Reflecting on my first attempt at Regency glove making-well, it was a bit cartoonish (you can see my earlier post on the topic). I was happy with the result at the time because I had actually sewn it together and it was a glove that could be worn, but critically looking at it, The hand was not well formed, and the fingers were too short and too wide – giving it a touch of a Mickey Mouse appearance. It was a hearty first effort, but my pride in it had diminished as I examined it. I took the glove apart and for practice worked on sewing it back together again to engineer away the mistakes and be ready to try again. This time I also picked the thinnest kid skins I had received in the supply I bought from https://www.brettunsvillage.com/leather/ Their skins were inexpensive, so very good for experimenting/learning. My advice, if one we’re going to a fabric shop that had leather for sale that you could actually touch, do select the thinnest and most supple skins for glove making. One big fabric store I’ve been to that has a larger leather selection is Mood Fabrics in NY https://www.moodfabrics.com, which apparently has some fame from having been used in the show Project Runway. I had stumbled into Mood in NY when exploring fabric stores in the garment district and learned of its Project Runway association. Mood is enormous, has fantastic fabric, and the selection of stuff is amazing, with many seemingly unique fabrics. But it is not cheap, and one needs to be prepared to pay for the quality Mood has. So for my glove experimenting, Brenton’s Village’s selection was perfect.
It takes one kid skin to make an opera length glove-small goats have small skins (another reason to use less expensive skins, if you can find them). Again, I went with my 1940s Vogue glove pattern as my starting point
The pattern specifically says it is not for skins, but I’m a risk taker!
So back to the pattern. You cut one piece that is the body of the glove that folds over your hand to only have a seam the length of the glove on the outside; a out a place for the thumb in the one wrap around piece; and then four additional pieces: the thumb and three fourchettes. The fourchettes are the little pieces that go in between the fingers that allow the glove to be 3D around your fingers and allow them to have enough room to bend. Here is a picture of what the pattern pieces look like – they aren’t to scale in this line drawing.
So once again I laid out the pieces on the leather and cut
This picture is actually from last time, but this time pretty much looked exactly the same – except I made sure to cut precisely the lines on the pattern in terms of slitting the leather piece for each finger.
In sewing it together this time, I placed the longer of the angle of the fourchettes on the top side of the glove and the shorter angle on the inside/thumb side – recognizing that the glove would be shaped more correctly as a 3D hand since fingers bend inward so the top side needs to be longer in the flexible pieces of the fourchettes. I worked from the index finger in – so that the remainder of the glove on the side that eventually is sewn closed would be open as I worked each finger across. As each finger was done, I also turned it so that I would have more flexibility with the glove still being open, as turning the skin is hard in the tight confines of a glove, and the pinkie, the last finger sewn can be turned part way before closing the whole glove -and since it is shorter, it is easier to turn.
After several hours I had a pair of regency loose, slouchy kid gloves! Are they perfect? No, but they are much better than my first effort and perfectly wearable, the fingers are much better formed and I no longer look like I have a Mickey Mouse glove on!