Thanks for your interest in this project! Here’s how I make fabric cuff bracelets:
Start with a piece of fabric that will be your base-something fairly sturdy-I used some plain muslin that I coffee dyed. I actually tore the fabric, so the edges are frayed, but you can certainly cut, or hem for a neater look. I tore because I like that look and it was easy! The fabric is 2 inches wide.
Measure your wrist and cut the strip 1 inch larger than your wrist. My wrist is 7”, so I cut a 8” piece of fabric (so the fabric is 8” x 2”).
Next I fold over one end of the fabric 1/2” and stitch. (My bracelet is now 7 1/2” x 2”). I am showing you the stitches with red thread, just so you can see them. You will want to use a thread that matches your fabric so your stitches don’t show.
I do all my stitching on a machine using a straight stitch (cause it’s my grandmothers old machine), but you could sew by hand, or use fancy stitches. These are not rules, just guidelines! This folded over piece will be where we make a button hole, or where you attach snaps/Velcro, or whatever you use to close the bracelet. I thought initially I would tie mine with ribbon, but then I thought A) ribbon might get in the way and be too bulky, and B) how would I tie it if no one was around to help me?
Before we make a button hole, I start layering my bracelet . I like my bracelets to look like a fabric collage, so you don’t have to use big pieces that go all the way across the length of the bracelet. You can piece things together. I start with the bottom and top, adding trims that will extend over the edge of the base fabric and hide it. I usually use a larger lace on the bottom, because it will hang down on your wrist like a ruffle, and use a smaller piece on top, that overlaps just a little. I sew the top and bottom pieces onto my base fabric, and then start playing with layering other trims.
I try to pick a color scheme and stick with it, this one is all neutral cream and white. I play around with positioning my trims and overlapping until I get a nice layered, overlapping look. I use bits of crochet trim and lace, seam binding and lace bias tape, rick rack...whatever you have on hand.
I also pick a central element to use as the focal point of my bracelet…a buckle, a piece of appliqué, or a beautiful button. A special piece that will be the “cherry on top” of your bracelet. I play around with all these pieces (stacking and overlapping) until it looks pleasing to me. Then I carefully take each layer off, and starting with the bottom layer first, stitch the layers on.
Once all the layers have been sewn on, I choose a button to use for the closure (you can also use snaps, hooks, or Velcro). If you have a machine that makes button holes, then good for you :) If you don’t, here’s what I do: Use a pencil or a disappearing ink marker (used for sewing) to mark the size of your button on the BACK side of your bracelet, on the end that has been folded and sewn. I marked this in black ink just so you could see it.
connect the two marks with a line…
machine stitch around the line with a small stitch,I stitch around several times. Use an exacto knife to cut a slit to make the actual hole. You will also be cutting through the lace on the front of the bracelet.
Sew the button on the opposite end, on the front.
Add your focal piece (button/buckle/bow, etc.) to the front center, and stitch in place. For this one I used a flower appliqué and a rhinestone button.
You can sew another piece of fabric to the back of the bracelet to give it a more finished look if you want, but I usually don’t, so you can see my stitches on the back.
That’s it! Wear it, Give it, Love it! xo
If you have a question, you can leave it in the comments, and I will answer it in the comments as well.