The description for the Classic Palm Glove pattern may say “elegant”, but since it’s nearly Hallowe’en, I thought it needed a furry creepy creature makeover! In this pattern hack we’re going to be modifying the pattern, sewing with faux-fur, and giving our gloves a manicure. Read along with the video and let’s get started!
What you’ll need
- tracing paper
- ruler (preferably gridded for adding seam allowances)
- sharp pencil or extra fine-tip marker
- paper scissors
- masking tape
- tracing marker or chalk (I used a fine-tip marker for precision, but test whatever you choose on a scrap of fabric to be sure it shows up clearly and doesn’t bleed or stain)
- an awl or similar pointed tool for poking holes in your pattern
- stretchy spandex fabric for the palms
- stretchy faux-fur or novelty chenille
- contrast fabric or leather for adding paw pads (optional)
- fake nails
- nail polish
- paper or plastic to protect your work surface
- scrap tracing paper or plastic bag for texturizing your nail art
- E-6000 or similar glue
- the Classic Palm Glove pattern and instructions (get the pattern here)
1. Preparing the pattern
The first thing we need to do is make some changes to our pattern so that we can use different fabrics on the front and back of the hand. Grab some tracing paper and lay it over your pattern. Draw a solid line where the fold-line is, which will now be a seam. Trace everything on the thumb-side of your solid line. Make sure you also trace all of the alignment dots and notches, as well as your DoGS arrows. It’s also really helpful to add pattern labels so you what the modification is for and how many to cut if you want to use the pattern in the future. Add a second line 1/4″ (6mm) to the outside of the line formerly known as “fold” for your seam allowance. For each glove, you’ll cut one of these halves from furry fabric (with no thumbhole) and one from the non-furry fabric (with a thumbhole).
Repeat this process for the thumb. Once again, each glove will have half a thumb from furry fabric, and half from the non-furry spandex.
You don’t need to make any changes to the gussets but you can trace a copy if you don’t want to cut into your original, which is generally a good habit. (I have lots of copies!)
Before you start marking the fabric, it’s also helpful to poke through your alignment dots with a sharp tool like an awl.
(Note: Of course immediately after completing this project and tutorial, I thought of an even better modification for this pattern to eliminate the gap between the centre seam and the thumb, that would also make the thumb insertion a bit easier to sew. I’ll write that up in a separate post!)
2. Marking and cutting the fabrics
When laying out your fabric, it’s important to find the direction of greatest stretch (marked DoGS on your pattern). Some fabrics stretch much less – or not at all – in one direction (and unlike woven fabrics and their grainlines) it’s not always the same from one type of fabric to another. We want to make sure the stretch goes in the direction that needs it most when the garment is worn. In my case, the stretch runs horizontally, so I’ve laid out the arrows on my DoGS line horizontally. I’ve also placed the faux fur fabric wrong side up so that the fuzzy size doesn’t get in my way while I’m tracing.
I always cut my glove pieces on at a time from a single layer of fabric, for precision.
Trace around the pattern piece and carefully mark all of the alignment marks. When you remove the pattern piece, check that your alignment marks are visible, and you may want to draw in the dotted cut marks between the fingers. Don’t cut them right away though! Cut the piece out exactly on the tracing lines.
Trace and cut all of your pieces using this method. The gusset pieces should be cut from the non-furry fabric. Since the gusset pieces are so small and similar, I like to leave them attached until I’m ready to use each one. I also like to mark which end is which with a little note on some masking tape.
3. Sewing the gloves
Begin by sewing the two halfs of your thumb together along your new centre seam, using the 1/4″ (6mm) seam allowance and a straight stitch, and then do the same for your main glove pieces. Some furry bits will probably try to escape out the sides, so stitch slowly and tuck them back to the inside as you sew. This will help keep your stitching accurate and make your paws look fuller and fluffier at the seams.
