HOW TO MAKE A PAIR OF GLOVES,
ONE PAIR AT A TIME

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Duello (Elizabethan)

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Your Wardrobe Unlock'd: The costume maker's companion

It seems the major trick in making gloves is not the sewing or decorating, but the fitting - make patterns on scrap leather or interfacing, and test-fit before cutting the good leather.

I went to Saint Gertrude's Catholic School in the 60's. The nuns taught us to make our own little white gloves for Wednesday and Sunday church. This was my first experience in glove making, I was 4, and it was 1966. So you could say that I have been making gloves since 1966. I do not know who taught us or if it is even historical.

If you do not have a glover's sewing machine then I highly suggest that you make them by hand. You can also use any of the following either as the closing or decorative stitch.
  • A Running or stab stitch is the simplest and is the most
  • Whipstitch
  • Round stitch
  • Triple stitch
  • Flat stitch
  • Saddle stitch
  • Knotted Blanket stitch
  • Cobbler stitch

Basically the easiest way to make a pair of gloves is:

  1. To lay your hand with your thumb hanging off on a folded piece of sturdy poster board.
  2. Trace around your hand, Allow extra for seam allowance
  3. Cut two, one for your left hand and one for your right hand. You need to mark them clearly.
  4. Measure and cut three gussets for each hand to sew in between the fingers, these would be from finger tip to finger tip in a cigar shape. Be certain to mark which gusset goes where.
  5. Contour the tips of the fingers on the body and the gussets so that they come to a point.
  6. Sew them together.
  7. To get more freedom of movement, cut the thumb separately and sew it on at an angle matching that of your hand

THE PATTERN PIECES ARE NOT TO SCALE. THEY ARE NOT HISTORICALLY ACCURATE. Please size them to your hand.
A - Glove Body
B - Thumb
C - Ring finger gusset
D - Middle finger gusset
E - Forefinger gusset

The gussets lay in a "V" shape between the fingers.

Make your first glove out of interfacing or scrap fabric.


A - Glove Body
glove

As mentioned above you will want a tracing of your hand. You will superimpose this pattern on your tracing to match the width and length of your hand. Once you have redrawn the lines to match your hand add seam allowances on all edges. You can gauge what allowance is comfortable for you. This is going to be the portion of the material that you will cut away. You may want to make a fist and measure across your knuckles to make sure you have enough width in your pattern.

Add your seam allowances then cut. Once cut it out you will fold and loosely sew along the pinky edge (use a stitch you can remove easily). Do not sew up the rest yet. Try it on to make sure that your hand fits into the width you cut out. If it was too narrow re-cut the piece again with a bit more width to make sure it fits. Cut the thumb hole last as you will have to fit the thumb piece to your thumb first then to the body. Once you have a good fit redraw your pattern pieces and discard the old ones so that you are not tempted to use it.

B - Thumb

thumb

1) Measure around the second knuckle of the thumb. This is the width you will need at the slope of the patterns curve (where the webbing of your thumb is).
2) Measure from the tip of your thumb to the base of your wrist. This is the length of the thumb pattern piece you will cut out.
3) Measure from the base of the wrist to the webbing of the thumb. This is the curve of the pattern below the slope.
4) Add your seam allowances.
5) Cut.
This piece is folded in half and sewn along the slope. The bottom curve is sewn to the Glove body.
Try on the sewn parts to make sure you allowed enough for the piece.

C – Ring Finger Gusset

finger
1) Measure around your ring finger and divide by 3. This is the width of the gusset.
2) Add your seam allowances.
3) Cut.
You will attach this from the tip of the ring finger along the edge ending at the tip of the pinky. Try on the sewn parts to make sure you allowed enough for the piece.

D – Middle Finger Gusset


finger

1) Measure around your middle finger and divide by 3. This is the width of the gusset.
2) Add your seam allowances.
3) Cut.


You will attach this from the tip of the middle finger along the edge ending at the tip of the ring finger. Try on the sewn parts to make sure you allowed enough for the piece.

E – Forefinger Gusset

1) Measure around your forefinger and divide by 3. This is the width of the gusset.
2) Add your seam allowances.
3) Cut.


You will attach this from the tip of the forefinger along the edge ending at the tip of the middle finger. Try on the sewn parts to make sure you allowed enough for the piece.

Once the gussets are in place sew up the rest of the glove. Try one and flex your hand. It should be comfortable and allow you to move your hand freely. If this is a good trial then alter your pattern accordingly.


How to measure you hand? Take a look at this page for an idea.

This is the first of four patterns that I will be posting here. I will also post which books I actually find and where they can be purchased. I will also list new books as I and you find them. Let me know and I will list them and please send a comment about them.


gloves-msg Gloves and Mufs. making gloves. 
http://www.florilegium.org/files/ACCESS/gloves-msg.html
glovs-mittns-lnks 
links to info on medieval gloves and mittens
by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.
http://www.florilegium.org/files/ACCESS/glovs-mittns-lnks.html

http://reality.sgi.com/pdc/h-costume/index.html was the second but is no longer available. If anyone wants to look at the files I do have them and will gladly send them to you. :)


Rukavicarske muzeum (Museum of Glove-Making)
Dvorakova 275
263 01 Dobris
   
Baronessa Chiara Francesca Arianna d'Onofrio
Porte de L'Eau, Canton of the Barony of Madrone
Kingdom of An Tir
Franchesca Havas

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