Monday, November 18, 2013

DIY: Shirred Coffee Sleeves

With the holidays coming up, quick and thoughtful gifts are perfect! Tuck a gift card for your favorite coffee joint in these and wrap with a bow. This is a great way to cut down on those disposable paper sleeves too. Plus they make a nice "napkin" for any drips that may occur during rush hour!
 
 
Grab some pretty scraps, or cute holiday fabrics and a few trims. Never tried shirring? This is a great starter tutorial to take away your misgivings. The "hardest" part to shirring is taking the time to test it on your machine. Once you have the few simple settings perfected, it is as easy as changing the bobbin!
 
 
 
 Grab your supplies and lets get started!
 These directions will make one coffee sleeve to fit a standard size travel mug about 10" around. (*formula given below for other sizes if needed)
 
You will need:
  • 1 piece of fabric 4" x 15"
  • Tape measure
  • Cutting ruler
  • Rotary cutter/Scissors
  • Thread
  • Elastic Thread
  • Iron
  • Optional: Fray Check, Lace or flower trim, large eye needle
 
 
First, measure around your travel mug. Mine measured at 9.5" and 10.25" around the midsection. The sleeves work great on both!
One of my mugs was from Starbucks, just in case you were wondering...these will fit!
If you have a mug that is much larger or smaller, you can follow the formula below.

 
Cut a single layer of fabric 4" x 15"
 
*If you need to adjust the length to wrap around your mug simply take your mug and measure it as shown above. This number we will call "x".
(x/2) + x = cut length.
For example, you have a mug that is 14 inches around.
14/2 = 7
7 + 14 = 21
21" is your cut length and 4" remains the width.
4" will remain the same for most mugs, as this width fits the hand nicely.

 
Finish the long edges as desired.
I used a 3 thread overlock stitch on my serger, trimming away 1/4".
You could also do a rolled hem.
If you do not have a serger, you can turn the edges over 1/4"and iron, then topstitch.
You could even use a pinking shears on the edge or just add some lacy hem tape!

 
When you are done finishing the long edges you will have something similar to this.

 
Now for shirring...
Wind the elastic thread onto your bobbin. I machine wind my elastic thread onto the bobbin, just like I do for any other thread.
Easy peasy.
When you load your bobbin into the case, make sure you manually slide the thread into the clip that holds the thread as shown in the photo above.
 
 
The settings that work best on my brother are a thread tension of 5 (Increased just a bit more than the usual setting of 3) and my longest stitch length of 5.
I did some trial and error to find these. It took me about 5 rows of shirring to find the best tension/stitch length ratio. I just stitched one row and gave my fabric a pull until I got the best stretch!
I get a nice strechy stitch using regular thread in the needle, and the elastic thread in my bobbin. 

 
Next, line up the edge of your presser foot 5/8" to 3/4" away from your finished edge.
You will need to hold the elastic thread when you start sewing.
Sew slowly the first few stitches and for backstitching.
 
 
Sew a nice straight line all along the length of the finished edge.
See how the fabric is already starting to cinch up?
Eeek! It's working!

 
When you get to about 1/4" away from the edge, you need to turn your fabric around and sew another straight line about 5/8" away from the first elasticized stitch line you just made.
Here is a trick... 

 
To save your elastic thread waste, you can swing your fabric around, with out back stitching.
Make sure the needle is DOWN in the fabric when you finish the row.
Lift your presser foot.
Turn fabric so that you can sew back towards the opposite direction that you just came from.
Lower presser foot.
Continue sewing about 1/4" to 5/8" away from your previous stitch line!

 
Continue sewing in this way until you are about 5/8" to 3/4" away from your other finished edge.

 
When you are done shirring, your 15" long piece will have shrunk up a few inches, as shown above.

 
To finish your coffee sleeve (without lace/ribbon) fold your fabric right sides together and line up the 2 short edges.
You can see in the photo above where the shirring ends on each side, just to the left and right of my finger.
 * If you want to add lace/ribbon/flowers, go to the end of the post for those finishing directions.
 
 
Serge the short ends together, being certain to sew over all elastic ends.
Your sleeve will look similar the photo above.
Again, straight stitch on a regular machine if you do not have a serger,
then trim away the excess to 1/4".

 
If desired, to secure your threads, thread a large eyed needle.
 
 
Secure the tails back under a few serged stitches.

 
Clip excess.

 
Apply fray check.

 
You sleeve should look similar to the above picture when done.

 
Take your cute little coffee sleeve over to your iron.
This should be hot! Set it to your cotton/linen setting and turn ON the steam.
You can spray it with a spritz of water if you are impatient!
 
 
Steam both sides for a few seconds.
This works best if you hold the iron just a 1/2" or so away from the fabric.
Then it shrinks up nicely!

 
Voila!
 
 
If you would like to add a quick ruffle or flower...follow these directions.

 
Cut your lace or floral trim to fit the short width of the sleeve, measuring along the sleeve (~3.5").

 
Pin your trim to the right side of the fabric on the edge.

 
I pinned my flowers down so they would not get caught in my serger stitch.

 
Line up the other short end and place it on top of your trim. Pin.

 
Once your pieces are secure, we will serge.
MAKE SURE you do not serge over a pin!
Remove those once the fabrics are under the presser foot.

 
Serge the short ends together, being certain to sew over all elastic ends, catching the trim edge as well.
Again, straight stitch on a regular machine if you do not have a serger,
then trim away the excess to 1/4".
 
Finish the seams and steam your fabric as shown above and you are ready to go!
 

What a beautiful way to start your day!
I know I would love to receive these in my stocking.
Thanks for stopping by.