Project Minima:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Making Fingerless Gloves

Inspired by Jean's armlets (Dross into Gold), E's gift (see here), and the book my True Love gave me for Christmas (Alabama Chanin's Studio Sewing & Design), I'm now sewing up fingerless gloves from my fabric stash.

most recent pair using thin burnt out T with couching embellishment

over the elbow using single layer of deep purple cotton T & random ruffle embellishment

fail! - first try using Chanin's pattern and 2 layers of stretch cotton

I'll show you how easy it's done after the break...

Here's a close up of  the blue glove:
detail of couching embellishment

Here I've cut out my fabric according to the paper pattern I created for myself when the Alabama Chanin one didn't really work for me.  Hers also had two seams and I chose to just have one, so there is only one pattern piece for each glove.

cut out fabric pattern

To make the original pattern, I just placed the fabric around my arm and pinned it to fit along the thumb-side of my arm.  After trimming the fabric, I traced it onto paper.

fabric folded in half and chalk-marked for design placement

To do the couching embellishment, I cut 1/2 to 1/4 inch wide strips of fabric as shown.  When the strips are pulled at each end, they curve in a tubular way.

Cut strips with one stretched

Lay one of the stretched tubes on the design mark and stitch over it every so often as shown
close up of couching in progress

Stitching in one side and over and out the other side of the tube

so that the thread loops over the tube

voila!  easy as pie

And here's a few more close-ups of the other two pairs...

The deep purple ones with a random ruffle stitch

This embellishment uses 1/2 inch strips of the same fabric stitched on and then pinched/ folded together every so often to form the ruffle effect.

My Dr. Seuss gloves

My first try using Chanin's pattern with the seams on both sides.  Doing her felled hand seams and using 2 layers of fabric.  I think it made them too stiff/ thick, plus the pattern was way to big for my arm. 


Granted it could be adjusted for future use.  I used scrap stretch cotton lace which was only enough for one side of each glove, but had the same color in T-shirt material for the other side!  Used white T for the 2nd layer.  Nevertheless, bleh.


The Chanin book has a million zillion embellishment stitches and this is but one of them.  I'm nowhere as neat as they are, but that's not my point.  It's full of inspiration.  Whether you want to follow item by item instructions or fly off on your own.   I have only begun to touch the surface, literally.  See Carolyn (Handmade by Carolyn) to really blow you mind.   Happy Sewing!

I'm joining Patti and the Visibles at Not Dead Yet Style and Anne's 52 Pick-me-up: Pantone Party.  Join us!


  1. I think I like the blue pair the best.
    Thanks for the detailed instructions!

    Are you enjoying the book? I have in on my wish list.

    1. My fav too. Third time's a charm. Yeah, I really find the book inspiring, but more as a spring board than a step by step guide. It's very elegant.

  2. These are really cool - thanks for the how to, and for sharing with Vis Monday.

    1. Yeah, well, I guess you probably wouldn't have much need for them in Florida, come to think of it. Thanks for having the party, Patti.

  3. Wow! If you didn't tell me how you did that little twisty bit I would think you worked and worked for weeks to do that. The effect is awesome. My hands are so dry right now I feel like they look like your blue gloves in flesh tone.
    Thanks for the instructions. I know I won't make them myself because I have fits just hemming and resizing, but I enjoy dreaming about it and seeing your work.

  4. Your instructions make it look easy enough, but like Melanie, I know I won't make them because sewing and me are not meant to be friends. I love the blue ones, with the "couching"!

  5. Very cute and practical too! However you aren't convincing me to put down the double-pointed needles for my own gloves. I like knitting!

  6. I see why you didn't like the Alabama Chanin gloves but maybe you could adapt the pattern. I love the other two pairs, particularly the purple.
    I've just made a purple tee shirt & rather fancy making myself a pair. Thanks for the instructions.

  7. how wonderful. I love the orange ones!

  8. Gorgeous! Loverly ... am bookmarking this post, 'cause I'll want some of these. Perfect. Thank you!
    Hope all is well at your end of the world! Looks like you have a great New Year well in hand and all sewn up. Harrrr.