How to Sew Cuffs on Sleeves

Get the skinny on how to sew on a cuff.

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The conundrum: You have the sleeve, you have the cuff, but you have absolutely no idea how to attach one to the other. Don't feel like a sewing failure! Cuffs are tricky to attach back on to the sleeve because the sleeve runs much wider than the actual cuff. There's no need to take the two pieces to a tailor. With some simple instructions and a little precision, you can sew those babies back on like a pro.


Measure your placket. This is the part of the cuff that attaches to the opening on the sleeve of the shirt. It's also where the shirt buttons close. The placket has two parts: the skinny rectangular side and the wider side that has one pointed end and a button hole.


Lay your shirt flat.


Begin at the wrist and cut a slit up the sleeve of your shirt that is the same length as your placket.


Pin the skinny half of the placket to the bottom half of the slit.


Topstitch the placket to the shirt. This means stitching the placket on the right side of the garment as opposed to turning the sleeve inside out and stitching on the inside of the sleeve. Topstitching is a great way to accent the lines of a shirt.


Pin the other half of the placket to the other half of the slit in your sleeve. The pointed end of the placket should be pointed toward the armpit of the sleeve.


Topstitch the placket onto the sleeve.


Line up the cuff with the sleeve.


Pleat the sleeve to fit the size of the cuff.


Baste, or hand sew, a stitch into each pleat to hold it in place.


Pin the right side of the cuff to the right side of your sleeve. Leave 1/2 inch of sleeve for seam allowance.


Turn your shirt inside out.


Stitch the cuff to the sleeve.


Repeat Steps 1 through 13 with your other sleeve.

Things You'll Need







6.Sewing machine


Tips & Tricks


Topstitching is visible, so you want it to be precise. Line up the edge of the presser foot on your sewing machine with the edge of your placket to keep the line you are stitching straight.


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