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Oh my goodness, selfish readers, I cannot believe the outpouring of warm wishes in the comments on my last post. Thank you so very, very much for your many kind notes. Reading them almost makes Selfish wish that she had even a tiny little heart instead of a hard lump of rock in her chest, because if she did, she would surely have been very moved by all of your touching sentiments and congratulatory wishes. And so, as a gesture of something akin to gratitude, here’s a little present to you- a DIY project so quick, simple, and trendy, you’ll either say, “Now why didn’t I think of that” or “Duh, I already thought of that. You always think you’re so smart, Selfish Seamstress, but you’re really NOT.” (Also, there were some questions in the comments on my last post, so I’ll address them at the end of this post- stay tuned.)
While I was in New York, I happened upon these fantastic long leather and knit gloves at Kenneth Cole (I didn’t do much shopping on my last trip, but Kenneth Cole is so conveniently located in Grand Central that I can’t help but zip through from time to time.)
Now, $128 is not sooooooo ridiculous for leather gloves, but these are not the most practical style for everyday wear, as they’re not that easy to wear with, oh, say…. sleeves. So even with the 20% off everything sale they were having in the store, the math still wasn’t working for me:
$128.00 * 0.8 + NYC sales tax = still too expensive for novelty gloves
But I loved how edgy they were- a ladylike shape with a sort of urban industrial mix of materials. Some other $$$ examples:
A New York Times bit showcasing long gloves featured the Rochas pair (third from left) which retails for almost $1300 (undoubtedly looks much better with an arm in it)
This pair of leather and cashmere cable knit gloves from Barney’s is $280.
And this pair from Asos can be yours for a mere $220.
And a pair from Echo Design for a comparatively reasonable $98.
What’s funny in retrospect is how it *didn’t* immediately occur to me to DIY these. I mean, “I’ll just make them” was my first thought when I saw the similarly mixed media Helmut Lang combo pants. Instead with the gloves I was all like, “Hmmm… how can I justify this purchase?” (In fact, perhaps the only thing that didn’t stop me from splurging on these at the Kenneth Cole store was the fact that I obviously had to splurge on this at the Kenneth Cole store:
But that’s a story for another day.)
And what’s funnier still is how when it first occurred to me to DIY these gloves, my initial thought was “Oh! All I have to do is knit a couple of long ribbed tubes and stitch them to a pair of RTW gloves!” And it wasn’t until much later that it I thought to myself, “Or, duh, I could just use socks. You always think you’re so smart, Selfish Seamstress, but you’re NOT.”
Okay, so by now most of you can probably take it from here. But in case you want some step-by-step instructions, here you go.
First, you’ll need some gloves. Leather or faux leather would be ideal for replicating the designer look, but I didn’t have any that I wanted to use for this project. I found an old pair of Totes smooth fabric gloves that my mom gave me but that I never wore much. They have some faux leather accents on them, so I thought they’d work well:
Then you’ll need some knee socks or over-the-knee if you want them really slouchy. You could get creative here with cables or Fair Isle socks, stripes, whatever. You could also use leggings or heavy knit tights, kids’ leg warmers, or slim sweater sleeves. I first went digging through Dan’s sock drawer, but when I didn’t find anything I wanted (why doesn’t he ever buy anything that *I* want to cut up and wear??), I went out and got a pair of heavy knee-high black angora blend socks (came in a two-pack with a white pair so there’s some white lint on them):
Now, measure a consistent length from the top edge of the sock to somewhere above the heel (I got 12.5″ out of mine) and mark them. I used pins because I don’t think chalk was going to show up on this fuzzy knit:
And cut at your marked line. (Dan photographed my “action shots” which is why the pictures with my hands in them are so much nicer than the other ones!)
Finish the cut edges to prevent fraying. I used a cover stitch on my machine. You could also zigzag the edge or use some sort of Fray Check type product.
My stitching caused the edge to ruffle a bit, but it shouldn’t matter.
Now, if you want, you could also cut the glove to make it shorter, or you could angle it (in which case you’d probably want to angle the cut of the sock) but I went for the simplest option which was to leave the glove as is and just stitch the sock into it. If you do decide to cut the edge of the glove and you don’t want any raw edges to show, what you probably want to do is put the glove and the sock with their right sides facing each other and edges lined up (i.e. right-side-out glove inserted into inside-out sock) and then stitch and flip the sock right side out. But since I wasn’t cutting the glove, I did the following:
Turn both the glove and the sock inside out:
Pin evenly all around:
And baste, easing the sock and glove as necessary for a smooth join. Be sure when stitching that you’re not stitching through and picking up both the front and the back of the glove, thereby sewing the glove shut at the wrist. Gloves that are closed at the wrist are not conducive to wearing.
Now carefully turn the whole thing right side out:
And stitch the glove to the sock. If you have a sewing machine with a sufficiently skinny free arm you can do it on the machine using a zigzag stitch or a stretch stitch. My machine’s free arm is a bit… how shall we say… “big boned” … so I did this stitching by hand. I didn’t stitch along my basting- I just used the basting to hold everything together. Instead I stitched invisibly very close to the edge of the glove, just on the inside of the hem. And the final product:
A pair of socks and a pair of old gloves, frankened into a reasonable facsimile of super expensive long mixed media gloves! (Incidentally, does anyone remember that Halloween episode of Community in which Troy and Abed exchange Pierce’s hands with his feet and then he can’t grope the butt that they attached to his chest? So awesome. Creating hybrid sock-gloves made me think of that episode. Also, Community is back next week! Excited though tentatively so because of the changes in writing staff and showrunner. Digressed!)
Perfect accessory for your cape, three-quarter sleeve coat, or in my case a wrinkly knit poncho:
And super quick to make too. I think I have a pair of old tan leather gloves somewhere so I might try another pair with brown cable knit socks, though it’s not really the sort of thing one needs a lot of in one’s wardrobe. If you make any, come back and show me how they turned out.
Ok- and response to some of your questions and comments:
- Hahah, I think it’s cute that some of you think wedding planning is what’s been keeping me from sewing and blogging :) Our wedding planning was pretty much just this: “Mommy, can you get some food for our wedding?” “Dan, go make some tissue paper flowers for the decorations.” “Make sure I get TWO slices of cake. It’s MY WEDDING.”
- @BMGM: I still don’t entirely know what skirt stiffener is, whether it was just a synonym for interfacing, or whether there was actually a product you could buy that was specifically referred to as “skirt stiffener” – but it definitely wasn’t horsehair braid. The stiffener is cut from the same pattern as the skirt, basted to the skirt, and then the two layers are treated as one, like interlining.
- @Jo: Glad to hear that you were able to make the kimono sleeve adjustments. I don’t have any pictures, but I think I did the same thing as you- trial and error until it fit smoothly. I’m sure there is a logical and correct way to do this fit adjustment, but I have no idea what it is!
- @Isaspacey: Thanks for the terminology! And I love that phrase- “mounting a skirt.” Sounds like 1950s innuendo.
- @Rena & Hellene: I am a jerk. I totally haven’t gotten the pictures of you guys and Desi and me from when we met at Metro! Post is coming eventually, and yes, I am an a*hole for being so lax about it! Hugs to you guys!
- @Phoebe: YES! Sharp eye there, sister! Dan was wearing a barong for our reception, sent to us from my cousin in Manila. Our reception food was Filipino and deli, a nod to our Philippine and Jewish roots :) Funny how non-Kosher a meal can become once you have a lechon in the mix, btw.
Thanks again, everyone for all of your kind wishes for our future and the compliments on the dress. Now go make some gloves and come back with chic results!