Monday, July 23, 2012

Craft tutorial - Coffee Plunger Cuff made from dress shirt

I had an idea of dressing up my coffee plunger, and wanted something a bit dandy and a bit steampunk.  So I recycled the cuffs from a men's dress shirt into a Coffee Plunger Cuff with a lovely white frill in the centre and button "cufflinks" to join the cuffs.  Here's how...


  • 1 men's dress shirt in black pinstripe (must have cuffs designed for cufflinks)
  • Sleeve of another men's dress shirt in contrasting colour to make the frill (or lenght of white cotton fabric 8cm wide by 58cm approx long)
  • Sewing thread in matching colours
  • 4 loop buttons in matching tones to the cuff (they must fit through the cuff button holes)
  • 1 length of chain (you could use hat elastic if preferred - that's the thin stuff)
  • 4 jump rings in matching tone to chain (not needed if you are using hat elastic)

Cut the cuffs off the mens dress shirt and then carefully unpick the top seam to remove the bits of sleeve.
Press the cuffs and then pin them together to that the two top seams butt together but are not overlapping.  Stitch the two cuffs together along this seam using a wide zig zag stitch. The cuff base is now completed.

From the contrasting shirt, cut one sleeve open and press.  Cut long strips on the grain from this shirt that when joined will form the frill.  Mine measures 8cm wide and 58cm long (a bit more than double the length of the cuff). Join the strips to form a long 8cm by 58cm panel. Press under and seam the two long outer edges of the strip. Press and seam the two short sides of the strip.


Gather the frill by running a line of straight stitching down the centre of the strip using your longest machine stitch length.  Now gather up the strip from each end pulling only either the top or bottom thread. Keep gathering until the strip measures the same length as your cuff.

Pin the frill to your cuff and stitch in place down the centre in matching thread (top and bottom).

The cuff is now complete.

To make cufflinks to secure the cuff in place, either join two sets of loop buttons together using a length of chain and jump rings, or to be slightly easier, try sewing the buttons onto hat elastic lengths. 
I find the best way to get the right length for the cufflinks by making one end up of the cufflink and putting it onto the cuff, them put the cuff in place around the coffee plunger.  Trim the elastic or chain to the correct length and then add the buttons to the other end.


The cuff should wash quite well (its from a shirt after all) but be sure to take off the cufflinks!

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