I’ve always been partial to a comfy jumper and over the years I’ve made countless Grainline Linden sweatshirts!
With the fabric and notions available for these types of projects every increasing it’s no wonder that everyone fancies adding another jumper to their handmade wardrobe.
In this post I’m going to focus on how to use cuffing bands that come on cards like this. I’ll show you all the different types available as well as how to use them with different classic jumper style patterns.
Check out my latest youtube video to hear my chat about them and demonstrate who to sew with them, or read on for all my tips as well as links of where to find the supplies needed in my online shop.
First up, let's cover what type of patterns you would use cuffing fabrics for. There are lots of jumper and sweater patterns out there and in this post I’m going to focus on ones that specifically have the classic details of neckbands, sleeve cuffs and hem bands that need to be made out of a stretchy fabric. Here are some examples, all of which have differences in the neckline shape, type of sleeve insertion and fit.
The Billie is the ultimate, classic, comfy sweatshirt with a relaxed shape, crew neckline and classic trim details.
It features classic set in sleeves where you see the seam sitting around the outer edge of the shoulder.
You can also choose from 3 different sleeve styles: keep it effortless with cuffed, straight full length or 3/4 length sleeves, or add some drama with on-trend balloon sleeves and deep cuffs.
The Linden Sweatshirt gives a modern update to the classic sweatshirt. It features a relaxed fit with raglan sleeves, where you see the seam come diagonally up from under the arm into the neckline.
The neckline itself is slightly scooped and wider than the Billie. View A features long sleeves with cuffs and falls to the mid hip with a lower ribbing band while View B hits at the high hip and has short sleeves. You can also mix and match sleeve and body lengths to create multiple versions of this sweatshirt.
This is a super versatile pattern with lots of design variations. It’s basic shape is a relaxed, loose fit with a drop shoulder where you see the seam sitting in the upper arm region. View A is the classic sweater style with cuffs and a hemband.
When it comes to adding the neckband, sleeve cuffs and hem bands onto jumper/ sweater garments there are 3 options which are listed below.
This special fabric is super stretchy and gets made on a special machine that generates a tube of fabric. It’s typically pretty narrow and we sell off the bolt by the 10cm, same way we sell all of our fabrics.
If the pattern you are using has been designed to use cuffing or ribbing for the neckband, cuffs and hem band then you won’t need to alter the pattern pieces at all, as this fabric will easily stretch over your head.
You should pre-wash the ribbing fabric along with your main fabric like normal prior to cutting out and constructing your garment.
Some have a tighter narrower rib like the yellowish one pictured left.
We have quite a large selection of different colours of this type now. It's nice and stretchy with good recovery.
There are a few different types, some have more of a defined rib texture, like the cream one pictured to the right.
Both can be used in the same way and have the same super stretchy properties, they just differ in their visual appearance. At the time of writing we have the textured rib available in the shop and coming soon is a large colour range of the tighter rib fabric.
Pictured left is the Tilly and the Buttons Billie Sweatshirt and the Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt below.
This is a great option if you are finding it hard to find a matching or coordinating ribbing or cuffing for your fabric. However, depending on the pattern you are using and the amount of stretch your fabric has, it’s likely that you are going to have to alter the pattern slightly to use this method.
It may be that you need to extend the length of the pattern piece - check out my video specifically on jersey neckbands for two methods of how to do this.
It may be that you have to alter the shape of the neckline opening if its a high crew neck style. I cover that in my Top Tips video for sewing the Tilly and the Buttons Billie sweatshirt that can be purchased here.
Pictured left is the Megan Neilsen Jarrah Sweatshirt.
Cuffing is a super stretchy band and we sell it on cards that are approx 1.35m long and about 7cm wide. We stock a wide range of different colours and designs from classic plains, to glitter details and colourful stripes. If the pattern you are using has been designed to use cuffing or ribbing for the neckband, cuffs and hem band then you won’t need to alter the pattern pieces at all, as this fabric will easily stretch over your head.
One long edge is a finished edge that will become the edge of your garment and the other long edge has a slightly thicker rolled appearance. This is effectively the ‘raw’ edge and the one that will be sewn to your main fabric. The great thing about cuffing is that it doesn’t fray so you can cut and trim it as needed without worrying that it might unravel.
As the cuffing typically comes in fairly wide (approx 7cm) it’s really too wide to use at this width as a neckband so there are two options:
As you can see in my sample here, I folded the cuffing that had stripes woven through it to customise the stripe that was visible on the neckline. I choose to have the gold stripe on show, while the red/coral stripe is on the inside.
In short I would say no as it’s typically not got enough stretch recovery to work as a waist band on its own. You could use it folded in half to create a channel for elastic, but I think it might feel too bulky like that. It would be better to use either tubular ribbing or use the same fabric as your main garment for a waistband to make a channel for elastic.
Hear all about my fun time filming a sewing machine feature for this TV show!