Saturday, 1 October 2011

Sew Simple Bracelet Tutorial

I'm in a creative mood today, and just made this super quick bracelet for my daughter.  So easy, and sew simple to whip up, I thought you might like to make one for yourself.  Wouldn't they make great presents for young girls?  Sophie has already asked me if I will make some for her to give her friends for Christmas.  It will take no time at all to make, and the cost is next to nothing. 
Sophie's young hand modelling her bracelet

Strip of 100% cotton for your bracelet.  The width of your strip needs to be half an inch wider than your piece of elastic.  I used 3/4 inch elastic, so cut my fabric strip 1 1/4 inch wide.  The length of the strip needs to be able to wrap around your wrist twice.

Elastic.  Whatever width you require.  I suggest a wider piece will work better.  Allow enough elastic to sit comfortably on your wrist, plus two inches.

Trimmings.  Whatever takes your fancy.  I've used some vintage buttons, a few beads from a broken necklace, and two dinky little silver effect charms which are sold as paper craft items.  I've simply tied them on with a secure reef-knot using short lengths of waxed cord, which I've trimmed to length after.


Fold your strip of fabric lengthways, with right sides together.  Don't worry about pressing the seam, as it will be all wrinkled up.  Using a 1/4 inch seam, machine straight down the edge to join.  This is a thin tube which now needs to be turned back to the right side.  I'm lucky as I have a special pair of turning tongs which clamp the fabric.  If you haven't got these, I suggest laying a piece of cord with a safety pin attached close to the fold of your fabric before sewing.  Then attach the safety pin at one end of the tube and pull carefully through with the other.

Next it's time to thread through the elastic.  A couple of safety pins will come in very handy here.  Attach a pin at one end of the elastic and feed it through your fabric tube, ruching the fabric up as you go.  No need to be pretty with the ruches here, we're simply threading through.  As soon as you can, secure the other end of the elastic to the end of the tube so you don't lose it.  Carry on until all the tube is threaded on, and then bunch it all up so that a good amount of elastic is showing at both ends.

Lay the ends of the elastic over each other so they overlap by an inch, then sew securely in place by using forward and reverse on your machine along the overlap.  Then ease the elastic back into the casing, tucking the raw edges of the fabric under.  Once in place and looking neat, do a quick forward and reverse again on the machine over the seam to keep it from fraying.

Now you have your bracelet!  Simples.  Spend a moment ruching the fabric evenly around the elastic, and you're all ready to add some embellishments.  You can of course sew anything onto the bracelet, but I was going for quickness today, and I have reels of waxed cord that I've hardly ever used.  I've simply threaded buttons and beads through, wrapped it around the elastic and tied firmly in place, taking care not to drag the edges of the bracelet in too tightly.

To allow the little charms to dangle, I've simply tied three reef knots tightly before attaching.  Once in place, rather than trim the ends short as on the buttons, I've added a few beads and buttons, tied a slip knot to hold and then trimmed the ends to more or less the same length as the charms.

I'm really pleased with how this has turned out, and Sophie loves it.  Bless her, she even offered to hand-model for a photo.  Hence one young hand, and one gnarled one.  (Eek - the harsh reality of photography.  Just how long has my hand looked that wrinkled?)  

From an idea that suddenly went "bing" to the finished bracelet only took about half an hour.  I already know I'm going to make more of them.  Are you going to have a go?

My rather sun-damaged wrist showing the detail
Don't you think it looks sweet?  If you have a go at doing your own version, do show me.  It would be lovely to see what you come up with, and I could feature them all (see how hopeful I am) in a future blog post.


  1. Oh wow!! Wish you had shown me this before I made my party bags! These are a lovely idea! Very clever and original!! I am going to make some for my girls now!!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Joana - so quick and easy to make, and a great way of using up the smallest scraps of pretty fabric.

  3. ¡¡Me gusta mucho.


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