Happy 2021 but wow, where the heck did 2020 go? I can’t believe I just looked back and my last blog post was in October 2019. Despite the obvious, a global pandemic, I had a lot of changes in 2020. On January 1st I started a full time job finally using my accounting degree. Having a steady income became more important than ever but crunching numbers sapped all my creativity.
I gave up my studio space in March. My lease was up and with the uncertainty all around, it was the right thing for me. I really do miss my monthly stitch-a-longs and my stitching community. We tried for a few months over Zoom but the novelty wore off after a few times – I’m guessing some of you can relate.
From a stitching perspective, I started 2020 with the best of intentions. I dyed a bunch of Indigo fabric and I was making my dream project, a long Ezra jacket. Unfortunately, I ran up against more issues than I had hoped and the jacket is still not 100% complete. I’ve never been a great all around sewer so closures are a challenge for me. Add to that the 10-15 pandemic pounds I gained and I’m not sure I even want to pull the jacket tight to close it. I wore it for the first time to my small family holiday gathering a few weeks back and I’m hoping just the act of putting it on will inspire me to see it through.
In the meantime, I needed a quick win to get me back in creativity mode. A small project I’ve always wanted to try were the fingerless gloves so I thought now was the time. I mean look at this picture from Alabama Chanin…who wouldn’t want to look this cool!
I also created a page on my Pinterest of just AC fingerless gloves to get me inspired. I love how inspiring the AC stitch-a-long community can be! I’m hoping to find more pictures soon.
Between the small time commitment and the fact that I was able to use scraps gave me a freedom to experiment. After putting so much time and energy into the Ezra and not loving it, I was gun shy. It didn’t help that I’ve been struggling with my air brush. I ended up buying new nozzles, connectors, intake tubes, etc. and nothing worked so I pretty much just gave up on it in 2020. The best part about a project as small as the gloves is I could just use a Sharpie and it wouldn’t matter much, especially since I pretty much copied the gloves in the picture which was black fabric both layers, reverse appliqué (so no need to have much paint showing) in Anna’s Garden.
But first, I needed to copy the AC pattern found in the Alabama Studio Sewing and Design book.
The instructions and pattern for the gloves are on page 40
The instructions say to scale up 317% but I went a full 325 – as I mentioned before – everything on my body is a little bigger these days, even my hands and feet 😦
I found the easiest way to make my copy was to first make a 100% copy of the page, then cut out just the image of the pattern. That way I could put just the image back on the copier rather than the whole clunky book. Even then, my 326% didn’t fit on a single letter size paper so I had to do a little recopying and taping.
I did an all over pattern on both sides of the gloves so I needed to cut out 4 pieces per glove, making sure I flipped the pattern to make fronts and backs. I used a Silver Sharpie to transfer the stencil. Although I hadn’t used the Sharpie before, it was pretty old and it wore out pretty quick. The shapes turned out kind of sloppy so I decided I would put my stitches on top of the marker and that would hide some of the imperfections.
The four stages of stitching on these gloves from right to left: Just the fabric cut, the fabric with the Sharpie stencil, backstitches along the Sharpie lines (with snips inside the shapes to make it easier to cut), and the finished stitched and cut glove.
I did put some thought into where I wanted my thread tails. I didn’t want them showing on the right side, but I didn’t want them on the wrong side either because I thought they might be bothersome on my arms. So, I started and ended each stitch with my thread between the two layers of fabric. Nothing fancy, I simply lifted up the top layer of fabric to get between the layers. I know there are a lot of AC stitchers who have a better method but I haven’t learned it yet.
Here’s what the wrong side ended up looking like when I was done:
You may be able to tell, I used regular button craft thread for this. Often times when I’m backstitching, and especially when I want the final product to be a bit softer, I would use embroidery thread but I figured gloves would get heavy use and lots of washing so I stuck with button craft. As it turns out, I still like the feel of it.
Time to try them on and see if they work. Here’s my attempt at being artistic. Turns out, its really hard to take a selfie and get a the glove in the picture:
I think it took me a little over three nights to work up these gloves. Just in time for Thanksgiving so I could have my Mom try them on and see what she thinks. She always wants to cover her arms so I thought the gloves might make a good Christmas gift:
She humored me and wore them, and I did end up making her a pair as well but we’ll see. I finally talked my son into taking a picture of me with mine on. I really do like them and hope I have someplace to wear them soon!
In the meantime, they did the trick, my creativity has been sparked. Now I’m working on a skirt that should look great with the gloves and I’m thinking about making an unembellished black tied wrap to complete the outfit. Best part is, that will give me more excuses to blog in 2021. I look forward to stitching and sharing more in this new year. I wish all the best to you and yours!