February 17, 2011

Glove-making minus 1

I had a little time left over last evening and decided to get started on a glove muslin. I will use some jersey scraps and don't intend to make a wearable muslin. In fact, I may just make only one glove at this stage.

For the 'finished' gloves from this pattern, I have to options: stretch lace or re-used suede or leather. For the lace, view H, with the ruffle, seems to be the most appropriate, for the leather I would make the longest version of the pattern without decoration.

Like Carolyn, I was first puzzled and then disappointed by the pattern's sizing. In the describtion it says S 18cm, M 21cm and L 23 cm, without telling where to measure...

Like her, I measured whatever seemed to make sense and found both measurements to be the same and put me a size S.

And then I saw the pattern. I wouldn't call that sizing. I am perfectly cap
able of lengthening or shortening a pattern piece myself. And I distinctly remember from the times I've bought gloves that different sizes always ment difference in width of the glove.
This little thing made me rather less confident about this pattern but I decided to go on and cut out the pattern pieces anyway. It's been a very long time since I've used an envelope-pattern and I had forgotten all about how annoying pattern tissue is to work with. I was also surprised to see that Vogue had felt the need to print the pattern no less than five times for eight versions which are hardly any different from each other. I admit there are one and two sideseam versions, but any pattern magazine would have settled for the 'cut here for view X' option. Which would have made the envelope a lot thinner.
Among that and the sizing, it looks like the good folks at Vogue are trying very hard to make this pattern look more professional than it really is.
But I might be speaking too soon...

These are all the pattern pieces laid out for cutting (and how do you like my little work-table tableau?). It is view H with the ruffle and I will try one glove first.

When sewing something like this, it pays of to know your sewing machine and to try out different stitches. The pattern recommends stretch stitch or zigzag for stretch lace and doesn't specify anything in particular for jersey.
However, most sewing machines are not that great at sewing jersey on a tiny seam allowance, certainly not using a stitch which takes a bit of width in and of itself. I knew that on my sewing machine, a short straight stitch will work for most not-too-stretchy jersey fabrics. That is what I'm using here.

I stitched the seam on the thumb-piece and then inserted it into the hand-piece. I followed the instructions and did the very thing Carolyn described in detail yesterday (although I made less effort to be precise about it. I didn't draw lines to stitch on or baste...).
This is where I am now.

I'm not sure how to proceed. It looks quite a bit too big. I'm a bit surprised at how much too big it is. Carolyn's thumb looked fine and I have, based on the pictures on her blog, always thought of her as a slender lady of normal height (that's without reading. she did mention to be tall). Also when I buy gloves, I have size 6.5 to 7 or M. I guess this is just a circumspect way of saying I didn't expect to be this far off.
I'm going to finish this muslin glove according to the instructions and then, I'll try and see where to go from there.

There is one little thing I'd like to adress. Carolyn mentioned the excess material where the thumb meets the hand. I took a look at the gloves I own and found different solutions at that spot.

All my leather gloves have a shaped thumb piece like this. I think it would be nearly impossible to sew the likes of it on a normal sewing machine, but it does the job very well. It provides the thumb with a full range of movement without adding bulk.

I also have these vintage stretch fabric gloves. These are cut very narrow, relying on the stretch of the material to fit one's hands (and these are sized. they are size 6.5). On these, the thumb piece is set into a eliptical hole like it is on the Vogue patterns but it is much smaller.

I hope I gave any useful information here. I have to confess I find myself having little patience with this pattern...
To be continued.


  1. This is totally useful! I'm lagging way behind on the sew-along, but all of your insight will definitely be helpful moving forward!

    Is your end-plan to make leather gloves? I've got scraps I'd ultimately like to use, but am unsure of what pattern adjustments to make to accommodate that. My pattern is written for "outside seams" and a thumb "hole" like your leather glove, too. The original pattern was written for faux stretch suede, tho.

    So many little niggly details! I'm probably going to end up sewing this project by hand. I think I'd have better end results.

  2. why don't you trace existing leather gloves if you make them from leather. Just don't forget to stretch the leather you will be using at the end, otherwise you will end up with baggy gloves. Is it a sew along, by the way? I need some motivation to proceed on my gloves...

  3. Threads magazine did an article about gloves a few years ago. They have patterns online here:

    There's more info in the comments below the pattern links.

  4. Yes, that is strange, the thumb does look way too big on you. I don't think my hands are that much bigger than yours; my measurements each way were 19cm.
    I know you are a very experienced seamstress, but you mentioned that it had been a long time since you had worked with a pre-printed pattern, so I assume you remembered that seam allowances are included on Vogue patterns now, and didn't add one on to your thumb piece? I know you probably did, but I just thought I'd mention it as a possibility...
    I would prefer for the thumb hole on my gloves to be as small as the white gloves you pictured, and might try to adjust the pattern to be more like that...
    But like you, I'm not even sure if I'm willing to cut up my suede skirt to make another version, particularly if the stretch thing is an issue. I definitely do not want to end up with baggy gloves either!

  5. I have this pattern, plus another, and have thought many times about making gloves. I'm very interested in how yours turn out and your take on them.

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