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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sew the side of the trank and hem.


Step 10: Improving Your Design

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

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.

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36 Discussions


7 months ago on Step 2

Your pattern idea is BRILLIANT! Thank you!!


Question 1 year ago on Introduction

Hi. For thumb I understand I saw from tip to notch. Then turn right side out. Then put through thumb notch my question is what to do with bottom part of thumb below notch?

It's kinda weird that I'm making a glove literally the day after I had a gloving needle removed from my knee

Iain CDSimplyT

Reply 2 years ago

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!)


Reply 2 years ago

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


3 years ago

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! !!


4 years ago on Step 10

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

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.

1 reply

5 years ago on Step 11

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


5 years ago on Introduction

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.


5 years ago on Introduction

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!

1 reply

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.


5 years ago on Step 10

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.



5 years ago on Introduction

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 :)


6 years ago on Step 9

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!


6 years ago on Step 9

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! =)

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