Pile on the bracelets for spring! This soft cuff bracelet is easy, fast and inexpensive to make... especially when compared to the cost of similar styles in trendy stores. Make these in an assortment of colors and embellish with beads, buttons, charms, ribbon or whatever you like.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Decor Computer 2012)
- Walking foot (optional but helpful)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 2 yards of Cynthia Rowley ⅜" Woven Flat Braid from Simplicity. You can use all one color, or up to 4 different colors. We used two colors: Ivory multi-color 1861209001 ⅜" Woven Flat Braid and Lavender multi-color 1861206001 ⅜" Woven Flat Braid.
- 8 inches of 1½" wide natural cotton webbing (sometimes called belting).
- All-purpose sewing thread in natural color (if you use a darker color braid, match the color of the braid)
- Several large-hole beads such as pony beads (we used vintage Native American trade beads, but any large-hole bead you like will work). Pony beads are like giant seed beads and are usually glass or plastic. They are readily available online and in craft and bead stores.
- Optional: any additional embellishments you want to add such as buttons, beads or charms, etc.
- Straight pins
- Measure your wrist. The average women's wrist is 6½-7½". This cuff fit my slightly-under 6" wrist when tied as tightly as possible. It can be easily be adjusted larger by simply tying more loosely. For a child or for a very small frame, reduce the size of the cuff accordingly. If you have an extra large wrist, lengthen the ties from 16" to 18" and trim any excess after you try it on. You'll want to be able to slide the cuff over your hand without untying it, but not have it so loose it slips off.
- Cut ONE piece of webbing 7" in length.
- Cut FOUR pieces of Woven Flat Braid 16" in length.
At Your Sewing Machine
Prepare the webbing
- Zig zag about ¼" from the end of your webbing, being sure to secure the seam at either end so it doesn't unravel. Trim close to the zig zag being careful not to cut through the zig zag seam.
- Mark the webbing at 6" with a pin. Zig zag as you did on the other end, securing the seam at both ends.
- Trim close to this second zig zag seam as you did above.
Attach braid to webbing
- At one end of your webbing, overlap the braid ½" and pin as shown in the photo below. Your four pieces of braid will be slightly overlapped to fit the width of the webbbing.
- Flip over your pinned piece and sew through the webbing and braid close to the edge (noted by arrow in photo below).
- Form a 1" loop in each of the four pieces of braid by folding it back over itself with the 1" loop extending past the end of the webbing as in the photo below. Pin in place.
- Sew through all the layers to secure the loops as shown below. Yep, that's a lot of seams in one place. But the webbing and the braid are very forgiving, and if your thread is a good match, the stitching just seams to disappear.
- Now, we'll edgestitch the braid to the webbing by sewing as close as possible to the edge of the braid. Rather than pinning all four strips in place, pin one at a time so you can move the unsewn strips to the side. Edgestitch the braid from the loop end of the webbing to ¹⁄₈" from the opposite end of the webbing. With your needle in down position pivot and sew across the end of the braid (first photo below). With the needle still down, pivo again and sew back up to the opposite end of the webbing (middle photo). The third photo shows the first strip of braid attached to the webbing.
- Repeat for the remaining three pieces of braid. I remove the pins as I sew the first side. In the photo below, I'm finishing the "back-up-to-the-top" edgestitching on the third strip of braid.
- The back of your finished cuff should look like this:
- The front of your cuff should look like the photo below. I've inserted a chopstick through the four loops so they are easier to see. Notice how the edge stitching disappears into the braid.
- Neatly trim any stray threads (small sharp scissors make the task easier).
Finishing the cuff
- Feed each braid tail through its corresponding loop.
- Try on your cuff to see how it fits on your wrist. Adjust so that once tied, it will snugly slide off over your hand. Note where you want your knot.
- Tie a single knot around each loop to close the cuff.
- Pinch the braid in half lengthwise with your fingers and feed it through the hole in your bead (you can also use an iron on the synthetic heat setting to press the braid in half). Tie a knot to hold the bead in position leaving 1¼-1½" of frayed end.
- The braid naturally unravels giving a nice finish to the ties.
- You can be done at this point, or embellish with whatever elements you choose. Simply hand sew any buttons, beads or charms to the front side of the cuff and position as you like.
Project Design, Sample Creation and Instructions: Alicia Thommas
Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna 3230 and the Baby Lock Grace.