Amber + Onyx - Paprika Patterns

How to Sew Fabric Covered Elastic Cuffs

Spring has finally arrived! I was going through my summer wardrobe last week and although I have a large handmade collection, another pair of summer trousers was lacking. I had just the right fabric in my stash for another pair of Amber Trousers, and I thought it would be fun to try something else this time, so I added fabric covered elastic cuffs. I loved this look on some RTW trousers I saw, and also a pair by Baste + Gather. You need to hack the pattern just a little and take some measurements, but other than that it’s a pretty simple addition and it gives the Amber quite a different look. I thought you might like to do this yourself, so I made a tutorial.

Amber + Onyx - Paprika Patterns

What You Need

  • The Amber Trousers pattern (or any other similar pattern you’d like to add cuffs to)
  • Some extra fabric, about 1/4 yard (0,25 m)
  • Elastic, either 8 cm wide or a smaller width that you can sew together.

Sew up Your Trousers

Sew up the Amber Trousers as per the instructions, but leave the last 25 cm on the inseam of the legs open. Cut 1.5″ off the bottom of the leg. We’ll be adding 3 1/8″ with the cuffs, but the legs need to blouse above the cuffs a bit to be able to bend your leg.

Prepare the Elastic

Measure around the widest part of your ankle. Take this measurement plus 1.5″ (4 cm) and cut two pieces of elastic. If you have elastic 3 1/8″ (8 cm) wide, you’re done. If you have a smaller width, sew the pieces together along the edges with a wide zig-zag. If that makes them more or less than 3 1/8″ (8 cm) wide, adjust the fabric accordingly with the formula given below. Check if you can get the elastic over your foot, and if it sits comfortably around your ankle.

Prepare the Cuff

Measure the width of the legs at the bottom. Cut two pieces of fabric with the same width, 7″ (18 cm) in height (2 x 3 1/8″ + 2 x 3/8 seam allowance, or 2 x 8 cm + 2 x 1 cm seam allowance). FoldĀ  the fabric over lengthwise, and press. Sew them to the bottom of the trousers, right sides together (3 layers). Press the legs up from the cuff, so the seam allowances point towards the waistband.

Sew the Elastic

Insert the elastic into the cuff. Pin the fabric temporarily to the elastic to keep it from shifting over the ends of the elastic. Lay them on top of each other, overlapping 3/8″ (1 cm). Pin together and slide under the sewing foot. Secure with a wide zig-zag. The easiest way is to sew inside the cuff as shown in the photo, instead of on the outside.

Sew the Cuff

Sew up the leg until the cuff. Fold one raw edge of the cuff fabric under, and slide it over the other raw edge. This part is a bit fiddly, but just get it in place as well as you can. Topstitch in place, again on the inside of the cuff. But, to ensure that you get a straight line on the right side of your fabric, turn the cuff with the wrong side out first as shown in the photo.

That’s it! I love my new pair of trousers and will no doubt be wearing it a lot this summer. Next up is a pair of wide legged Amber Trousers, as shockingly, I don’t have any! I’m wearing my Ambers here with our Onyx shirt. I made this in View A, the cropped version, but to get more wear out of it I lengthened it as described in this tutorial. BAM, summer uniform complete.

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