Saturday, April 11, 2020

One Afternoon Tutorials--For the Hands

This month's collection of tutorials consists of quickly made items that are worn on the hands or arms.  I couldn't find any jewelry items I had not featured before, but there are still a surprising number of tutorials available.  The types of items they produce include mittens, gloves, mitts (i.e., sleeveless gloves), muffs, and cuffs.

As always, I have not tried out these tutorials, unless my description expressly says otherwise.  That being said, I read the tutorials and limit the ones I include to those that appear from my experience to be workable by a reasonably experienced sewer.  Just about all of these items are for historical items belonging to 18th century European clothing, but some may be adaptable to other periods.

Now, on to the tutorials!
  • 18th century mitts.  This tutorial comes from the blog A Sartorial Statement.  It makes up a pair of 18th century mitts, which in this case are gloves made without fingers or any covering for the fingers where the shaft comes up the arm to the elbow.  They could be made from kidskin, wool, silk, lace, or almost any fabric, depending on whether the intended use is for formal dress or just to keep warm.  The Sartorial Statement's tutorial gives a technique for making mitts, more than an actual pattern; you will need to be guided by your own research to achieve the specific result you want.  For a more scientific approach that will help you make your own mitt pattern, see SewLoud's bloghere
  • 18th century muffs.  In the 18th and 19th centuries, well-off women often kept their hands warm with muffs--a kind of cushion with a tunnel through the center into which the hands would be placed.  Koshka the Cat features both a muff (base) pattern and a muff cover pattern on her blog, The Fashionable Past.   That way, one can make only one muff base and have a coordinating muff for every outfit by making an array of different muff covers.  Again, your research will be necessary to come up with suitable fabrics and patterns.
  • 17th century gloves.  This tutorial comes from Tammie Dupuis at The Renaissance Tailor,  The site has many other tutorials (she calls them "demonstrations" or "demos") as well.
  • 18th century sleeve flounces. Eighteenth century gowns, particularly formal gowns, have a kind of ruffle along the ends of the sleeves; these are known as flounces.  Not sure what I mean?  This tutorial from The Fashionable Past will clear that up for you, and show you how to make them yourself.  
  • 18th century cuffs.  Don't care for sleeve flounces?  Some 18th century gowns have pleated sleeves, and The Fashionable Past has a tutorial for those too.  You can find that tutorial here, also with helpful photographs.


  1. These are very cool, thanks for posting them.

    1. Thanks! And thanks for commenting on my posts. Sometimes I feel as though I'm the only costume blogger left on the Internet (even though my own Internet searches show that that isn't true). ;-)

    2. Yeah, I know how you feel. Everybody seems to have moved to Insta, but I don't find it very satisfactory as a blogging tool because it's really only a medium for images. It doesn't support the kind of wordy research posts I prefer.