Saturday, 22 November 2014

Piecing the glove together

My first task was to make netting in the golden glow colours using the 'friendship bracelet' knotting technique I learned on holiday. I used yarns varying from polycotton sewing thread, embroidery silk, plastic yarn from a door curtain for its reflective qualities. I also used some copper florists wire, in part because of the shine and colour, and also because it gave the net a structure and stiffness that meant it would not move too much between the other layers of the glove. As you see I focussed on regular parallels of brown knots in some places, and more organic-looking lines in others, to reflect the complexity that I wanted to symbolise by it.

I cut out the fabric to the size of a cheap shop ring stand hand that I bought on the internet. I pinned the netting to the part of the glove which would be on the back of the hand, and unpicked the pink sample I had made to check my glove pattern.

I used two colours of orange - the paler one I used in the last entry, and a yellow-red shot fabric I had in stock which gave a particularly attractive deeper glow. You can just see in this photo that it also had a pattern to it, but I made sure this didn't show.

You can see that I cut the paler yellow on a slant to vary the colour contrast coming through the outer glove.

The seems are on the outside because this is the lining of the glove. I didn't dare do this on my machine as the fabric was very easy to fray, and the seems narrow and curved, so I had to be accurate.

At this point I realise that I didn't take any photos of the outer layer during construction.
How I made it is I cut out the pattern as for the lining, using the tracing paper pattern, and patterns I had traced from the thumb shape and finger gussets. I made it quite a bit longer than the lining, because I was thinking about the finish and thought it would be better to have the edges trailing and trimmed into the shapes roots make, so that the feeling was more evocative of bark/ roots. And the idea of hemming it like a normal glove obviously would detract from the whole symbolic idea of it.

I sewed together the finger and thumb seams and then put it onto the stand over the lining. This was because it became obvious that once I had sewn it all together it would not be stretchy enough to come off. This is a bit sad because it means the glove cannot be worn by a person. Perhaps if I ever make a pair I will make sure the lining is made of more stretchy fabrics! I suppose this late realisation just goes to show that it's  a good idea to make a trial run.

As I was piecing together the outer layer by hand, and during the next step when I was cutting slits in the valleys of the fabric to let the glow and netting show through, I had lots of time to imagine how I was going to finish the piece. I could see that there was a need to make it more obviously bark/root like, and that there was a lot of movement in the parallel folds of the fabric. The solution seemed obvious - to sew the folds together to create oval negative spaces like the ones in the purple tissue-paper sampler.

Detail of back of the hand of glove showing the shapes I made by sewing the parallel folds together in places.
Between them you can see the knotted net, and below that the yellow and orange lining fabric glowing through.
I did this over the back of the hand, and wrist, but felt that doing it on the rest of the glove would be excessive, and would remove the nice bark-like contrast between the two sides of it.

This photo shows the bark-like effect of the parallel folds without the slits or sewn shapes.
In a way it helps this illusion that the thumb became a bit twisted during the making!

At the bottom of the glove I snipped it and created an irregular widening base so that it looked a bit like the roots of a tree reaching the ground. This may or may not work when a glove is worn on an arm, in this case it is displayed on a stand, and the lower edge of the glove is therefore 'rooting it' to the surface it sits on. I made a couple of longer 'roots' by snipping into the edges of folds, in order to reinforce this visual idea.

My final piece for Assignment 4 showing the texture made by sewing the folds together
and the root-like edge finish

My final piece for assignment 4 in different light which shows the contrasting glow
and complexity within

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