Friday, May 4, 2012

Finished the glove mock-ups

Just to be upfront with this, I have made all of 2 previous pairs of gloves and it is not an area I have done much research on. I am using instructions and information from Duke Alen Elegil KSCA's site
Franchesca Havas' very informative  Tammy Dupois's demonstration of glove making and a little bit I picked up working with the late Sandra Stiglinski at the Utah Shakespearean Festival when I made my first pair of gloves about 12 years ago.

 I wasn't particularly pleased with my last pair of gloves made during the ACC. I took far too many shortcuts. I didn't pattern them, taking them from an older pair of gloves I made about 12 years ago. I tried to sew them entirely on machine and it just didn't make a satisfactory result. This time I decided to do as nice a pair as I could manage with the skill and supplies (the blue of my leather I currently have isn't accurate in that it is tanned pigskin rather than an alum tawed and the color isn't documentable. I bought it because it was pretty and matched my ACC dress and I have enough left to make another pair of gloves so I'm trying again.) So, first of all, I needed to draft a pattern and I wanted it to be as historically accurate as possible with a broad thumb and gauche rather than the oval opening with square gusset of a modern thumb. I sort of synthesized the drafting directions from and Renaissance Tailor to start with. I made the trank and forchettes pretty much as described, but then drew in the curve of the web of my thumb and looked at the basic shape of the gauche from Alen's gloves in order to create the thumb hole. Mine is a bit different because I have double jointed thumbs and have a tendency to rotate my thumbs a bit oddly so I adjusted the shape a bit for comfort while keeping the round projection of the thumb that you see on the back of the hand in period gloves. Mine's not too different, just not as symmetrical as illustrated in the patterns. Rather than using the methods for creating the thumb described in any of the tutorials I just draped it directly.

Here you can see the modern thumb with gusset versus the more period thumb. The white gloves are my first pair of gloves, made in  vinyl and sewn entirely by machine. I'm actually really happy with them and they are my rapier gloves (well, they were until I cut one apart to use as a pattern for the ACC gloves.) My sewing machine does not, however, perform as nicely as an industrial machine and my second attempt (years later) at machine sewn gloves was not as happy and I've cut them to bits so you won't be seeing pictures.

The green glove is my mockup of the new pattern. I was not as careful as I should have been in cutting the fingers apart (did it at the dentist's office) and the forefinger and pinky are too narrow and the ring and middle finger are too thick. It's an easy fix and doesn't change the pattern, just means I need to be more careful and I should avoid the slight twisting this causes in the forefinger and the not so shapely fingers.

Here's the original pattern minus one of the forchettes. My youngest daughter ate that. I'll be cutting the mock up apart and using that anyway so I'm not too frustrated by that.

I still need to decide what I'm going to do with the cuffs. Italian gloves are so much plainer than the English examples, without the extended fingers and the embroidery and lace. There do seem to be a few with some pinking and snipping on the turned up cuffs so I may do some of that. I have decide to do exterior assembly and will be doing a knotted buttonhole stitch for construction rather than the plain blanket stitch I used for the mockup. I've also got a pretty turquoise silk that is 3 or 4 shades darker than the icy blue of my leather, so it should be slightly decorative.

I need to start sewing clothes for my kids for Uprising in June. 4 kids and a week of camping when they have no garb at all is going to keep me busy for a bit and I won't get to sewing the real gloves this weekend. At least I shouldn't. I'm really, really tempted to though because I can't wait to see how they turn out.

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