From there, sew everything as descibed in the pattern instructions – the only difference is that you’ll need to continue tucking the fur to the inside. (Alternatively, you could insert the thumb into the thumb hole before sewing the glove centre seam, so that the extra seam allowance doesn’t get in your way.) In some of the tighter spots it can be tough to do this with just your fingers, so a poking tool like an awl or a point-turner can be helpful – and it’ll keep your fingers safely away from the needle! Whenever you are adjusting these fiddly spots with your fingers, try to get in the habit of taking your foot off of the pedal.
[Insert video narration of lining up thumb piece]
Setting in the thumb can be a bit tricky with all that fuzz in the way, so don’t be afraid to touch it up with some hand-stitching if you’re falling off the edge of the seam allowance with the machine.
4. Adding the claws and paw pads
Here’s where you get to go wild! I had a bunch of tiny leather scraps hanging around, but you could use a contrast colour spandex fabric, faux leather, or even a thin craft foam. I trimmed my leather into the shapes I thought would look best and glued them in place with E-6000, though this turned out to be maybe not the ideal glue for this application, since some of the pieces started lifting away and had to be reglued.
When I’m using E-6000, especially when applying small pieces, I like to squeeze a small amount of glue onto a scrap of cardboard and apply it with a toothpick; that way I can close up the tube and prevent leaks or contamination.
Next up: claws! I grabbed some plain nail tips from my stash (you could also use pre-painted nails if you want to save yourself the painting steps) and gave my glove some fancy nail art. For most of the fingers I used the largest size nail tip, partly for the BIGGEST SCARIEST CLAW effect and partly because the bigger sizes don’t fit my real hands and they may as well not go to waste. I trimmed away some of the fur in the “nail bed” area, as close as I could to the fabric without damaging it’s structure. I then used E-6000 again to glue those suckers down. (I applied the nails with the glove flat on the table but if you want more control over which way your claws point, I’d recommend putting the glove on your hand or a model to do this.)
Once the glue had dried enough to handle the claws, I trimmed and filed them to shape and applied black nail polish to both sides of the nail. I let this dry, added a second coat of black to the top of the nail, let that dry, and then went to town with some fun gold texture. For this I crinkled up a little piece of a plastic shopping bag and smooshed it in a little puddle of gold polish that I’d poured out onto a scrap surface. Then I lightly dabbed the gold over the black polish until my claws were sufficiently marbled. Let all this dry, seal it with a clear topcoat if you want, and then you’re done!
5. Try on your creature paw and make goofy faces
This step is very important. Do not skip. 😉
I released the Classic Palm Gauntlet deep in the heart of wedding season, and Etsy was all about the bride for a hot minute. Although I had designed the pattern with costumes in mind, I felt from the start that it could make a lovely addition to a bridal ensemble, too. When I saw this beautiful floral trim, I knew it cried out for something delicate and romantic. Paired with a sheer beige (nude, on my skin tone) background that almost disappears against the skin, I love the way it gives a winding, vine-like impression.
Even if you’re not currently shopping for cake-toppers, I think this style would look enchanting in alternative colour schemes for different occasions (hellooooooo autumn leaves for a harvest theme? or Poison Ivy?). Here are the steps to get this or a similar effect with the Classic Palm Gauntlet:
Step One – Pattern adjustments
(Don’t have your pattern yet? You can pick up an instant download from my shop! If gauntlets aren’t your thing, a lot of the following tips will still be helpful for adding appliqués to other stretchy garments.
Print and assemble your pages as usual, but don’t go straight to cutting your fabric just yet — we need to make a tiny adjustment to our pattern piece to accommodate the non-stretch appliqué we’re adding to our otherwise stretchy garment. (This may not be necessary if your appliqué is relatively narrow compared to the overall width of your project, but my appliqué took up about 20-25% of the circumference of my gauntlet.)
We’re going to use a pattern-alteration technique known as slash-and-spread, which is often used to add extra length, width, or fullness to a garment. Start by cutting the pattern vertically along the fold line. Note: if you want your appliqué to be applied somewhere other than along the side, make the slash in the area where it will be applied.
