep with Me” podcast and she says it helps (stories about going to Trader Joe’s that lull you to sleep).

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