Sunday, June 1, 2014

DIY Tutorial: Wrist Cuffs

Yep, I'm on a "sewing spree" !
(Eine deutsche Version dieses Tutorials findet ihr auf Dunkelsüß!)

I decided to try my sewing machine (and myself) at something smaller than an entire dress so I started with simple wrist cuffs. My last attempt like two years ago was slightly embarrassing and the result looked very "old school".... this time, I think I already did much better and they look a lot more like they're supposed to, haha. It was pretty easy actually - even I could do it and I'm not very experienced :) So I'm gonna provide you with a short and easy tutorial on how to sew such wrist cuffs, with lots of room for customization and improvement according to your taste and skill.

You will need:

~ A sewing machine (if you don't have one, you might be able to improvise on most parts with fabric glue and hand sewing)
~ Lace or a suitable fabric (in my case, I got this rather thin fabric band with cutouts and stitchery and decided to improvise a bit)
~ Rubber band
~ Satin band (my personal tip: burn all ends of satin band with a lighter or match to prevent it from unraveling!)
~ Pearls or other items for decoration


I measured the circumference of my wrist, which is about 15cm, and took quite a bit more than double that for the fabric/lace and ribbon (36cm) and slightly more than the single circumference for the rubber band (about 16cm or more for seam allowance)

As you can see, I had only one type of fabric that was rather small, so I decided to sew three bands together. Two bands will "face" towards the fingers in the end, one towards the wrist.

Next, I made a "tunnel" for the rubber band, using the satin ribbon. Sewing this exactly at the edge looked more difficult than it actually was. I ended up with a nice straight tunnel to pull the rubber band through. Make sure to leave a bit of seam allowance by leaving half a centimeter or so of the satin band unattached. It will facilitate sewing the ends together later.

As for that, I used a little trick. I had some left over thread from years ago, when I did a lot of embroidery, and fixed it to one end of the rubber band. Using a long (ideally blunt, makes it easer to avoid accidentally stitching through the fabric) needle I pulled the thread through the tunnel first and then the rubber band. I hadn't cut it at that point, to allow final adjustment. To mark the final length and avoid the end of a cut rubber band slipping through, you can simply pin a needle laterally through the rubber band. The rubber band will take care of the shirring!

Now the trickiest part: sewing the rubber band together. I wanted it to be fixed really tightly, so I fumbled around with that thing until I managed to fix the sneaky band with my sewing machine. I guess you could also do a few stitches by hand to fix the band and then sew a few times over it with a machine.

Once that's done, I distributed the fabric evenly along the rubber band. Now if you've left some "seam allowance" you will notice a bit of overlap of the fabric/lace underneath the rubber band and a bit of overlap of the satin band above. I turned the wrist cuff inside-out and sewed the ends of the fabric together by hand, then fixed the satin band on the upper side. Don't worry if the stitches aren't perfect, thanks to the shirring effect it won't be very noticeable. In fact, after I finished  this step I almost didn't find the seam again, haha.

And this is how they'll look like!
Of course there are many ways you can modify this simple tutorial. For example, of you use a thinner fabric or lace, you might want to use a kind of fabric for support of the rubber band, and sew it onto the underside of the wrist cuffs, then you could sew on the satin band after closing the rubber band and have the satin un-shirred.

As for decoration, it's up to you of course :)

I decided to make a simple bow from the same satin band in a few easy steps:
First, take a piece of ribbon. The ends should be cut off straight, so they can be sewn together by hand easily, resulting in a circular band or loop. Next another piece of ribbon with the edges cut in a 45° angle (the same angle on both sides!) will serve as the "lower" part of the bow. Fold the ribbon over at a sharp angle. Now you can fix the loop to the "V" and sew them together to make a little bow! The middle might look a bit wonky, now cou can either cover it up with some more satin ribbon or, like I did, with some little accessory. I had an old necklace that had to "die" for this purpose :) 
You might want to make the bow more simple or more elaborate, depending on the materials you have at hand or the effort you want to put into it, haha! Just don't forget to burn the ends of the satin ribbon if you use one. Alternatively you can try to "seal" them with glue or clear nail polish, but personally I find burning easier and less messy - you won't get any stains and if you're quick enough you'll get a nice, straight edge.

I know it's not perfect and the material is not the best quality, but together they cost me probably 3€ or something, and I even have stuff left to make more, haha! Personally, I think they turned out quite nicely, especially with the decoration. It was a lot of fun making them and I suppose I'll make more wrist cuffs to also match my lighter Lolita outfits.

Maybe my little tutorial was of help to you, if you, why don't you show me your work?
Of course, if anything is unclear, leave a comment and I'll try to explain it better :D


  1. Das Armband sieht wirklich cool aus. Dein Nagellack übrigens auch.

    1. Haha, danke :D
      Leider ist er ziemlich schnell abgesplittert aber ich war bisher zu faul ihn abzumachen ^^"

  2. die sind sehr schön geworden :)

  3. Cool! Muss ich auch mal versuchen zu machen. ^__^

  4. Awwww! Sie sind wunderschön geworden! Ich glaube, da hätte ich kein Händchen für. Außerdem habe ich auch gar keine Nähmaschine haha

    Wirklich toll gemacht! :)

    LG, Jade


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