Blog Archive

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tutorial: Cuffs with Thumb Holes

This is a tutorial on how to make a sweater or long sleeve shirt cuff with thumb holes. It's not the typical cut a slit/hole that you stick you thumb through, this is my version, with enclosed seams.  It's very useful if you want to replace those ratty sweater cuffs on your favourite sweater.

Video Tutorial


Materials and Tools Needed:
You need maybe a 1/4 yard of fabric for this project max
Ribbing (one way stretch knit, looks the same on both sides)
Scissors, Thread, Pins, Sewing Machine (you can sew this by hand if you'd like)

You need 2 rectangles double the height of your desired cuff plus seam allowances and the width around your hand minus an inch. (or the width around your sleeve hem plus 1" for seam allowances)
Rectangle = (Height of Cuff x 2) X (width around hand/sleeve hem - 1 inch*)
 *do not take 1" off if you will be sewing with a 1/2" seam allowance
For this tutorial I used a rectangle of fabric measuring 11 inches long by 7 inches wide)
Make sure that the rectangle is cut with the hand/hem measurement with the stretch going widthwise, the height x 2 measurement should be lengthwise and not stretchy.

To get these measurements I folded the cuff in half widthwise and placed my hand on top with the bottom of my fingers just under the folded edge of the fabric.
for a 5 inch cuff, the marks along the longer edge are are 1.5" from the edge, 2.5", 3" (1.5" from the fold on finished cuff) and then 2.5" and 1.5" again. mark along both sides.
This Diagram should help explain what edges are sewn together, and the order.

fold in half lengthwise (along the broken line in the diagram) and place pins in the center 3" marks. (the spaces marked 1)

Sew down with a 1/4 seam allowance (if you want a half inch seam allowance your rectangle should be an inch larger than your hand/hem measurement)

Open your cuff out and fold widthwise, so that the folded edge is agains your first seam.  (along the solid line)
Pin the sides between the 2.5 inch space with your first seam going through the middle. (Pin sides marked 2 together) *your marks must remain on the outside.*

When you pin this is where the first seam should be.

Pull the first seam first seam towards whatever edge you are sewing, being careful not to catch the unsewn edges under the needle

Sew together. and repeat with the other side (the one in the diagram marked 3)
Your cuff while still inside out should look like a small hood with the seams on the outside. There should also be a gap in the top that is 1.5" long)
Fold the cuff lengthwise again and sew along the remaining edges.
Now you have to turn the cuff right side out (It's easier to show in a video)

And that's it.  just sew it to your shirt or sweater like you would a normal cuff and you're done.


  1. Thanks for the tut.. How would you do a single layer fabric thumb hole? Thanks again.

  2. I can create a simple tutorial of you, basically it is just creating a tube of fabric, hemming the top edge and seam ripping a hole for your thumb and top stitching. the other option is to cut a round hole and use a bias tape to bind that edge and again hem the top edge.

  3. Thanks for doing this! I'm making a bunch of these for Christmas.

  4. Thank you! It worked very well!