Caravan Dreams–Contrast Sleeve Cuff Tutorial

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I recently had the privilege of working with Josephine Kimberling on a tunic for her Caravan Dreams fabric line with Blend Fabrics. I’m always a bit nervous when I take on anything other than children’s clothing, but I this all came together perfectly. The fabrics in this line have some amazing colors, but I love how the grey really grounds it all. Be sure to check out the pink color way as well!

These first two photos are from Josephine’s blog taken by Natalie G Photography.

Peacock pillow created by Josephine Kimberling and sewn from her 'Caravan Dreams' fabric collection with Blend Fabrics

Josephine and I discovered a little happy accident while working on this one. After washing and drying the fabrics she sent, I realized there just wasn’t enough to complete the main body of the tunic. Being resourceful with my fabric (a.k.a. stingy) I fiddled around with what I had to come up with other options given our short time frame. Thinking she would totally shoot me down I mentioned doing the back in the same fabric as the sleeve cuff. She loved it!! The contrast seems to add a trendy twist to a basic design. The engineer in me loved the problem solved!!

Tunic sewn from Josephine Kimberling's 'Caravan Dreams' fabric collection with Blend Fabrics

The pattern for the tunic is Simplicity 2255. The original design did not show a contrast for the sleeve cuff, so I thought I would show you my quick construction.

First, on the sleeve pattern cut off 2” of the 2 1/4” hem allowance. Then cut the contrast fabric with the same pattern, but only extend it up to the button mark. I was so short on fabric here that I used the selvage edge. If you don’t use the selvage, finish this edge of the fabric as desired.


Sew the sleeve and the contrast piece right sides together with 1/4” seam allowance along the bottom edge with raw edges aligned. Finish the seam allowance. Press the fabrics open with the seam allowance up toward the main sleeve piece. At this point, sew on the button tab per the pattern instructions.


Proceed to sew the sides of the sleeve right sides together forming the sleeve tube. Here you will be sewing starting at the selvedge edge of the contrast fabric all the way to the arm hole.


Finish the seam allowance. Turn the sleeve right side out and push the contrast piece up into the sleeve. Stitch in the ditch of your seam to anchor the contrast piece at the top.


Press the cuff well and topstitch close to the edge. Insert the sleeve per the pattern instructions, roll up, and enjoy!


I know this is a quick set of instructions, so feel free to comment or email me with any questions!

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