I'm one of those people who can't stand to throw something out if it's still useful, so despite the fact that I had worn through the soles of my boots through excessive use and abuse (many times, I was going through them at a rate of about a pair a year until I finally invested in some quality boots) I still couldn't bear to throw them away. Since I love going to renaissance festivals and such I thought a cool pair of leather gloves would be just the thing to add to my outfit!
- old pair of lace up boots (I used the zipper-backed kind that are pretty popular these days)
- needle and black thread
- sewing machine (not 100% necessary, but it definitely makes the job a whole lot easier)
Note: only use a sewing machine if your boots are soft garment quality leather or pleather, if it's anything thicker you run the risk of breaking your needles and would be better off using leather tooling supplies.
Step 1: Detach Your Materials From the Boot and Sew Basic Folds
To get the material for the glove I simply cut the ankle of the boot away from the sole. Most boots will have an additional heel support of cardboard or some other relatively inflexible material sewn into the heel, instead of dealing with that I simply cut around it, which ends up creating a nice arc that will go around the base of your palm. Don't forget to cut the zippers off your salvaged material. You won't be using them and they'd just get in the way when you machine sew. In hindsight I would have saved the tongues of the shoes for extra material, but in all honestly the glove came out just fine without it.
I cut the lining material so that the leather would fold over it, so that I would have less material to sew through (see second image), then I folded over the leather and hand sewed it down by where the fingers will go in the completed glove, as this area would be hard to get by with a machine. Next I simply sewed a single stitch about every inch to hold the folded leather in place (see third image). You could pin these, but I didn't want to leave holes in the material. Hand sewing had the same effect, as I just machine-sewed over the spread out stitches later.
Step 2: Machine Sewing
Now that you have the ragged edge prepared go ahead and take it to your sewing machine and sew all the way down it toward the end where your zippers once were. It's not too important that you go all of the way to the end as you'd be sewing over that later, but go ahead and get as close as you can.
Next fit the incomplete glove around your wrist to check your positioning. adjust your laces as you please, then flip it over so that it appears inside out. Pinch the material together on the underside of your arm opposite of the lacing and clip/pin the material together, making sure the two edges line up nicely. Now that you have your glove however wide you'd like it, go ahead and undo the laces to release your arm from the glove. I actually used pins in this step because I decided to sew slightly inside of where I pinned so that any holes I made in the fabric wouldn't end up visible on the outside of my glove. Then you sew the two pieces together, as you see in the second image.
Finally take the excess fabric, fold it over inside of the glove (see image three) and sew it to the glove on either side of your original seam, as seen in the fourth image. This step ensures that the fabric along the new seam will lie flat and not cause any irritation by rubbing over long periods of wear.
Step 3: Adding the Finger Strap
Now that you have your glove all sewn together trim the excess material inside the glove. Now we're only missing the finger strap that will help keep the glove in place. The exact placement of this strap is up to you. Based on how my glove fit as well as how I wanted to limit the glove's mobility on my hand I chose to have it go around my index and ring fingers. I made the strap out of the excess material I had just trimmed off of the glove, simply cutting it and folding over either side to sew into a simple strap (see third image). Then I checked the straps placement on my hand to adjust it's tightness (I had to have the glove on for this), pinned the strap, and hand sewed it to the glove(see fourth image).
Now you have a complete glove you can lace yourself into, perfect for multiple costumes, outfits and occasions.Simply do the same to the other boot and you have a set! If you'd like to replace the laces that came with the boot with some leather or pleather lacing/ cord feel free! It can be easily found at many craft stores and leather shops.