Introduction: An Scrappy Version of a Korean Thimble
My son's family sent me Korean thimble, while they were stationed in Korea. I love that thimble. Fits my finger and stays on, the best thimble ever. Only problem was I would lose it, and eventually it would show up. I stopped using it because I was afraid, I would lose it permanently. I found you could buy these thimbles on line for $20.00 each. Not in my budget. So, I did some internet research. No one has ever posted a tutorial on how to make these wonderful little thimbles. From 4 separate posts I was able to figure out most of it.
I made the other three from scraps (middle one is from silk scraps). I can shake my hand and they don't come off. If I lose one, I have another one to use. The best! So here we go on how to make scrappy versions of my Korean thimble.
PVA Glue (white non washable)
Ramie fabric (or canvas or thick denim)
Scraps (small one’s work) you will need a main color and a secondary color
Make a pattern
In desperation I went to one of those “buy directly from China” sights and found some relatively inexpensive Korean Thimbles directly from Korea. I bought some, waited for them to come and they came rather quickly from Korea. I stated using one and found out it fell apart rather quickly. ☹ I just E 6000 glue to stick it back together, then I realized that since I had more of these thimbles, I could take one apart and see just how they were put together. Win! Here are pictures of the one I glued together with one like the one I took apart.
First, I removed the floss that was used to hold the 2 halves together. The whole thing was covered with dried glue on the inside. Then I leaned that secondary color pieces were sewn on by machine, using a scant 1/8th inch seam. The center lining material was canvas, not Ramie fabric. The front main fabric piece hadn’t been glued on, just press on to the canvas. The best part was the canvas piece now gave me a pattern.
I took a piece of graph paper (you can print one off here: https://www.waterproofpaper.com/graph-paper/grid-paper.shtml), and laid the canvas piece onto the graph paper and traced it, it was just a little (maybe 1/8 of an inch) over 1-inch square. If you are planning on making more than one of these, I would take the paper, cut it out, and glue it to a piece of chip board (cereal and cracker boxes are made of chip board). Cut your chip board pattern out and you are ready to make your scrappy thimble.
Since you will need 2 halves (realize that the halves do not have to match, color wise, after all this is scrappy), you will need to cut out:
2 – 1 ½ inch square pieces of the main fabric
2 – 1 ½ x 1 1/8-inch pieces of the secondary fabric
2 – ¾ inch x 6 inches pieces of the secondary fabric
4 - 1 ½ inch square pieces of the Ramie fabric.
Rather than cut out separate pieces of Ramie, I cut a 1 ½ inch strip, folded it in half and traced 5 copies of the thimble pattern with a pencil. I went to my sewing machine and sewed each piece together so I wouldn’t be losing one or both pieces, all the time. Then I cut 2 of them out. If you want it to be heavier, make the Ramie 3 pieces thick. I also made one thimble each using canvas and denim so, if you don’t want to wait for The Ramie to come from Korea, to make your thimbles, those are good alternatives. Canvas took 2 pieces, sewn like I did for the Ramie, for each half, and only one piece of denim for each half.
Using the white glue, glue the one side of
your Ramie thimble piece to the back side of your main fabric piece. Now walk way and let it dry completely. (Yeah, this will take hours so find something else to do for a while.)
Cut the dry thimble piece from the fabric. This will be stiff and if you tapping with you finger nail it will sound a little hollow.
Sew one 1 ½ x 1 1/8-inch piece of the secondary fabric along the bottom edge, fabric side of each thimble piece, fabric sides together. It should fold over the bottom and reach almost to the top of the opposite side of the thimble piece. Fold it back down and press it flat. My sewing machine (a light, less expensive Brother) had no problem sewing through this.
When sewing around a curve, I set my stitches a 1.8 length. How with the fabric side facing up lay the short edge of the long strip, face down, at the bottom of the piece of fabric and slowly sew it down going a scant 1/8th inch seam up the side and around the top and down the other side. Now turn the fabric over toward the back of the Thimble half. Make it as smooth a possible. Wrong side up fold the fabric edges toward the center and press it down.
I have no idea what glue is used in Korea to make these thimbles. And Since I am making a scrappy version of this thimble, I wanted to use what I already have in my supplies. My favorite glue is E6000. It is come’s in clear (white and black) and it will stick almost anything to anything, so I went to this glue for the next part. I thought about using the white for the next part but I just couldn’t do it. If you decide to use the white glue for this next part, post a remark on this post and let me know how it went.
Put glue around the inside edge of the Ramie piece and fold down the edges of the long fabric strip. Add more glue and fold the fabric up over the back and finger press it down. Make it as smooth as possible and if it feels lumpy with glue, don’t worry the glue will dry flatter. E6000 will not hurt you. Once it is dry, it will peel off your fingers, and you will discover why I like it so much, it is flexible and strong.
At this point, start rolling the sides of each thimble half together to make it a nice curve. The Ramie tends to do this naturally, while I used quilting clips and rubber bands to help the denim and canvas along. Again, walk away and let them dry.
Now to sew the two halves together: The Koreans use a stitch which is called The Pojagi Edge Stitch (Pojagi/Bojagi is the word for Quilt) and I found a tutorial on how to do that here: https://www.epidastudio.com/pojagi-edge-stitch-tutorial/. It isn’t hard but you may need something to pull the needle if you snag the Ramie as you are sewing the two sides together. I used a small pair of pliers. Yeah it is stiff. You may see a gap at the top when you put the 2 halves together. As you use this stitch that gap will disappear, very easily.
Step 14: Done
Done! I would suggest if it is too small for too large, adjust the pattern (less than 1/8th inch at time) and try again. ENJOY!
PS: As I was doing my research, I used information found at the following sites:
I bought the Ramie fabric from this site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RimKimstudio?ref=search_shop_redirect§ion_id=13591634