< email > home > catsuit > extras > gloves

The drafting of this pattern is more involved than the gusset glove, but it results in a much better fit, and I find it easier to sew: the pieces' shapes make alignment trivial. It's an adaptation of the duello glove at glove.org.

The same method as glove.org, but much clearer: The Renaissance Tailor

Constructing the glove pattern

Hand

  1. Draw around your hand, fingers slightly apart so you can get the pencil between them. Try to make your arm parallel with your fingers as you trace, even though it feels awkward.
  2. Mirror your hand along the forefinger/arm line, ignoring the thumb. (ie, fold the paper and trace what you've drawn already.)
  3. Extend the inter-finger lines for the fingers of one side of the hand by about a quarter of an inch, to represent the (flat/as projected onto the paper) distance between your finger webs and the finger-side of your knuckles. The longer lines are on the back of the glove's hand.
  4. Write 'BACK' on the side of the glove that will become the back, so it's easy to tell. Write 'BACK' on the side of the sleeve that will become the back, so you don't accidentally put the glove on backwards.
  5. Draw a line down the midpoint of the front forefinger. Mark two lines at right angles to that midpoint line, that match the top and bottom of where the thumb projects past the edge of your forefinger/arm line. Construct a circle whose diameter lies on the midpoint line, bounded by the thumb lines.
  6. (Make sure that your topmost thumb line is below the forefinger's knuckle. You should be able to feel the projection of the knuckle at the side.)
  7. Cut an alignment notch on either side at the wrist.

Thumb

  1. Double check which side of the hand is the 'back'. The thumb is on the front of the hand.
  2. Mirror the thumb shape along its outer edge. Bearing in mind where the circle's top and bottom lines intersect with the thumb, fit the two semicircles of the hand's circle onto the thumb between the thumb shape's intersections with the circle's top and bottom lines.
  3. You should cut an alignment notch on the sides of the thumb where the semicircles meet the thumb shape.
  4. Mark a V into the hand's circle. This will cover the web of your thumb and run up the side of the thumb piece. I find this V should be vertically 3/4 of the diameter of the circle, and roughly the thickness of my hand at its top, but your mileage may vary.
  5. [I haven't tried this, but it occurs to me that you should be able to cut off the V shape from the hand's circle, cut it down the middle, and add each half to either side of the thumb pattern piece. This should make the sewing rather easier (just one seam down the thumb, and a simple circle at the base), but I don't know what it'll do to fit.]

Fingers

  1. Hold a folded piece of paper between your fingers, making sure the fold runs from the web of your fingers to your knuckle. Trace around the fingers on either side of the paper. Repeat for all three pairs of fingers. the resulting V shaped pieces are called fourchettes (at least, they apparently used to be, years ago; I like the term). Mark them so you don't mix them up.
  2. Redrawing the fourchettes - The aim of this step is to change the fourchettes so that they exactly match the fingers to which they'll be sewn. (I'm aware this needs a diagram, I plan to draft one shortly.)
    1. Number the fingers of your glove, so the front and back of each finger share the same number: 4,3,2,1,1,2,3,4.
    2. Onto tracing paper or tissue paper (that you can see through) copy 12 half fingers from the glove piece: for each finger edge that has a fourchette, trace it from base (knuckle/web) to fingertip. Mark each clearly by finger, adjacent finger, and by front or back. Keep them grouped by fourchette. Thus one fourchette's half fingers would be 4(3)F,(4)3F,4(3)B,(4)3B where (4)3F means 'the edge of the 3rd finger (which is adjacent to the 4th finger) front of hand'.
    3. Lay each half finger on the corresponding fourchette edge (the short edges of the fourchette are the front edges), matching the base of the finger with the relevant sharp fourchette angle, and mark how wide the fourchette is near the tip, on the half-finger piece.
    4. Mark dots on some paper at the two sharp angles of each fourchette to record their distance for the next step.
    5. Lay the four finger half pieces that correspond to the edges of each fourchette so their bases are over the dots from their fourchette. If you're doing this on cardboard or cork, you could push drawing pins (thumb tacks) through the bases to keep them in the right place while allowing the half fingers to pivot.
    6. Move the finger half pieces around, keeping the bases on the fourchette dots, until the fingertip curves cross at each curve's midpoint, and until the finger halves are the same width apart as the fourchettes were.
    7. Sticky-tape these half-finger pieces down carefully, and copy them. These are your new redrawn fourchettes - they should look similar to your original fourchettes, but the sharp angles will be a little different, and the tips will now match the glove's fingers.

