Episode 501

Tara Rex

Off the Cuff by Tara Rex

Stand out from the crowd when you hand out business cards in a creative customized holder. Use the same techniques to combine fabric, trim and buttons to create a colorful cuff. Use decorative stitches on your machine to highlight the design.

Card Shark


Two 4 1/4"x5 1/2" rectangles of mediumweight fabric A (holder)

Four 4"x4 1/4" rectangles of fabric B (pockets)

1/4 yard of heavyweight fusible interfacing

4 1/4"x5 1/2" rectangle of fleece or felt

Coordinating or contrasting all-purpose thread

Embellishments (such as buttons & yarn)

Hand sewing needle

Prep It

Cut one 4 1/4"x5 1/2" rectangle and two 4x4 1/4" rectangles from the interfacing.

Fuse the large interfacing rectangle to one fabric-A rectangle wrong sides, following the manufacturer's instructions. Fuse one small interfacing rectangle each to two pocket wrong sides.   

Sew It

Sandwich the fleece rectangle between the fabric A rectangle wrong sides, aligning the edges; pin. Set the machine to a decorative overcast or zigzag stitch, and then stitch the holder perimeter, making sure the right needle swing encloses the raw edges.

With wrong sides together, align one fused pocket with each unfused pocket; pin. Set the machine to a short, narrow zigzag stitch, and then edgestitch the long edges of each pocket.

Designate one holder side as the right side, and then embellish the right side. To couch yarn onto the right side as in the featured holder, position and pin the yarn as desired, and then zigzag stitch over the yarn to secure. Hand stitch buttons to the holder right side as desired.

Position one pocket right side up over the holder wrong side, aligning one pocket long edge with one holder short edge. Zigzag stitch the pocket sides and lower edge. Repeat to stitch the remaining pocket to the remaining holder short edge.

Finish It

Fold the holder in half widthwise with right sides together; press to create a center crease.

TIP: For extra personalization, hand or machine embroider a monogram on the cover right side. 


Off the Cuff


5"x11" rectangle of print cotton fabric (A)

3"x11" rectangle each of coordinating print cotton fabric (B), heavyweight fusible interfacing & fleece or felt

Thread: contrasting all-purpose & decorative rayon

1/2" square of hook-and-loop tape

5/8"-diameter button

Removable fabric marker

Hand sewing needle

Embellishments (such as assorted 1/4"- to 1/2"-diameter buttons or beads & narrow yarn or cord)

Cut It

Download the Off the Cuff pattern at sewitallmag.com. Cut one bracelet each from the print fabrics, interfacing and fleece. Transfer the loop-tape and couching placement marks onto the fabric-A bracelet right side. Transfer the hook-tape placement mark onto the fabric-B bracelet right side.

From fabric A, cut one 2"-diameter circle, one 1 1/2"-diameter circle and one 1"-diameter circle.

Sew It

Fuse the interfacing bracelet to the fabric-A bracelet wrong side, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Position the fabric-B bracelet right side down on a flat work surface. Place the fleece bracelet over the fabric-B bracelet, and then place the fabric-A bracelet right side up over the fleece bracelet. Align the perimeters; pin. 

Set the machine to a short, narrow zigzag stitch. Stitch the bracelet perimeter, making sure the right needle swing encloses the raw edges.

Set the machine to a zigzag or blanket stitch that's slightly wider than the yarn. Position the yarn over the marked placement line, beginning along one bracelet short edge. Stitch over the yarn, realigning it with the placement line as needed during stitching. When you reach the yarn beginning, trim away the excess yarn.

Select a decorative stitch on the machine, and thread the needle with decorative rayon thread. Stitch inside the couched yarn.

TIP: Practice on scrap fabric when choosing decorative stitches to decipher stitch widths and movement.

Thread the machine with all-purpose thread and select a straight stitch. Position the loop-tape square over the placement mark on the fabric-A side, and then edgestitch the square perimeter. Repeat to stitch the hook tape on the fabric-B side.

Position buttons or beads as desired on the fabric-A side within the couched yarn; hand stitch through all layers.

Center the large fabric-A circle over the bracelet hook-tape end on the fabric-A side. Center the remaining circles over the large circle, and then center the large button over the circles. Hand stitch the button through all layers.

5 Easy Embellishment Ideas

  1. For a flashy bracelet, use decorative metallic thread and yarn with metallic fibers for the couching. Hand stitch sequins along the bracelet length instead of buttons.
  2. If your machine doesn't have decorative stitches, hand embroider within the couched yarn using a running stitch, feather stitch or lazy daisy stitch. Refer to the Hand Embroidery Guide at sewitallmag.com for stitch instructions. 
  3. Add sparkle by applying small hot-fix crystals between the buttons along the bracelet length.
  4. For an earthy look, use linen to create the bracelet, and then decorate it with wood, bone or metal buttons.
  5. Use a solid fabric for the bracelet, and then fussy cut designs from a floral fabric to create appliqués to stitch along the bracelet length.

Products used in this episode:


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