A creepy creature pattern hack for the Classic Palm Glove

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. 😉