How to make fingerless gloves for a women’s steampunk outfit or any DIY costume with leather wrist guards.
Make a Pattern with Plastic Wrap and Tape
You’ve probably already seen this method for making custom patterns around the internet. Simply wrap plastic wrap (like Saran Wrap) around your wrist, then cover the plastic wrap in masking tape (we used blue painters tape). Carefully cut the pattern exactly where you want the seams to be. We wanted our wrist guards to have a seam on each side. Then add any darts—extra seams to make the pattern lie flat.
And yes, you will probably need a friend to help you do this. You can’t wrap and a cut a pattern for your wrist by yourself.
Cut the Glove Pattern Out of Leather
We traced both pattern pieces on the leather twice, one for each hand. Remember that each hand is a mirror image of the other, so each piece needs to be cut out to mirror each other. Just lay the pattern on the leather, trace it, then flip the pattern over, lay it on the leather and trace again.
Our leather used to be the top of a bar stool. (Real leather for $1 at the swap meet—Score!)
Sew a Zipper on the Leather
We added a 4-inch zipper below the thumb because this is where your wrist curves in the most. There would be no way to put on the wrist guard without a zipper or some other type of closure.
You’ll notice there are no seam allowances in our pattern, so you can’t overlap or fold over the leather to sew it. Just sew the edge along the zipper.
Sewing tip: Use the largest stitch size possible when sewing leather. Once a needle punctures the leather, there is an irreparable hole in the leather.
Stitch the Sides of the Leather Gloves Together by Hand
We used a sewing machine to stitch down the edge of each side of the pattern. This gave an even stitch guide so we could use the holes from the machine stitch to hand-stitch the pattern pieces together. We made the stitches look like X’s so it looked cool.
Again, there isn’t a seam allowance in this pattern to the pieces of leather cannot fold over like they would in a traditional seam.
Stitch the Darts Together
Sew the darts together the same way. Also, sew together the small piece above the thumb. We sewed this last so we could make sure it fits after sewing all the other seams.
Burn the Leather
We used Walnut Hollow’s Versa Tool to add designs onto the leather. I originally got the Versa Tool to burn wood, but I’ve used it on linen, suede, and now leather. It’s so much fun.
We made star shapes like the character Joy had on her dress in Inside Out.
Then we hand sewed on small gears to make the leather gloves look more steampunk. And because gears are cool.
Although, my daughter took off the gears later so she could use the fingerless leather gloves for a huntress D&D costume.
Here she is in her steampunk costume with the fingerless leather gloves we made. She made straps on her corset using the same leather from the swap meet. You can see how she made the rest of her costume in my post about How to Steampunk a CharacterAnd a close-up picture of the leather wrist guards.