Cards' Trad Sewing Circle: DIY Faux Cuffs

Cardinals5

Honors Member
As most of you know, I'm an inveterate thrifter and eBayer. Frequently the low cost of the trousers means I don't want to pay a tailor to do basic sewing such as changing buttons, hemming pants, adding cuffs, resewing jacket linings, etc., and so have taught myself the basics of hand sewing - I'm not advanced enough yet for an actual sewing machine. Tailors, in my world, are for handling major surgery such as adjusting shoulders, nipping a waist, shortening jacket sleeves (this is my next learning project).

One of my frequent problems is trousers that are too short for trad-sized cuffs (1.75-2"). I finally decided to research and then sew some so-called faux cuffs on a pair of thrifted Bills Khakis and then, later this week, on a pair of Norman Hilton suit pants.

Here's the first installment of Cards' Trad Sewing Circle: DIY Faux Cuffs.

Regular Cuff
cuff001.jpg


The type of faux cuff I used on the Bills
cuff003.jpg



My outseam measurement - outseam measurements are more accurate than inseam ones in my experience - is 40.5". To add two inch cuffs to a pair of trousers you normally need an additional 4.5-4.75" As you can see from the first pic, I'm limited by the previous owner having shortened the pants and having a visible older hem line (please enjoy the colorfulness of my ironing pad :icon_smile_big:). If I used normal cuffs, I could only get some enemic 1" cuffs on these pants


First step was to determine the length of the small fold that would form the top of the visible cuff - some tinkering with measurements here because I had to have the end of the cuff fall at the original owner's hemline to hide it. The best I could get was 1.75" - certainly respectable.


The first fold ended up being just under 1"


Here's pic of under the first fold if you were looking down at your legs while wearing the pants.


Next step was to turn the trousers inside-out and tack the top of the cuffs at the side seams


I then folded over the cuff on the inside and hand stitched to the inside of the pants inside the 1" faux cuff seen from outside (difficult to explain). In other words, I blind stitched the pants, but the stitches will be hidden by the cuff. I decided to use a double thickness of silk thread for added strength.


External pic of the completed "faux cuff"


Pic of the hidden blind stitches if the top of the cuff is pulled outward. This cuff is not going anywhere :icon_smile_big:


Overall, not too time consuming. The entire process took about 2 hours for both cuffs from start to finish - with some breaks in the middle for reading the Trad Forum. Definitely easy enough if you're somewhat capable with a needle and thread. I just saved myself $20 (not much for most, but multiply that by all the trousers I hem and it's a considerable savings)


I'll post new photos of the Bills after I rewash and iron them. I'll also post pics of the faux cuffing process on the Norman Hilton trousers later in the week.
 
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jamgood

Elite Member
Not meaning to piddle in your ale, but, you're probably going to have an exterior impression of the interior fold about midway the width of your cuff when pressed - if'n that matters.
 

Cardinals5

Honors Member
Not meaning to piddle in your ale, but, you're probably going to have an exterior impression of the interior fold about midway the width of your cuff when pressed - if'n that matters.

Jam, you apparently haven't discovered my day job. Since I don't send my chinos to the cleaners and do iron them myself, there's no fear of an exterior impression so long as I take some care, which usually isn't a problem for me. Another option, probably the one I'll choose more often, is simply not to iron these vigorously since they're such a casual pant.

Your point is well taken though - if I did the faux cuffs properly as in the model picture then there won't be the internal overlap that threatens to become visible upon ironing. That's something I will keep in mind when I do faux cuffs in the future.
 
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jamesensor

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Thank you for this -- I hate spending more on creating a cuff for my thrift finds, then the actual cost of the pants themselves.
 

TheWGP

Senior Member
Awesome post! I'd seen the pictures before, but having actual in-process-real-life photos helps out tremendously. Looking forward to future installments!
 

Peak and Pine

Connoisseur
Very nice, Cardinal. I also do the faux cuff, a little bit differently and maybe I'll stick my method in here later, if you don't object.

From Jamgood:
Not meaning to piddle in your ale, but, you're probably going to have an exterior impression of the interior fold about midway the width of your cuff when pressed - if'n that matters.

I understand that you're a careful presser, still, this is a major problem with the faux cuff. In an attempt to circumvent this I came up with something that in turn led to an innovation that I now not only use on the faux, but the full cuff as well. A stiffener the width of the cuff is inserted behind the cuff's face. It has to be tacked in else it may come loose in the wash. (I learned that from experience.) This stiffener will not allow the imprint of the true hem end to show through. That was the original plan and it works. But the side benefit, which has now become the main benefit, is that the cuff remains ramrod stiff and straight, as if you had soaked it in triple strength starch. That may not be trad tho, but then, neither am I. Good job. Keep going.​
 

Cardinals5

Honors Member
Very nice, Cardinal. I also do the faux cuff, a little bit differently and maybe I'll stick my method in here later, if you don't object.

From Jamgood:


I understand that you're a careful presser, still, this is a major problem with the faux cuff. In an attempt to circumvent this I came up with something that in turn led to an innovation that I now not only use on the faux, but the full cuff as well. A stiffener the width of the cuff is inserted behind the cuff's face. It has to be tacked in else it may come loose in the wash. (I learned that from experience.) This stiffener will not allow the imprint of the true hem end to show through. That was the original plan and it works. But the side benefit, which has now become the main benefit, is that the cuff remains ramrod stiff and straight, as if you had soaked it in triple strength starch. That may not be trad tho, but then, neither am I. Good job. Keep going.

P&P, please do post any sewing tips you have in this thread or start a general sewing thread. I would definitely be interested in hearing more about the stiffener you use for faux cuffs - if nothing else, can you post the brand name.

My other solution was going to be simply making faux cuffs as in the second model picture above and then sewing in another piece of fabric to hold the two ends of the cuff together inside the trousers, but your idea sounds better since the two ends of the cuff could simply be sewn/tacked to the stiffener. The ancillary benefit of ramrod stiff cuffs would be something I'm interested in as well.
 
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