Wednesday, January 21, 2015

No-No Arm Bands

Here are detailed instructions on how to make a pair of no-no armbands for Operation Smile.  These arm bands are comfortable splints that are used to keep children from bending their arms and touching their faces after their cleft palate surgeries.
  • Use a rotary cutter to cut two 10" X 15" rectangles. (Please make a matching pair of arm bands.)
  • Hem or surge a 1/4-inch hem around all sides of each rectangle.
  • Fold the short side of the rectangle up 5" and press.
The next several steps will show you how to create nine pockets in which tongue depressors will be placed to create the splint.  It's very important to measure accurately so that the tongue depressors will fit in the pockets.
  • Make a sewing guide with tape and a marker.  
  • On the tape make ten marks that are 1" apart. 
  • Place the fold of the arm band next to the marked tape.  Make sure it is centered.
  • Make ten marks on the fold of the arm band.
  • Unfold the arm band.
  • Mark the top of the pocket in the same way.
  • Refold the arm band.
  • Use a straight edge to connect your marks. (See faint pink lines in picture below.)
  • Mark the other arm band the same way.

The next few steps will show an efficient way to sew the pair of arm bands simultaneously.
  • Put the folded sides of the arm band next to each other.
  • Sew the first line, making sure to back stitch at the top edge of the pocket and at the fold, but do not lift the foot on your machine.
  • Continue sewing the other arm band, again making sure to back stitch at the fold and at the top edge of the pocket.
  • Lift the needle and the foot, turn the connected arm bands and lower the needle and the foot onto the next line.
  • Continue to sew all the lines in this fashion without ever cutting any threads.

  • Carefully snip apart arm bands and clip any other stray threads.
  • Important - Test out your pockets by making sure a tongue depressor will fit into each one.
  • Cut six 22"-long pieces of ribbon, three for each arm band.
  • Fold each ribbon in half to find center.
  • Pin three ribbons on one side of each arm band - one in the center and the other two about 1" from each end.
  • Stitch the ties into place by stitching back and forth a few times.
  • Fold ties to side and finger press into place.

Voila!  You're done!  Wasn't that fun?!

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