Seam reduction

These are optional changes that remove the top seams from each finger and put them around the knuckle area, as flat seams. They were intended to make it easier to machine-sew the gloves, but you may prefer the result even if you hand-sew.

  1. Cut the fourchettes in half and cut the two middle finger backs off.
  2. Attach the half fourchettes to the sides of the back finger pieces to obtain the 'augmented finger' pieces, adding about 5mm seam allowance (the width of my machine's largest zig-zag) to the three short bottom edges.
  3. Attach the other half-fourchettes to the insides of the index and little fingers to obtain the 'prepared hand' piece.

Sewing it together

I would recommend not trying to serge any of this. Use a conventional machine for the first two steps (attaching the modified fingers to the hand), and then either hand-sew, or use a conventional sewing machine. For the thumb, hand-sewing will probably be much faster if you can make a firm stitch. If you really want to serge, use three threads to keep the seam narrow.

  1. Baste, then overlap (with three-stage zigzag) the augmented fingers together, effectively reforming the V-shaped fourchette between them. (Overlap seam is where the two pieces of fabric are both facing upwards; you sew the front of one piece against the back of the other.)
  2. Baste, then overlap (with three-stage zigzag) the joined finger piece to the short edges of the half-fourchettes on the main glove, and along the gap where the fingers were before you cut them off. I made this a single seam.
  3. Pin the centre base of the thumb piece to the centre base of the thumb hole, right sides together. Match the thumb piece along the circle's perimeter, to where the V starts, pinning three or four times for each side.
  4. Pin one side of the V along the side of the thumb; it should reach just about to the mid-thumb joint.
  5. With the thumb piece on top of the hand piece, ease the pinned edge through the machine, lifting the foot to align the seam frequently (with the needle down so it pivots conveniently) and turning the machine by hand (unless you're very good at foot-pedal control, I'm not.) Be careful to keep the thumb and hand-circle's bottom centres aligned so it's symmetrical. Take the pins out of each bit of seam just before you sew that section (unless your machine enjoys chewing needles; mine's on a diet).
  6. Once you're just over halfway round the thumb piece, pin the rest of thumb to the V shape and to itself, to form the finished thumb sleeve. (If you're serging, and are paranoid about serged seam ends, remember to finish the beginning of the seam before you sew over it.)
  7. At the tips of those fingers with fourchettes attached, fold each fourchette part over its finger (it should be as long as the finger and half of its curved tip edge should exactly match just under half of the finger's curved tip edge) and sew the curved tip edges together, right sides in, so you end up with a shaped finger back+side(s) to which you can sew the finger's front.
  8. Baste the front and back of the glove together around the fingers, using the bases of the fingers as reference points; then sew.

I've concluded that serging gloves is a bad idea, and will probably be using a conventional machine in future. In particular I haven't found a good way to serge the fingertips - manoeuvring the glove around to match the tight curve is fiddly, and I've tended to end up with relatively bulky seams there. You need to fold the fourchette/fingertip seam already sewn into the back-of-hand fingers towards the middle of the finger while you sew, so the fourchette's free edge substitutes for what would have been the finger's edge. Fiddly. If you find a better method to sew the fingertips, (or indeed any improvements to any of this) please email me.

Results

I'll take pictures of the in-progress work next time.

(glove+foot shots)
(not for the nervous of disposition)


This page is designed to work with level 2 Cascading Style Sheets (CSS2). If you can see this text, you may wish to upgrade your browser.