Creative articles about sewing

Advent Calendar 2018 – the 8th door

Felt cuffs with season’s greeting for flowers, cookies, and much more…

The beauty of these felt cuffs is all in the details.

Making the basic cuff is a quick and easy task. However, this process has three peculiarities:

  1. The use of a flat stitch, such as my BERNINA L 460 Overlock

  1. The use of a conical cuff pattern
  2. Freehand sewing on the machine

But first things first 🙂

I have selected industrial felt as my material.

Because industrial felt is rather expensive to produce, it does come at a cost. But just listen. Up here by Lake Constance (also known as Bodensee), there is an old felt  manufacturer with a fabric outlet in Hilzingen. They also sell remnants and scraps at a low price. You don’t need a lot of material for a cuff.

Create a conical shape for the cuff

In order to create the conical cuff you will need the circumference of the top and the bottom. I determined these with the help of a measuring tape. The upper circumference of my 1 liter jar is 31 cm and the lower circumference is 29 cm. I used 11 cm as the height.

I transferred the measurements to a sheet. In the middle, I added approx. 1.5 cm of material above and below. This gives the cuff a rounded shape that will allow it to more evenly wrap around the conical glass jar.

Check to make sure that the pattern you have created will fit.

Freehand sewing on the machine

If the pattern fits, it can be transferred to the felt and then cut out. Using a trick marker, write out your season’s greetings on the material. I enjoy working with the trick marker. It comes in handy when drawing out embroidery designs in advance. If I mess up, I can simply wait until the lines disappear and try it again. Then I use the sewing machine to sew along the marked lines so I can fully focus on the actual sewing.

This type of sewing is a style of freehand sewing. Personally, I really like the style of not-quite-accurate stitching, since it looks a little more artistic and handmade. For this process I am using my beloved mechanical BERNINA Virtuosa 150 and presser foot 24. Finally, lower the feed dog of the sewing machine and you’re ready to go.

If you like, you can decorate the whole thing with a few stars, Christmas trees, or other Christmas motifs. I have decided to go with copper stars. For these, I will be using metallic thread by Madeira. I would also recommend using a topstitchmetallicneedle. This is also made by Madeira. The bobbin thread should be a normal sewing thread, possibly in an inconspicuous beige tone.

Sewing a double-thread flat-felled seam with the overlock machine

Close up the sides using the flat seam.

I used my Overlock L 460 for this. The individual seams are described in the back section of the handbook. The double-thread flat-felled seam is no. 11 in my book.

I am using the wider version with the left needle since the felt is quite thick

The unique thing is that the stitch only has 2 threads. The gripper is covered by an overcast stitch .

The thread tension on the left needle should be set to 2 according to the card. This is deliberately very loose, since the seam will subsequently be pulled apart and it needs a little extra give. Since felt is very thick, I set the tension at 1.

I used the Aerolock by Madeira as my overlock thread. I have made my seams a matching gray,  but I can picture the flat-felled seam with a nice contrasting thread as well.

The seam should look like it does here in this image.

Then pull it apart until the material is edge to edge. This will require a little strength 🙂

To ensure that the seams are nice and flat, I went over them with a steam iron.

When sewing the flat-felled seam on the overlock machine, make sure that the ends of the threads are long enough to secure the seams with a hand-held sewing needle.

The felt cuff is complete!

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