On a separate piece of scrap paper, draw two parallel lines the distance apart which you need to expand your pattern. In my case I estimated that about 0.5″ would make up for the stretch factor that I lost by stitching a 2.5″ wide rigid appliqué to that area, but your measurement may vary. You can estimate by using the following formula:
width of area to be stitched down X .2 = amount to add to pattern
Tape your separated pattern pieces to the scrap paper on either side of this gap. Make sure to align them horizontally as well as lining up the cut edges with your lines, so that your side seams will still match up when you come to sew. You can use the DoGS line as a reference.
Up at the curve, you’ll probably have an odd jog or jagged edge. Just blend these lines into a smooth curve, and cut away the excess scrap paper.
Step Three – Cutting and preparing the fabric and appliqué
As usual, we want to lay out the pattern piece so that the DoGS arrows point in the fabrics most stretchy direction. Sometimes this will be widthwise, sometimes lengthwise. I’m using quite a small, oddly shaped scrap here — waste not, want not! — so it’s hard to tell, but on this particular mesh, the stretch runs lengthwise, along the selvedge.
I decided to cut my flower chain apart so that I could have more control over their orientation and make sure they would both fit in the space I had. (If you need more vertical room for your appliqué, you could also lengthen the pattern by slashing and spreading.)
Next, we’re going to stabilize the stretch mesh by adding a temporary backing. Applying something non-stretchy to a stretchy background can be a recipe for all sorts of weird distortion and puckers. The underlying fabric oozes around and it requires quite careful, slow stitching to get a nice result. It really makes the process less stressful to temporarily “remove” the stretch from your bottom layer. You can buy purpose-made tear-away and wash-away stabilizers for embroidery, but the low-tech DIY option I’ve used here is simply to fuse a piece of tracing paper to the wrong side of the fabric with a Elmer’s washable glue stick. To avoid sticky residue, set the glue with a warm, dry iron (not too hot or you could damage your fabric! spandex is not a fan of heat and neither is nylon). Once we’re done with the sewing, the paper will easily tear away.
We’ll also use this trick to “glue baste” the appliqué into position. (This is optional, but I don’t recommend pins for this step, as they’re likely to get in the way and cause distortion. If you’re wary of the glue, hand-basting is a great alternative.) Add a bit of glue to the back of your appliqué and stick it where you want it to go, then set with a warm, dry iron. Easy!
Step Four – Stitching the appliqué
Set your machine to a narrow, short zig-zag. With the right sides up, stitch over the edges of the appliqué, following the outline of the shape as closely as you can. For best results, use thread that closely matches the colour of the appliqué’s border. (If you’re really keen on the tiny details, you could load your bobbin with thread that will match the back side of your fabric, which — as long as your tension is set correctly — will make the stitching nearly invisible from both sides.)
To navigate the corners and tight curves, sew slowly and reposition the work frequently. Make sure your needle is all the way down before raising the presser foot to pivot or adjust your direction, which will keep your work anchored in place.
Once you’ve stitched around your appliqué so it’s nice and secure, go ahead and rip away the paper from the back!
Step Five – Sewing the side seams
Just like usual, this version of the gauntlet has 1/4″ (6mm) seam allowance on the side seam, sewn with a straight stitch (since we’re not looking for stretch in the vertical direction). For best results on a sheer fabric, switch your thread to a matching colour for this step.
I chose to trim my seam allowance close to the stitching to reduce bulk and show-through, but otherwise left it unfinished since the stretch mesh won’t fray.
Step Six – Applying the fold-over elastic
This step is also the same as the original instructions, so I thought this was another good opportunity to explain it with a video! The only difference you might encounter depends on the shape of your appliqué: mine had a couple of little leafy tendrils that I wanted to overhang the edge of the elastic, so I had to tuck those out of the way while applying the elastic.
Check it out:
For a more delicate, barely-there effect with the stretch mesh, I chose to leave the hem raw. If you prefer a folded hem, go for it… and then your gauntlets are ready to show off! Don’t forget to tag me in any of the gorgeous photos you post of your finished gauntlets so I can see how they turned out!