Introduction: How to Make Gloves

Picture of How to Make Gloves

In this instructable, I will show you how to draft your own glove pattern and make a pair of gloves. You can use this with any fabric, leather, vinyl, or similar material, stretchy or not.

Hands are complicated 3D shapes with many degrees of freedom of movement. Gloves need to accommodate this and are as such more complicated than 2 pieces of hand-shaped fabric sewn together.

For drafting:
-duct tape (or something similarly flexible)
-paper (preferably tracing paper or something similar)
-a disposable glove (latex, nitrile, whatever you have on hand [HURHUR])
-a pencil
-a permanent marker
-sharp scissors

For construction:
-Fray-Check (optional, but nice to have)
-a sewing machine and/or a needle and lots of patience

Step 1: Terminology and Key

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Trank -  the hand-shaped part that constitutes most of the glove
Fourchettes - the little pieces of fabric that go between your fingers
Thumb - the part that goes on your thumb (derp)

Fourchettes are one of the most overlooked parts of gloves, but they are VERY important for comfort and mobility of your fingers.

-darker fabric color is the "right side", or the side of the fabric that you want on the outside of your glove
-lighter fabric color is the "wrong side", or the side of the fabric that you want on the inside of your glove

Step 2: Drafting Your Pattern

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There are a lot of ways to do this, but I like to start with the coat-your-hand-in-tape method 8D

Put the disposable glove on your non-dominant hand (I'm right-handed, so I put it on my left hand), and layer strips of tape all over the latex glove. Have a friend help you cut tape strips if you can, it's a lot easier that way. Make sure you get a nice, thick layer all over your hand, especially between your fingers and around joints.

Once you have coated your hand in tape, trace a line from the tip of your pinkie, down the side of your hand, to your wrist. This will be your trank seam.

Step 3: Drafting Continued: Fourchettes

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Trace a loop starting from the tip of your pinkie that follows the side edges of your fingers and the outer edges of your finger webbing. What you want to end up with is a strip of fabric that goes from the tip of your index finger to the tip of your pinkie, and is about the width of the side of each finger.

Step 4: Drafting the Thumb

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Trace a loop around your knuckle and draw a line up the side of your thumb, stopping at the tip.

Step 5: Cut the Pattern

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Cut along the first line we drew (the seam on the pinkie side of your hand). Once you have done this, you should be able to pull the whole thing off your hand and continue cutting along your lines normally.

I cannot stress this enough, but BE CAREFUL when cutting the tape off your hands. Be patient, since the last thing you want to do is hurt yourself or ruin your pattern.

Step 6: Trace Onto Paper & Preliminary Edits

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Lay your tape hand down as flat as you can. If your tape hand fingers are wildly splayed outwards, mess with them until they are basically straight out.

Once you've traced your tape hand, you need to add your cuff and seam allowances. You can do this by adding an outline around the original tape hand shape. I generally use about a 1/8" (3.175mm) seam allowance, but you can adjust as needed.

This is generally what your pattern pieces should look like (with notes for the most common edits you'll need to make).

Once you're happy with your paper pattern, cut it out, lay down your pattern pieces, pin, and cut your fabric*. I would recommend doing a few mock-ups on cheap fabric before cutting into your nice fabric.

*If you have Fray-Check and you are using woven fabric that tends to fray, apply it to the edges of all your pattern pieces after cutting them out.

Step 7: Installing the Thumb

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Sew the side seam of the thumb from the tip to the notch. You can try it on to see if it fits and for amusement value.

Once your thumb is stitched together, turn it inside-in. Make sure your trank is inside-out (i.e. right sides together) and put the thumb in the thumbhole. Stitch the thumb into the hole.

Step 8: Attaching the Fourchettes

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Pin your fourchette strip to the trank, right sides together. For each finger, sew along the front until you get to the trench between the current and next finger, then knot your thread and do the same for the back of the current finger.

Step 9: Finishing

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Sew the side of the trank and hem.


Step 10: Improving Your Design

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Your first glove will probably not fit 100% properly. This is often the case whenever you're new to pattern drafting or glovemaking. Make a few mockups, learn from your mistakes, and you will soon have a perfectly-fitting glove pattern made specifically for you.

Feel free to ask me questions and please let me know if there's anything I can clarify in here, especially my diagrams.

Step 11: References and Derivation

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These are some sites where I learned the basics of glove making: - this site is mostly about making period gloves and has some great patterns - this is a vintage book from 1950 about making gloves; it is very detailed and talks a lot about leather gloves

There was another site that I used to figure out how to make my first pair of gloves, but it's long dead.

All the sites I looked at when I was first learning how to do this used patterns with multiple fourchettes instead of the single fourchette strip that I describe here. The multiple fourchettes are more accurate for period costume, but they are a HUGE pain in the ass to keep track of.

When looking at some commercially-produced gloves that I owned, I noticed that there was a single strip of fabric instead of a whole bunch of separate fourchettes. I figured it would be much easier to keep track of and draft, so that's why I went with the strip design instead of separate fourchettes.


SimplyT (author)2013-11-15

Why the non dominant hand? Is it larger, and do you make a left and right hand pattern?

Iain CD (author)SimplyT2017-01-31

non dominant so that your dominant hand can do things like hold the scissors (have you tried using scissors with the 'wrong' hand?)

Also, once you have the pattern for one hand you can reverse it to get a pattern for the other hand (unless you actually do have one hand significantly larger than the other!)

flyingsteambug made it! (author)2016-12-30

I had to find a different way to make a pattern, but this tutorial was a great big help! Couldn't have done it without it.

CiaoS (author)2016-07-15

Jfc move on with your life. So what if someone used it in a fursuit? It doesn't affect you.

