Ruffled Cuffs

I thoroughly enjoyed making Temetgen’s ruffed partlet, and I think it gave me the motivation to make one for myself.  And since most outfits that use full figure-8 style ruffs also have the same 8’s on the cuffs, I figured I might as well make them at the same time.

I learned how to make ruffs this way from Noel Gieleghem, and his lovely PDF article.

How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com

So it might seem obvious, but measure your wrists, and always add at least an inch on top of your measurement.  All the gathered ruff linen is rather bulky, and will pretty easily eat up that whole extra inch.  Honestly, it wouldn’t hurt to add even more, but perhaps after completing the first pair.

How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com

This is sort of here for my own reference, so I can remember that before I rolled the edge of the ruffle, it was 1.75 inches wide.  Since I have seen the finished product, I would say that this is a pretty good size, but a little smaller might be good next time.

How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com

I like to roll my fabric edge between my fingers, about an inch or two at a time, and then drape the rolled edge around my finger to stitch it in place.

How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com

I have used various ratios of ruffle:cuff.  For these cuffs, I went for x7, for a total of 49″.
How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com

I used a pleater machine to gather up the 49 inch ruffle in a nice tight and even 7 inches long.  This can be done by hand, but the machine is much faster.  The cuffs have been pinned in place, covering a .5 inch section of gathering.

How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com
After stitching the cuff pieces down with whip stitches, I cooked up a batch of corn starch, 2 tablespoons in one cup of water, as listed in Noel’s PDF.  Both ruffles were dipped into the mix, left to cool for a moment before I gently smooshed out the excess starch, then let it try over night, hanging upside down by the cuff.  In the morning, it was quite stiff, I am holding the whole ruff up just by that one part in the picture above!

How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com

Now these ruffles have no lace, so I cannot count the pointy parts of the lace to determine if I am getting even sections for each set.  Instead, I took the end of my copper heating rod and used it to make sure that each set was big enough to be ironed later.

How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com

Here they are all pinned up, ready to be ironed.
How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com
Done cuffs!  As I ironed, I took out the temporary pins, and had the cuffs wrapped around a cup to hold everything open.
How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com

So I made this ruff before the cuffs, which was originally made to about 10:1.  I did not like how narrow my figure-8’s were coming out, so I seam ripped the collar pieces off, and cut off about 4 of the figure 8’s.
How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com

I included these since I didn’t get any pictures of the gathered section on the cuffs.

How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com
How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com

Much better now!  I like the way these sets look far more than before.  With the ruff done, I could sew it onto a partlet.  Since I was nearly out of time, I went for a very simple partlet, no embellishments, of about the same pattern as one of my first partlets, though a little wider on the front pieces.

How to make little ruffs for your wrists, on MorganDonner.com

And done!  I had intended to sew these cuffs into a new shift, but I didn’t have time, so they were pinned onto the red sleeves for this one event, which actually worked quite well.

I try to post my projects in an easy to read, dress diary type format. When I first started learning to sew historical outfits, I found dress diaries to be the most helpful learning tools. I want to contribute my projects in the hopes that they will prove just as useful for others.

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2 comments on “Ruffled Cuffs
  1. Nikki says:

    You are so clever. Now I maybe will be clever too. Thanks for sharing. Cheers Nikki

  2. Joanna says:

    Thank you for all the inspiring ideas :)

    In Poland we have always used potato starch for starching and I think it might be better – never makes your clothes yellow.

    Cheers :)

    Joanna

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