Monday, 6 August 2012

Ruffs, then cuffs and back to ruffs!

Once again, and I am getting a little bored of this observation, I found myself flummoxed by Margo's instructions, this time to make the cuffs for the smock.  This was a good three weeks ago and it really left me in a huff!  The whole smock has felt like a battle, which is a shame as it is an integral part of the outfit and will be lovely when it's done.  Not having made cuffs before, I did some research on methods, none of which seemed to resemble the instructions that I had in front of me, and in the end decided to go it alone.  It's not that difficult after all, certainly a lot less fussy than what was being asked of me - and I just can't figure out why the extra fuss was called for.

In the interim I started on the ruffs, two long rectangles of cotton, joined with an inch long placket at the top, hemmed and gathered round the top.  The hems were two 3mm turns, far too delicate for machine sewing, so I hand stitched the lot.

Once the cuffs are complete I can bias bind the top edge (they have to be a 1/2" bigger than the cuff), add a hook and eye closure and they will be ready to tacked onto the cuff or the inside of the oversleeve, as and when I get that far!

So, onto the cuffs themselves.  I made a sandwich of a layer of interlining with two layers of cotton underneath, and stitched a 1/8" seam from the bottom of one short side, down the length of a long side (now the "top" of my cuff) and down the second short side.

The seams were trimmed to 3-4mm and the corners clipped across the diagonal. 

The cuff was then turned inside out, so that the interfacing was encased in between the two layers of cotton.  As the cotton is so fine, the layer that lay directly next to the interfacing was my "good", outer surface and the layer which had been turned over, my inside surface, as the trimmed edge is ever so slightly visible.  It is a snug fit, obviously I get a little give with the hook and eye, bit it looked rather like a bandage or a sweat band!

Moving onto the smock, I long stitched a double row of straight stitch around the bottom of the sleeve and gathered them to fit the cuff.

The bottom of the sleeve also had a placket (2" long) and the cuff was matched to it (right side to right side) and pinned in place.  Again it would have been a fiddly sew on the machine so I hand stitched the right side and interlining of the cuff to the sleeve a 1/4" from the outer edge.  Once done, I turned the cuff right side round and slip-stitched the inner layer of cotton in place.

One finished cuff... note the one!  I have more sewing to do tonight.  I'm pleased though, the gather is tight and very full, the depth of the cuff is nice too (deeper, I think, than the instructions would have but it feels good and sturdy!) and it looks the part. 

I hope, tonight, to get the other cuff and both ruffs finished off with a couple of pictures to update this tomorrow.  Then I just need to hem the smock and finally, finally!, it's done.

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