my overly ambitious glove making project

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The gloves themselves weren’t the hardest part. I had never made gloves before. I made these out of linen instead of something stretchy (and later found out that bias-cut linen gloves were a real thing in the Renaissance – Elizabeth the First had at least one pair) because I couldn’t find knit fabric that matched ANY of the colors in the embroidered cuffs, not even the white background, and my hands are too long for “one size fits all” purchased gloves.

The cuffs are embroidered with a design adapted from an antique pattern published in 1876. (The ever-popular Ingalls scans.) According to the label on it the design was meant to be a lot larger and used for the top of a curtain or one of those things they used to decorate fireplace mantles with. (I had to look up what a “lambrequin” is, but that’s it.) I made it a lot smaller, obviously, only 7 inches wide instead of 17. I also changed some of the flowers either because I couldn’t identify them and didn’t know what color to make them or just didn’t like how they looked. (The replacement flowers are daffodil, marigold, and flax – the last one to replace the “ubiquitous borage.”)

I transferred the design to the linen by taping the paper with the design over the fabric on a window – a no-cost way to fake a lightbox! – and then tracing with a fabric marking pen. That felt like it took forever.

All the embroidery on these cuffs is either satin stitch or Holbein (double running) stitch. Fabric is linen, white bound with green, open on one side and linked with freshwater pearls in a few places along the open edges.

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Someday I might make another pair of these but with the embroidery all in one color instead of “polychrome.” White on blue would be pretty, and I have A LOT of cornflower blue linen…

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