Summertime, and the Living is Thrifty - The BUFF Cuff Tutorial

Hi everyone! I'm super excited to be guest posting over at "on {the laundry} line" today!  i'm posting as part of the "Summertime, and the Living is Thrifty" series!  I adore Laura, and summer, and thriftiness, and sewing...and....well...just about everything that this fun theme month stands for.  Laura is one of my fave bloggy pals.  She's freakin' hilarious and I love chatting with her.  Also, we're both Canadians who cannot live without coffee and chocolate chip cookies so we've bonded for life...sisters from another mother we are now.  Us Canadian gals gotta stick together eh?  LOL.

When Laura told me about her theme month I knew right away what I was going to make for you all.  I've got bags filled with old yoga pants and even a few old bathing suits of the girls and I'm always looking for new ways to refashion them.  The other day I was out shopping (will not name the store) and spotted this cool running cuff designed to hold your key and some change (maybe a bus ticket or something else small like that) and really wanted it.  This thing cost way more than it should have due to it's "brand" and I thought to myself " could totally make that...don't buy it - just sew it".  That little cuff stuck in my brain and rattled around in there until Laura emailed me and then "poof" the "BUFF Cuff tutorial" was born.

I set out to sketching out the cuff and the best way to make it and then dug through our refashion pile for a 4 way stretch that was breathable and light and away we went.  I love mine.  It's light, fun, fashionable and for me, while running ( boobs are just way too big to run...I jog..and walk..and jog), I don't like to carry anything and want as little as possible to be strapped on me while pushing my giant running stroller with 2 kids in it and the buff cuff passed the test.  The key stayed in, it didn't irritate me to wear it and I think it looks pretty darn cute!  What do you guys think?  You could embellish, applique, & adorn to your hearts content.  I live for projects that you can take a base and go customize the crap out of it to suit your personality.  So here ya go...get those stretch and knit fabrics's time to get BUFF (in shape...not naked...unless, of course, that's your thing..than go work it girl)!

*Copyright 2012 All rights reserved.  This tutorial is for personal use only. *


 - 1/4 yard or less of any fabric that is lightweight, breathable and preferably has 4 way stretch.
 - needle and coordinating thread (optional)
– scissors

1) Start by measuring your forearm from the start of your wrist to about 2" from your elbow crease (or desired length).  Note: This is the length that your buff cuff will be so if you want to hold something longer than a key extend your length here.  Mark this measurement down as "A".  Do not add any seam allowances unless you want a more finished edge.

2) Measure the width of the widest part of your forearm where the buff cuff will be worn.  Mark this measurement down as "B".  Do not add any seam allowances.

3) Take your "A" and "B" measurements and cut your fabric.  If your fabric doesn't have 4 way stretch make sure your stretch goes from left to right not up and down.

4) Finish the edge of one of the short sides (B) with either a serger or on my machine I used one of the mock overlock stitches for stretch fabrics.  If you don't have a mock overlock stitch you can choose to zig zag stitch this edge as well using the settings for your machine for stretch fabrics.  You can also choose to just leave this unfinished but it is the edge that holds the key and I preferred to have it be a bit tighter of a fit.

5) Sew the long side seam together right sides facing (A) with a 1/4" seam allowance.  I used the zig zag stitch for stretch on my machine for this.  *Note: I did a trial test for a perfect fit by not back stitching at either end and testing out my sizing.  I had to seam rip out the first one as it was too baggy and I'm picky about those things.  You could also pin your side and then try on the cuff as well.  You want the cuff to be very snug but not too hard to stretch over your hand.  Trim your seam allowance as close as you can get to your stitches without cutting them.  You could also serge or mock overlock this as well instead.

6) Try the cuff on with the right side against your the wrong side facing out.  Fold up the bottom edge the desired amount that you would like your pocket to be noting that you need to be able to nicely fold the rest of the cuff over to fully cover this.  I think mine was about 2 1/4".  Mark where the fold is or pin without injuring yourself of course :)

7) We're going to stitch the pocket down now.  I simply did a few back stitches at the top of the seam of the folded pocket and and at the bottom.  I didn't want to stitch down the whole seam on the side as I thought it would ruin the look of the cuff from the other side.  You could also hand stitch this very easily as well.

8)  I left the other edge that folds over unfinished to keep it soft because I love the cute little roll you get that just makes the edge soft against your skin.  That's it!  Rock the cuff or customize to your heart's content!  I added a bow with my leftovers on to sass it up a bit.  I simply took a long strip, tied it in a bow and then hand stitched it in place. here's how to wear it.  slide the cuff on opened and inside out.  slip the key in your already pre-folded section and then roll down the top:


Use your leftovers and add a bow to increase your supermomma strength!

what crafts have you been making this summer that are thrifty?  do you have a fave workout accessory?  make sure to add all your crafty goodies to the luvinthemommyhood flickr group - i love seeing what you are all making!