Tainted Gloves: Part 1

I think we first need to establish one thing about making gloves; they’re the spawn of the devil. I don’t think I’ve ever come across someone who’s enjoyed or found it easy to make them. You have to work with very small seam allowances which makes them hard to sew, but the smallest deviation from them can easily make the fingers not fit or give you gaping holes.

If you can, I’d suggest buying gloves. However, if you’re entering a big competition, you might not want to have a bought element to your cosplay. And sometimes, you need to match some fabric you already have. In the latter case, you might be able to commission someone to make them for you, but if you’re unlucky like me, and need gloves that both match your fabric and are for a competition, you have basically no choice but to make them yourself. Thankfully, there is one way to avoid most of your troubles, and that’s by using stretch fabric.

Seriously. It’s somewhat impossible to make gloves without using a stretch fabric (and if you’ve managed to make them, then you’re a better sewer than I). Whether it’s 2-way or 4-way, even a small amount of stretch can forgive a multitude of sins when sewing. If using 2-way, you need to be careful to have the stretch going the right way – across your hand side to side, not up and down fingers to wrist. There are essentially 3 ways to make gloves.

Using 4-way stretch
If you can use a 4-way stretch fabric, things are actually pretty easy for you. You just need to lay your fabric flat, 2 right sides together, draw around your hand and sew round that line. It’s that simple really. This also works pretty well if you are making fingerless gloves, though you do have the difficulty there of somehow hemming the tops of the fingers as getting such small curves into a sewing machine can be a nightmare. Tab of Kaos Kostumes has a great tutorial about making gloves from lycra here, if you want some pictures and a bit more detail.

Self-patterning
If you want to make a pair of gloves with proper gussets, it’s possible to make your own pattern. You need a latex glove of some description and then you wrap some strong tape all around your hand. You’ll then need to draw the lines on (down the side seam, between your fingers for the gussets and round your thumb), cut it on those lines and you have a pattern that should perfectly fit your hand! I’ll be honest, I tried this once, and it was the worst glove I ever made. The pattern pieces were slightly off and it ended up making the whole glove a bit wonky. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to make it work. I don’t have a specific tutorial to suggest, but a quick Google search should bring plenty up.

Commercial/Printed pattern
Turns out, this is my preferred way to make gloves (if I ever get it right). Until I wrote this post, I’d never actually seen a commercial pattern but I’ve now seen a Vogue pattern for gloves. What I like to use though, is this tutorial, with a printed template for gloves. Now if we assume I actually managed to get my stretch going the right way round, this is pretty easy to follow and gives a nice shape to the gloves.

There are of course probably a multitude of other ways to make gloves, knitting for example. You’ll probably have to try out a few methods to see what works the best for what you want to do. Next week, I’ll give you some detail on how I’ve actually managed to make my gloves and some of the problems I’ve had, so you can hopefully avoid them yourself. =)

Have you ever made gloves before? Do you think you ever will?

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