Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Alvin, Simon, or Theodore?

I don't know about you, but I'm freezing. Okay, I'm a wuss. But still, I'm freezing. I have this inner battle going on in me right now...I can think of a million yummy and warm things to bake to warm me up, and I know if I get up and move around and bake and clean I'll get warm, but that'd mean crawling out of my tent of warmth (a down blanket covering me with a tunnel to my little heater, ahh) and being cold for half an hour until I do warm up. First world problems, I know. 

So sitting here going through pins this morning this one caught my attention. Why? Because it has a warm looking glove in it and I forgot to grab my gloves out of the car before Cameron left for the day. Anyway...some genius person was able to create a cute stuffed chipmunk out of a glove. Check this out:

The Original Pin
A part of me really wants to make that, but I have no idea what I'd use it for and I don't want to cut up my one pair of gloves (I lose gloves all the time...can't keep a pair around). Nicole saw this and the part of her that wanted to make it overruled the "what am I going to do with it?" part of her (that part of us needs to be overruled more often when it comes to creativity), and she decided to give it a go. 

The Pinstrosity

  "I work in a costume studio at my college's theatre and I thought this little stuffed animal would be a snap. I bought a dollar pair of gloves from a fabric store and started one night in my dorm. The glove, once cut, kept on falling apart at the edges and I couldn't get the fabric to stitch together because of it falling apart. I also couldn't pull the stitches too tight otherwise it would bunch together and look terrible.The legs ended up being completely different lengths. I also had forgotten to grab some stuffing, so I gave up after a while. I think I was supposed to have an adult glove (possibly a gardening or work glove), not a child's/stretch glove."

I think that I'm going to get me a cheap pair of gloves and try this out actually...but not today...I'm not feeling like walking the 20 miles (no joke) over to the store. 

So, until I try this out on my own let me tell you my thoughts and ideas on it and then I can report how those thoughts and ideas worked out later. 

  1. My first initial thought is that a stretchy glove is going to be hard to work with, as Nicole found out. Unfortunately, those gloves are the easiest and cheapest to get a hold of. 
  2. You do probably want a larger glove. It's not imperative, but it'll probably make this project easier. 
  3. I don't know if Nicole tried hand sewing or machine sewing her project (I'm guessing hand sewing by what she said, but I'm not positive), but I would venture to say that machine sewing this will make it easier. First, sewing it by machine would help to cut down on how much the cut glove was handled, thus reducing the fray on the edges. Second, you don't have to worry as much about pulling the stitches too tight and having the edges get puckered. Now, I do understand that sewing machines aren't always accessible, I'm just saying that if there's one around it might be easier and you might get better results if you use a machine. I'll test that out...I'll do one by hand and one by machine and see how it goes. 
  4. There's a product called No Fray Spray that is supposed to help keep fabric edges from coming undone...I don't know if it'd work on a knit this big or not...but there's a possibility. 
  5. And then, as Nicole found out, the stuffing and pipe cleaners are just essential to really pulling this guy together. 
So until I try it out (hopefully later this week), do you have any suggestions? Have you made this and know some tricks or tips?


  1. I think you are supposed to sew along the dotted lines before you cut along the black lines; this should help hold everything together at least for the initial sewing parts.

    1. The instructions say to cut first, then sew, but your idea sounds like it might work better. I'll test that out when I make it.

  2. I love making critters out of gloves and socks! Super easy, and super cute! I made a hoard of them two years ago as Christmas presents and everyone loved them!

  3. My thoughts when reading through the instructions: 1) sew first. Even though it says to cut first, I would sew first to prevent fraying/curling of the fabric.
    2) interfacing. I would definitely get some iron on interfacing and adhere it to the glove. It would make drawing the lines much easier, and would help with fraying/curling of the fabric once it is cut.
    3) get a large glove liner, rather than a stretchy glove.

    1. Sewing before cutting seems to me like a much better option! Not only it would prevent the fraying, but it must be less fiddly to work with the glove uncut.

  4. I've wanted to try this every since I pinned it...like a year ago. ;) Yes, it looks like a larger glove with a very small yarn, not the bulky stuff like most cheap gloves use these days. The glove in the picture almost looks like those old "bath scrub gloves" - but the close-up of the critter does seem to attest to it being yard. But the yarn should probably be really small to get this little guy to work.

