Introduction: Sew a Cuff Bracelet or Garter

Once upon a time, just around the block, there was a strange little girl named Patricia who cut her hair and dyed it black because her mother had said that her hair was a beautiful color. 

On Patricia's first day of school, her teacher told her that she had beautiful, white nails, so Patricia snipped them off with her teacher's scissors and dug through the dirt till they were black and swollen. 

While walking home from high school, a neighbor complimented her on her wonderful posture, and from then on, Patricia would always slump in front of her neighbor's house.

One day while Patricia was tending to her yard, her neighbor's granddaughter approached her and said, "Thank you."  Confused, Patricia asked, "What for?"  The little girl smiled and responded, "For being you, of course," which made Patricia stand up straight, dust off her hands, and smooth out her hair.


This Instructable shows how to make a cuff bracelet/garter.  The main instructions will be for the cuff in the third image, and the method used will prevent the elastic band from rolling such as what happens when using a tube method.

Step 1: Materials

You'll need:
  • Tape Measure
  • Poster board
  • Right Angle
  • Ruler
  • Pencil (or tailor's chalk)
  • Sewing Gauge
  • Iron (not shown)
  • Elastic Band
  • Fabric (or ribbon)
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Broach (optional)

Step 2: Measurements

Measure the circumference of your wrist for the cuff bracelet or your thigh for the garter.

Note:  For the garter, you want the tape to be snug so the garter won't fall.

Add 5/8" to the measurement.  This will be the length of the elastic band.

Stretch the elastic band as far as it will go and measure the stretch.

Subtract 1 1/4" from the stretch length.  This will be the length of the fabric.

Add 2 1/4" to the width of the elastic band.  This will be the width of the fabric.

Note:  You can increase the width more for extra flair.

Step 3: Cutting

Cut a rectangular pattern piece out of the poster board according to the length and width measurements for your fabric.  This will serve as the pattern for the fabric.

Trace the pattern piece onto the back of the fabric with a pencil.

Cut two pieces of fabric.

Step 4: Prepping the Fabric

Using the sewing gauge, turn the long edge in 5/8" and iron.

Tip:  Work the iron slowly down the length while measuring and finger pressing in advance.

Turn the fabric right side together and straight stitch the ends at 5/8".

Trim the ends and taper the corners.

Press the seam open.

Repeat for the other piece of fabric.


If you want to use only a single piece of fabric:

Using the sewing gauge, turn the long edge in 1/4" and iron.

Then turn the end 3/8" and iron.

Tip: Work the iron slowly down the length while measuring and finger pressing in advance.

Edge stitch/hem the lengths.

Turn the fabric right side together and straight stitch the ends at 5/8".

Trim excess fabric.

Step 5: Creating the Elastic Band Loop

Overlap the ends of the elastic band by 5/8" and pin.

Straight stitch along one edge and pivot by dropping the needle in the elastic, releasing the presser foot, rotating the fabric, and replacing the presser foot.

Straight stitch along the next edge and repeat until a square is made.

When you have returned to the start position, pivot 45 degrees to make a diagonal.

Pivot again and stitch over the bottom half of the square.

Pivot 45 degrees to make another diagonal and complete the X.


If you are using a small width elastic band (e.g., 1/4"), a few zigzagging straight stitches should be adequate.

Step 6: Attaching the Elastic

Mark 4 opposing points on one fabric loop and  the elastic band.  You can stretch the elastic till you hit the maximum and use a pin to mark the opposing sides.  Stretch in the opposite direction, keeping the pins aligned, and use a pin to mark the remaining two extremes.

Note:  You will need a pin for the seam of the fabric loop and a pin for the X'ed square on the elastic band.

Insert the fabric loop into the elastic band so that the elastic band is evenly spaced width-wise.  Pin the elastic band to the fabric loop using the 4 points you marked.

Note:  You will need to pin the seam of the fabric loop to the X'ed square.

Carefully turn it inside out and start a stitch on the upper line of the X'ed square.

Note:  If you are using a smaller width elastic, you may only need to run one line of stitching, so start in the center of the X.

As you stitch, pull the elastic taught to each pin.  Be careful not to force feed the machine.  Be patient and careful.

Continue edge stitching until you have completed one side.

Repeat for the other edge.

Note:  You doubtfully need to add the pins again, and you probably won't want to anyway.


If you are using ribbon, congratulations!  You're done!


If you have never sewn elastic, practice with a length of elastic band and a length of fabric that haven't been sewn into loops.  Mark 4 points on each, combine, start stitch, stretch, and sew.  Careful to not let go quickly or it might snap you.  Once you have done 1-3 practice runs, you'll be good to go.

Step 7: Finishing

Ease and pin the second fabric loop to the newly elasticated one.

Stitch the edges of the loops together.

Repeat for the other side.

Attach a broach over the seams or turn the seams to the back while wearing it.

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