Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sew a Coffee Cup Cuff :: Tutorial

I know there are a gazillion tutorials to make sleeves for coffee cups, both the paper kind served at coffee shops and insulated plastic to go cups. Well, now there are a gazillion and one because I've been rolling this idea around for a while and decided to try it out by making something special for my dad for Father's Day.

I purchased this 16 oz. Copco double-wall insulated plastic cup from Bed, Bath & Beyond for $5.00. It does have a textured, non-slip sleeve but adding a fabric cuff over it is so much nicer. I have a huge bag of my husband's old dress shirts that I intend to turn into a quilt someday, but I kept thinking how cool it would be to chop the cuff off of one of them to make a "masculine" coffee cup cuff.

This shirt is made of very soft, heavy 100% cotton. I used my rotary cutter to slice the cuff off about 1" above the edge of the cuff. Let me just say now that there is no fancy math or measuring in this project ... everything is simply eyeballed. Yep, this is my kind of project!

There are 2 buttons already on the cuff, which were perfect to use as is. For a loop to fasten the cuff, I used a small ponytail holder cut in half. This package is from the grocery store -- 40 for $4.00 which works out to $.10 each. Cut in half, that's a nickel for this project.

Since the shirt cuff is already 2-sided and fairly thick, I added a piece of linen for lining and a piece of flannel for padding. Again, cutting these pieces was done by eyeballing, no measuring involved. I made the lining larger than the cuff and the flannel smaller than the cuff.

Iron the cuff flat and press the long raw edge to the inside. Turn under the 4 edges of the linen lining so it fits within the edges of the shirt cuff and iron.

Fold the small piece of ponytail elastic in half and stitch to one end of the linen lining on the inside/wrong side. I just stitched back and forth over it a bunch of times with the sewing machine.

Layer the shirt cuff right side down, then the piece of flannel, and top with the linen lining right side up. Here is the one very important step to make sure this turns out correctly ... place the end of the lining with the elastic opposite the end of the shirt cuff with the buttons. 

Pin the heck out of the layers to keep everything in place while you stitch it together but remove the pins as you go along; don't sew over them. Because you cannot run the short end with the buttons through the sewing machine, just stitch down one long side, across the end with the elastic, then the other long side.

Even though I starched it, the linen was a little stretchy and I had to sew very slowly, continuously raising the presser foot and smooshing it (technical term) as I went along. Note to self: quilting cotton would probably be much easier to use as a lining.

By hand, whip stitch the lining closed on the button end.

VoilĂ !

Wrap around your cup and go ...

By recycling/reusing the shirt cuff with buttons, this project is fast and easy to make. Masculine gifts can be so hard to come up with, I love the idea of using a men's dress shirt to make these.

Wouldn't they be fun in a solid fabric embroidered with his name or initials? Or with a meaningful patch sewn on?

So many projects, never enough time ...

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