HAND-CRAFTED LEATHER GOODS
Making a pair of gloves–continued
Making Unlined Gloves for a Man:- The making of gloves for men is in most respects exactly the same as making them for women. At the same time there are a few points which call for consideration. Men are, on the whole, pretty conservative in their ideas about gloves and most of them prefer plain kid or pigskin gloves with a one-stud fastening and no "fancy bits."
Patterns for men's gloves come in various sizes, and it is also possible to make a basic pattern for men's gloves as described on a previously. It is not a wise to attempt to adapt a woman's pattern to make a pair of gloves for a man, as too much alteration in width is required. The chief difference in the patterns is found in the width of the fingers and the fourchettes, since men's hands are usually — though not always — thicker as well as larger.
Since men's gloves are usually made of fairly sturdy leather it is better to include quirks. Mark out your pattern on the wrong side of the leather in the usual way. Ordinary drawing pencil can be used for pigskin, but this will not show up on brown leather such as kid. Use instead a white or yellow crayon pencil kept well sharpened.
Cut out all the pieces very carefully and sew the quirks into the fourchettes straight away. This lessens the chances of losing the tiny pieces or throwing them away as scraps, Fig 2 (page 83). Use strong gloving thread in a colour to match the leather and a three-sided gloving needle.
Sew in the thumbs as described for the chamois gloves. You will notice that the hole and the curved part of the thumb are considerably larger than the corresponding parts of a woman's glove. Put in the points next. These should be three simple tucks put in either by hand or by machine.
Sew the fourchettes between each pair of fingers, putting the longest sides to the back of the gloves as before. Fold the glove in half and sew all round the fingers and down the side to the wrist edge. Make sure that the centre point of each quirk comes exactly to the base of each slit on the front of the hand, Fig 24. Sew all these seams very firmly as they get a good deal of wear, and be very particular about how you fasten the thread on and off.
If the glove has to have a press stud fastening slit it up the centre front to a point just above the bottom of the thumb seam. There is no need to shape this opening as the wearing and fastening of the glove will pull it into the right shape. Measure the wrist edge and opening and cut a strip of leather a little longer and about ˝" wide. Thicker leather needs a strip that is a little wider. Start at the wrist seam and sew this strip all round the edge and opening on the right side. When you reach the place where you started, cut off the ends of the strip so that they just meet and over-sew them on the wrong side. Make the seam as flat as possible. Turn the strip over on to the wrong side and either machine stitch or herringbone all round. Insert the press stud as shown in Figs 15a and 15b (page 83) putting the top half of the stud on the side of the glove nearest to the seam. Do not forget to put a scrap of leather under each half of the stud so that the stud will not pull out when the glove is worn.
There is another wrist top for men called Strap and Snap
Making Lined Gloves for a Man:- We come now to the making of lined gloves. This is not at all a difficult undertaking, although naturally it takes a little longer to make lined gloves than it does to make an unlined pair because there are the extra seams in the lining. When buying your pattern make sure that it is one that is meant for lined gloves or you may find that the finished pair will be too small. A size larger than you need in an unlined pattern should be just about the right size for a pair with linings.
Lined gloves are usually better if they have quirks, so it is advisable to have double fourchettes. As lined gloves are generally made from thicker leather than unlined ones, be very careful when cutting out that you hold the scissors at right angles to the leather. Mark and cut out your leather and then cut out the tranks and thumbs only in the lining material you have chosen or managed to get.
Start in the usual way by sewing in the thumb. Next make the points. If you use one of the punched designs described previously, you may find that there is a danger of the lining showing through the holes. To remedy this, cut a strip of thin leather or tape to match the leather, and sew it neatly over the back of the thonged decoration, being careful not to let your stitches show on the right side.
Sew the lining thumb and trank together by seaming on the wrong side and slip the lining thumb into the leather thumb. Lay the lining on top of the leather and slip stitch or herringbone the sides of the lining to the seams on the back of all the fingers and just inside the cut edge on the front of the fingers. Sew the sides of the lining together, starting at the top of the little finger and finishing at the wrist edge. Fold the glove in half and sew together all round the fingers and down the side. Over-sew the lining and glove together all round the wrist edge and any slits that may form part of the edge. This is not strictly necessary, but makes the binding or hemming of the edge very much easier. Turn the edge of the leather up and slip stitch or machine to the lining, making sure that the stitches do not go through to the right side. Should you, for any reason, wish to thong the wrist edge, work the thonging first, then cut the lining a little shorter and slip stitch to the wrist edge just above the holes punched for the thonging.
Sheepskin Gloves:- We come now to a fascinating branch of glove making — the fashioning of attractive gloves from sheepskin or lamb's wool. This material differs from ordinary leather in that the wool is left on the outer side of the leather. Lamb's wool is usually shorter in pile and much softer than sheepskin. Both can be bought in the natural creamy white or dyed to attractive shades of red, brown, green and so on.
