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The hand, the glove and the sewing machine

January 27, 2014

Not for the first time in the last year, my eye recently fell on my totally grubby and almost totally destroyed oven gloves.  They are so awful that I am almost embarrassed to put them in the trash in case someone sees them.  I have considered several ways I might be able to destroy them in private – mostly featuring matches and a small disposable bbq in the back garden…

As well as the disposal method challenge for the awful old gloves, I also needed to come up with some new replacement gloves.  I’d been here before.  At the end of summer last year, I’d found a really lovely pattern and tutorial for heart shaped quilted pot holders and decided that I’d make two of those to replace the grotty gloves.  I bought the special heat resistant wadding to make them with, battled with the computer to make the pattern pieces print out actual size, and happily skipped to my “studio” (for which, read small spare bedroom where I make stuff and store stuff) where I cut out all the pattern pieces from some heavier weight gingham fabric.  That experience; like many experiences involving my £99 John Lewis sewing machine and simply sewing in a straight line with any more than 2 layers of fabric; did not end well.

Having thrown the failed heart shaped pot holders into a dark corner of my “studio” (yes, I do always need to add the inverted commas to that word – it would be too ridiculous otherwise) and sulked for several months, I decided that the time had come to try again.  It would be beyond ridiculous to buy a pair of oven gloves when I was perfectly capable of making my own and had all the materials I needed to make them.  I decided on the gingham fabrics again (“they are not cursed, they are not, they are not…”) but this time chose a more traditional glove shape that I could adapt to my own tried and tested method of making up.

So, I printed out a basic template shape at the actual size I wanted (using the knowledge I previously so expensively obtained when making the heart shaped pot holders) and made myself a cardboard template that I could use as many times as I wanted (this making exercise was going to be a total victory that I would be repeating ad infinitum – obvs).  I cut out my outer fabric, my lining fabric, a piece of general cotton wadding, and a piece of insulated wadding, and started to put the outer and the waddings all together in a sandwich so I could quilt it.  Now, having had a less than positive experience with my lovely £99 John Lewis sewing machine and my quilted cushion covers last week, I didn’t even think about using it to quilt through all those super thick layers – I always planned to hand quilt.  It may seem very indulgent to hand quilt oven gloves but hey, that’s just how I roll.

I hand quilted my first glove over the weekend and today was ready to make a hanging tag and attach the lining fabric to the outer.  Now after very successfully engaging Mr £99 John Lewis sewing machine to help me make a couple of tube style hanging tags with absolutely no drama, I was feeling confident and thought: “hey, attaching the lining involves nothing more than straight stitching across no more than 11 inches, surely Mr £99 John Lewis sewing machine would be able and willing to help me out with that small task?”.  Wrong.  He went through the first 2 inches happily but then started gobbling, chewing and spitting like the idiot he is and my reaction wasn’t good – I refused to accept his response and I forced him to sew the whole of the seam while I laughed maniacally at his stopping, starting, moaning and groaning.

Needless to say, Mr £99 John Lewis sewing machine had the last laugh.  As I surveyed the totally random and meandering line of his broken stitching across those awful 11 inches and my enjoyment at torturing him began to fade, I took myself off to a quiet corner on the living room couch and got to work with my unpicker.

Of course, I hand sewed the seam attaching the lining fabric and the hanging tag and I hand sewed the whole of the making up seam around the quilted outer and the lining.  The glove is lovely and I swear that I will make its mate for my left hand very soon, just as soon as my hands have recovered from making this first one…

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  • Reply Alex - Hydrangea Girl February 5, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    I too am ashamed of my current oven glove. I throw mine in the wash and it comes out fairly clean, but I still, it is an embarrassment and gets dirty very quickly. Which may be linked to me being in denial about actually cleaning our oven, but hey. It’s much easier to wash an oven glove.

    I’m quite scared of sewing machines. I’d consider myself fairly crafty and technologically savvy (wow, I sound cocky), but to me, sewing machines are in another realm. Hand stitching FTW.

    • Reply crimson February 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      LOL! Yes, far easier to clean / replace the glove than clean the cooker 🙂 When / if I have the money available for a ‘proper’ sewing machine, I would definitely need to take classes, using one might be easy when you know how, but there seems to be a lot to know!

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