  5. 1) I would not use a stretchy glove for this. Maybe a glove liner...
    2) iron on interfacing would make drawing the pattern out much easier and would help with the fabric fraying/curling after cutting
    3) I agree with the sew first idea. I think the fabric would be much easier to feed through the sewing machine before you cut it up into tiny pieces (I have made mini stuffed animals and barbie clothes before, and small bits are a pain)

  6. I had a pair of cashmere gloves I bought in Scotland (not so pricy there) that I mended a few times before replacing. Then, I used one in a quiet book for my son. it didn't fray much and was fine to work with. The stitching was pretty tight and it wasn't very stretchy. A little stretchy, but the glove was almost the right size when it was laying on the table as when it had a hand in it -- pretty different to the white one. So, maybe look for a pair at a thrift store?

  7. Watch for sales before and after the holidays. I just bought some gloves marked 40% off and then used another 40% coupon. Of course they didn't have brown, but I didn't think about picking up some extras for craft projects. I have printed out some patterns like this from Martha Stewart.

  8. My experience making sock monkeys says sew first, then cut even though the instructions state the opposite . I have had these instructions photocopied and my gloves in a drawer for about a year and just have not gotten around to it!!

    Hopefully when I do get around to it, I won't be adding to this post!

  9. I haven't tried this, but I've made sock dolls and t-shirt dolls, and it's tricky working with knits on a small scale. I'd suggest tracing the stitching lines, then going over the traced lines with Fray-Check (you can get it at JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby). Once you've done that, stitch before you cut, and turn everything very carefully.

    I have a daughter and three small nieces, so this one is going on my to-do list. I'll probably search for a couple of pairs of gloves and use one pair as a practice pair.

  10. I really enjoyed this project, and I'm happy with my results after using a knit glove. Didn't use interfacing, turned out fine. Hand-sewed with regular thread, turned out fine. Cut, then sewed, turned out fine. The biggest problems I had with it, which brought my cute little squirrel-thingies from a a+ project to a b- project, were the following:
    -How piece cut for the tail interacts with the piece cut for the body. I'd either get a body with a chunk out of the side, or a tail with an incredibly tiny base.
    - How to attach the head and arms. I had raw edges sticking out everywhere, but I don't know if it was the lack of instruction on the page, or if the strategy they used is just common sewing knowledge, but I couldn't figure out how to get the head and arms on without a) having raw arm edges sticking out or b) sewing the arms to the neck/chin.
    Also, cutting the arms thinner is a veeery important step. With my first one, I thought, "how much difference could that much finger make?" Answer: a lot of difference. A loooot.

  11. BTW, I found this project is lifted from a published book, Happy Gloves: Charming Softy Friends Made from Colorful Gloves, by Miyako Kanamori. It's available on Amazon Credit where credit's due, for a cute (if challenging) project!

    1. It wasn't lifted from a book (well, it was, but not really). It was featured on Etsy from the book's author as a special tutorial FOR etsy's blog.

  12. I tried this one and it turned out DARLING! I was impressed!

  13. I have the book and bought it after I saw the tutorial on etsy. I made the little squirrel and then decided to make one again but with a black glove, a little felt, and voila - a skunk was born.

    What I learned: use the cut guidelines and actually DRAW THEM ON THE GLOVE. Sew the lines first BEFORE you cut. Go over them twice, for peace of mind and stitch security. The only handstitching I did was attaching the limbs and head to the body. I turned the raw edges under (so, to the inside of the limb/head/tail) and stitched with a finished edge and a hidden stitch.

    I will say that it does take a little sewing knowledge to make a lil guy that looks perfect and just like the example, but it's not impossible.

  14. I don't think that brown glove is the same material as the finished product. In the original look at the way the material is in pictures 1 & 2. It's very tightly woven. Suddenly in pictures 3 and beyond, its almost like a crochet knit. It's impossible in my mind that it's the same pieces of fabric as that glove, why would the whole knit of it suddenly get so stretched & wide, without any stuffing or anything but cutting it??

  15. Two words. Pinking. Shears. If you dont have a machine to finish your edges pinking shears are soo nice to have. Even if you have some crafting scissors on hand that make a zig zag pattern they may work the same way.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.