NightShadowCanDream (author)2016-01-20

Omg thank you so much!
I want to make gloves out of leather but i don't want to cover my fingers on one hand and just two on the other (index and middle) do I do then the same way just with less fingers?
Thanks for sharing! !!

Snowsongwolf made it! (author)2015-10-11

This was the basis for redesigning my fursuit gloves and it worked like a dream (once I stopped using my fabric inside out >.< ). I had to modify the design to incorporate a different material for the palm (what I made is closer to shooting gloves).

WyldKyss made it! (author)2015-09-10

Thank you so much!
I tried twice to get a pair that would fit well. I think if I alter my pattern slightly, the third time will be perfect. :P

avenger22 (author)2015-05-09

this design looks great! I am going to use this technique when sewing my vinyl gloves for my Captain America cosplay.

jen.langevin.1 (author)2014-09-11

On step 7 I understand why at the top of the thumb there is that valley. What I can't figure out is why those v's on the sides show up when cut. I'm going to try and make a fur pair of these and I'm sure I could jury rig it if I can't figure it out but would rather just go by the pattern.

hannah101 (author)jen.langevin.12015-03-24

Why are you doing that

crzzycindy (author)2014-05-23

Thank you for these detailed instructions I would love it if you were to also put a few instructions on You tube I go there often to learn how to fix this or that and make this or that. I would also love it if you would send me a complete printable version

Thank you

whiteoakart (author)2014-04-07

Have you tried making them from leather? I need to make a pair of leather gloves for a cosplay outfit. Your tutorial is excellent, but I am wondering if there might be any accommodations for leather.

HollyMann (author)2014-01-05

have you thought of using a pair of store purchased gloves to make a pattern from? I have so many that are torn up or have holes - I am going to cut one along the seams to make it...hopefully it will work. Your Instructable helps too!

Store-bought gloves aren't always a perfect fit for everybody (e.g. I have small hands and short fingers), and it's a cheap way to get a custom-sized pattern and hand-form so you don't have to sew while wearing it.

padbravo (author)2013-09-21

This is one of the most impressive instructables that I ever read!

the time needed to draw all those steeps (take pictures is a lot more quick!), to show how have to be done, is amazing.


bondagebonni (author)2013-09-17

OMG! thank you! Can't wait to get started

Tasharrr (author)2013-07-15

Thanks for the awesome steps, the illustrations helped tremendously! Quick question though, for the fingerless ones you've got a picture of there, did you still use a single piece of fabric for the fourchettes piece, and then trim off & hem each finger? Or is there another trick you could share for those? I'm making some from polar fleece as part of a onsie I'm making :)

edenham (author)2013-03-14

This was wonderful! My church is actually going to use your instructions to create gloves for the local homeless this winter! Thanks for your great illustrations and very clear instruction. Gather Church thanks you!

dkéri (author)2013-01-31

I think your diagrams are perfect. I'm downloading your instsructions and I hope that one day I will able to make my own gloves. Until that I thank you for the tutorial! =)

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-10-22

Nice! I have been wanting to make gloves, this will be really helpful when I finally do :)

Lanvi (author)2012-07-03

Very nice tutorial! i'm making those fingerless "hobo" gloves and this really gave a great start on how to even begin. Thank you very much for making this :)

Lanvi (author)Lanvi2012-07-04

All right! I finished them \o/
Here's what I ended up with :D
Two pics of the gloves. Thank you so much for the great instructions :)

amycookcrafts (author)2011-12-22

Thank you so much for this great tutorial. My sister has to wear gloves to bed, because she scratches herself in her sleep, and the cheap gloves on the market shred in one night, but I've been unable to make her any, due to my inadequacies of figuring out how to make a glove right by myself. This should help. Thanks again.

scoochmaroo (author)2011-01-11

This is great! I was going to do this exact same Instructable, but now I don't have to! I made a pair of red lace gloves for one of the Lady Gaga costumes 

I did all of my sewing by hand, since the machine ate the lace.  It also allowed me to give the pieces a better fit to my hands as I sewed them.

Can you include some pictures of the finished gloves you made?

Icetigris (author)scoochmaroo2011-01-15

Thank you! I am working on some more gloves, so once they're done, I'll post them.

Icetigris (author)2011-01-11

I added an image note, so if you hover over the image you can see it. I'm also working on some non-fingerless gloves so I'll eventually replace the images of the mockups.

craftyv (author)Icetigris2011-01-11

I see it now. Thank's a lot.

craftyv (author)2011-01-10

Great ible, I loved the drawings.  The "quality" of the stitching could be improved a little and this might encourage more people to look at the whole thing. Hand stitching is notoriously difficult especially around tight corners. Use a smaller stitch perhaps and pull a little tighter. NOTE: When dressmaking it's always recommended that a thread slightlylighterthan the fabric, is used. (this won't show through as much). I hope you continue with these, very good work.

Icetigris (author)craftyv2011-01-10

Thanks. I probably should have mentioned that this is a mockup that I did, which is why you can see the stitching. I have a finished glove, but it's fingerless. I wanted to show what one with the fingers still on looks like.

Euphy (author)2011-01-07

Epic illustrations!

Biggsy (author)2011-01-05

This is a really good instructable welldone, I may give this a try

thepelton (author)2011-01-04

If you cut the thumb part separate, you can add it out of line with the fingers just like an actual hand.
I like this instructable!

Icetigris (author)thepelton2011-01-04

Yep! A separate thumb piece is really important for having thumb mobility. I'm glad you liked it! :]

colacastink (author)2011-01-03

Used this to make a fingerless glove (just cut the fingertips off and hem `em), it's GREAT. I would have never thought to do anything *other* than just sew 2 hand turkeys together, but this looks so much better :P

rimar2000 (author)2011-01-03

Very clever!!!

Icetigris (author)rimar20002011-01-03

Thank you! :3

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