If you’ve got ten minutes, let me show you how to make your own gloves. If you think gloves are too hard to sew, I dare you to try this easy method!
I’ve got oddly long thumbs (don’t tell anyone), so the gloves that I buy never fit me very well. If I buy a size up, the thumb fits, but the fingers of the glove are too long. It hit me one day that if I selected my fabric carefully, making my own gloves really COULD be this easy. I tried it, and it worked very well. I’m including a variation for fingerless gloves (for using a touchscreen) in the last step.
You need a sewing pattern to make gloves? Good news; you’ve already got one! It’s called YOUR HANDS! Tracing your hands will make an awesome sewing pattern that’s free, and customized to your hand. So the finished gloves will fit you (and my oddly long thumbs) perfectly.
Choose Your Fabric
In the tutorial, I start with a long-sleeved shirt, and end with a short-sleeved shirt and a matching pair of gloves. But any thin fabric that’s stretchy enough will work. You can also start with a t-shirt and cut the gloves out of the belly of the shirt, using the hem of the shirt as the cuff of the glove.
Choosing the right fabric is important. If you have a T-shirt that’s part spandex, it will be perfect. But most women’s t-shirts are stretchy enough. Any stretchy knit that’s about as thick as a t-shirt will work. Thicker shirts (like sweaters) don’t work well because it just isn’t as comfortable to have thick fabric in between your fingers.
To figure out if the fabric you want to use is stretchy enough, hold the fabric with your hands 4 inches (10 cm) apart. Now move your hands apart, and make sure that the fabric in between your hands stretches easily to 8 inches (20 cm). If it does, it will work great for making these gloves! Woohoo!
Cut the sleeves off of the shirt so that it looks like a short-sleeved shirt. If you’d like, you can hem the shirt’s new, shorter sleeve, but the raw edges won’t unravel if you leave them as they are.
Trace Your Hand to Make a Glove Sewing Pattern
Take the sleeve pieces you cut off, turn them inside-out, and place your arm on top. Your fingertips should be pointing towards the edge you just cut, and your elbow should be near the end that used to be the cuffs. Spread your fingers apart a bit, so that you can trace all the way down to the base of each of your fingers.
Use a fabric-marking pen that contrasts with the fabric, and lean it against your arm to hold it steady. Tilt the marking pen, making the angle steep enough that it draws a line roughly 1/2″ (1.25 cm) away from your arm. Keep going until you pass your wrist, then gradually tip the pen so that it’s pointing almost straight up and down. (Your fingers are thinner than your arm, so you don’t need to leave as much extra room on the sides when you are tracing your fingers.) Check out the pictures above to see what I mean.
Sew the Gloves Together
Now pin both layers of the sleeve together, using lots of pins. Pin on both sides of the line you drew. Don’t cut anything out yet! It will be much easier to sew this narrow seam if you leave the fabric intact for now.
Take the sleeve to the sewing machine and sew right on the lines you drew, using a very short stitch length (1.5 mm) and a size 11 ball-point needle. (Depending on where you live, the needle may also be called size 75, and might be referred to as a “stretch” needle.)
When you reach the bottom of each finger, sew a few stitches across the bottom of the V before turning and continuing on to the next finger. (So that your stitching lines at the base of each finger look like \../ instead of V.) This will make it easier to cut the gloves out, and they will also look and feel nicer once they’re turned right-side out.
Be sure to backtack (sew a few stitches in reverse) at the beginning and end of your seams to keep them from coming undone!
Now you can take all the pins out, and cut away the excess fabric, about 1/8″ (1/3 cm) from your stitching line.
Turn the DIY gloves right-side out, and try them on. Yay! You’ve made your own pair of gloves!
How to Make Fingerless Gloves
If you want your fingertips free for texting or using a touchscreen, here’s how to make a pair of fingerless gloves. For fingerless gloves, follow the previous directions, but only trace your hand up to the first joint of each finger and your thumb. You’ll have two long seams, as well as one seam that looks like a fish hook, and three short seams shaped like the letter V. Be sure to backtack at the beginning and end of all those seams!
When you cut the gloves out, just make a cut straight across from the top of one stitching line to the top of the next line. Don’t worry about finishing the raw edges where you cut the gloves out. The fabric won’t unravel, and the gloves will be much more comfortable and easy to wear if you leave the edges raw.
And there you have it! If you make your own pair of gloves, be sure to leave a comment and let me know how it went! And if you have more old t-shirts to transform, check out my other upcycled t-shirt sewing tutorials!