When buying sheepskin for gloves see that it is supple with a rather short pile. The heavier, stiffer kinds are better for slippers. Examine the skin carefully for flaws. Some skins are damaged in the curing and show small tears, while others have blemishes where the animal has been hurt on barbed wire or something similar. Such skins are very wasteful in use, as you have to avoid the flaws when you are cutting out the gloves and this leads to a good deal of waste.
Some of the finer types of sheepskin suitable for gloves are quite small and you will normally need two skins to make a pair. A pair of mittens for a child can sometimes be made from one small skin, but even then you may find you have to have several joins.
Sheepskin can be used either with the skin outside or with it inside as preferred by the wearer or according to the purpose for which the gloves are intended. Cyclists, for instance, would probably prefer to have the wool inside as the gloves are exposed to all kinds of weather, while the smart teen-ager would like her gloves to have sheepskin backs and leather fronts.
Sheepskin mittens are not difficult to make and are usually easier to sew and wear than gloves with fingers. The sheepskin demands special care in cutting and sewing. Never cut it with scissors as this will damage the pile. Use instead a razor blade or a sharp leather knife. Remember that whether you use a knife or a razor blade it must be really sharp.
Sheepskin has not quite such a definite "way" of growing as fur, but like fur, should always be cut so that the pile goes upwards over the fingers. Remember that the wool will take up a good deal of space inside the glove, so be sure to cut the gloves large enough to allow for this.
Here are directions for making a pair of sheepskin mittens with the wool inside. Gloves with the wool outside should be made in exactly the same way as the fur-backed gloves. Start by making a pattern as shown in Fig 25. If your skin is narrow or you want to economize, the pattern can be cut in half along the dotted line. This enables you to move the two halves about until the pattern is arranged to the best advantage. Do not forget that the stretch must be across the hand. Pin your skin firmly to a flat surface and draw all round it; take the knife and cut along each line very carefully, making sure that your knife is at right angles to the leather. Try to cut through the surface each time, as repeated cuts may result in a jagged edge. Some people find it easier to lift up the skin and stretch it a little with the left hand, but this is a purely personal matter which each worker must decide individually. When the skin has been cut right through you can separate the various sections by pulling the staples apart very gently.
The mittens shown in the diagram consist of two parts only — the trank and the thumb. In some patterns the thumb and trank are cut in one piece, and in this case you simply fold the mitten in half and sew together all round. You will notice that in Fig 25 the thumb opening is very much simpler than in the other patterns dealt with, being merely a shallow hollow in the front of the glove.
Before starting to make up the gloves, take a sharp pair of scissors and snip off the wool all round for about half an inch, so that it is a little less than half the depth of the rest of the pile. This will prevent the seams from becoming thick and clumsy.
Fold the thumb in half and stitch down the side with stab stitch as far as the points marked "x" in the Fig. Smooth the wool away from the seam as you work and be careful not to let any strands of the wool poke out through your stitches. Use a gloving needle and strong matching thread. Sew the curved edge of the thumb into the curved hollow on the edge of the front section. Fold the glove in half and starting at the wrist edge sew the two halves together, taking in the remainder of the thumb on the way. Finish at the end of the top curve or, if you have cut the glove in two sections, go on down to the wrist edge.
The wrist edge can be bound with a strip of matching leather. If you have no scraps which can be utilized you can buy leather binding about one inch wide in several good colours. If you prefer, the edge can be turned back to make a sheepskin cuff, but in this case the trank must be cut about two or three inches longer. Mittens with long gauntlets can be made in exactly the same way, but you will, of course, need more skin. Lengthen the pattern till it is as long as you want it and at the same time widen out at the wrist edge.
Joining Sheepskin:- It is quite a simple matter to join sheepskin and if it is well done the join will not be seen on the right side. The edges to be joined must be perfectly straight and the wool must lie in the same direction. Smooth the staples away from edges to be joined, but do not trim them. Over-sew very closely with fine matching thread, then work a second row of stitching in the opposite direction. Fasten on and off very firmly. Avoid joins across the knuckles or anywhere where there is likely to be much pull on them.
Inserting a Zip:- Some people like to have a zip across the middle of the hand so they can pull off the top part of the mitten to allow the fingers to emerge. This is a useful addition to your mittens if you are the sort of person who goes about dropping odd gloves here and there.
It is quite a simple matter to insert a zip and adds very little to the cost of the gloves. Zips can be obtained in lengths of 4" and upwards. They should be put in the gloves before the two halves are joined together. Slit the front half of the glove right across about ˝" above the thumb opening. Shave off the wool right down to the skin for about ˝" along the edges of the-slit. Neaten the ends of the zip tape and turn in the edges of the slit. Top stitch either by hand, or by machine, over the tape, making sure that there is room for the zip key to move freely between the edges.
Zips are not always obtainable in the exact size required, but it is quite a simple matter to shorten them. Remove the "stop" at the closed end, clip off as many of the teeth as necessary, using a pair of pliers or wire cutters, and either replace the stop or over-sew the tapes firmly together using matching thread.