Reverse engineering standard work pt.6

Returning to the tutorial (list at close) we’re at the point where we’re ready to draft the cuff. The problem with this step is that I don’t know how simple or complex to make it. Simple can mean simple text instructions or it can get fairly complex with seam specifications, proper seam classes and what not so I’m not sure what I should be doing. I’m going to try simple first. Based on feed back, I may revisit the topic. In order:

  • To draft a cuff you have to measure the bottom of the sleeve -on the sewing line- where the cuff attaches.
  • Then you subtract areas of suppression such as tucks or gathers.
  • Then you subtract the seam allowance of the seam(s) of the sleeve.
  • For now, don’t worry about subtracting seam allowance of the placket slit.

The next step is where it can get complicated because you’ve got to add length to the cuff to include the plackets. Not everyone can remember at the drop of a hat -and without a sample- just how much extra the sleeve plackets adds to the cuff’s length. Here is one way to do it.

The most important thing to do is to standardize the seam allowance of the slit sewing to 1/4″ (the patterns I made for this tutorial meet these specs). The second most important thing is to standardize the smaller binding to finish at 1/2″ wide. If you do that, the width of the binding and the allowance for slit seams will zero each other out (recall you didn’t subtract this in the bulleted paragraph). If you do these two things, then the length you need to add to the cuff will always equal to whatever you’ve designed the larger placket to finish. For example, my large placket finishes at 7/8″. Therefore, I need to add 7/8″ to the cuff length (less areas of suppression of course). Now, if you wanted your large placket to finish at 1″ wide, you’d need to add 1″ to the cuff length and so on. Because it is so simple to remember adding the width of larger placket rule, I’d recommend you standardize the small placket side to finish at 1/2″ with slit seams accounting for 1/4″. Otherwise, this wouldn’t work. Are these steps clear or do I need to add more stuff? Let me know.

Regarding the other dimensions of the cuff, the cuff from this shirt (that I’ve taken apart) has 3/8″ seam allowance at the top (where it joins the sleeve) and 3/16″ or 1cm on the outside edge so that’s what I’ll be doing. Normally I go with 1/4″ on outside edges but I can see how this would finish more neatly. With the smaller allowance, trimming or clipping won’t be necessary. I’ll be posting my pattern for the cuff so you can see the notch placement. You’ll need a notch, long story. It’ll become obvious once I show you how the thing sews up. I expect to have that up on Monday.

Entries in the reverse engineering standard work series (how to copy industrial sewing methods)
Shirt making tips
Standard Work (sounds boring, read it anyway)
Reverse engineering standard work pt.1
Reverse engineering standard work pt.2
Reverse engineering standard work pt.3
Reverse engineering standard work pt.4
Reverse engineering standard work pt.5
Reverse engineering standard work pt.6
Reverse engineering standard work pt.7
Reverse engineering standard work pt.8
Reverse engineering standard work pt.9

Spin off of Reverse engineering standard work pt.5:
A failed experiment
A failed experiment pt.2
A failed experiment pt.3
Reverse engineering standard work pt.5.1

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One comment

  1. Teijo says:

    Kathleen, thank you for your clear and wonderful articles!

    Not to pick nits, but 3/16 of an inch is actually about 5 mm. Although most of us who prefer metric units to imperial probably are already used to doing the arithmetic, perhaps this rounded off chart will be handy to some readers.

    1/16″ = 2 mm
    1/8″ = 3 mm
    3/16″ = 5 mm
    1/4″ = 6 mm
    5/16″ = 8 mm
    3/8″ = 10 mm
    7/16″ = 11 mm
    1/2″ = 13 mm
    9/16″ = 14 mm
    5/8″ = 16 mm
    11/16″ = 17 mm
    3/4″ = 19 mm
    13/16″ = 21 mm
    7/8″ = 22 mm
    15/16″ = 24 mm
    1″ = 25 mm

    If anyone’s interested, here’s one rounded to the nearest .5 mm

    1/16″ = 1.5 mm
    1/8″ = 3 mm
    3/16″ = 5 mm
    1/4″ = 6.5 mm
    5/16″ = 8 mm
    3/8″ = 9.5 mm
    7/16″ = 11 mm
    1/2″ = 12.5 mm
    9/16″ = 14.5 mm
    5/8″ = 16 mm
    11/16″ = 17.5 mm
    3/4″ = 19 mm
    13/16″ = 20.5 mm
    7/8″ = 22 mm
    15/16″ = 24 mm
    1″ = 25.5 mm

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