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Welcome back! Last week we started our DIY gloves (which can be a handy replacement for body paint), and today we’ll finish them! If you’re just joining us, we recommend you read Part 1 to properly prep your gloves. Your tights should be positioned on your template, with a baste-stitch keeping them in place, before you move on to this tutorial.
Without further ado, lets get to it!
1. Machine Stitch
Get out your sewing machine, and sew along the baste stitch we did last week. Use thread that matches your tights, and sew at a small stitch (you’ll want to test different stitch lengths and tensions on some scrap tights, first).
It can be really tricky to get around the fingers without pulling on the tights and warping the fabric. We found that it worked best to start at the base of the fingers, and work to the tips. Sew a few stitches in between the fingers, then sew straight up the finger until you reach the tip. Back-stitch to seal it, cut the thread, and start at the next finger base. By having your stitches meet at the top of the fingers, you don’t have to try to do that full 180 degree curve, and it’ll be much easier to control your stitch.
2. Apply Fray Block
We found it’s easiest to apply the Fray Block before removing the gloves from the template. First, make sure to test your Fray Block on a section of the tights that won’t be visible, since you want to make sure it won’t discolor the fabric (if you used it in Part 1 when you cut the neck hole, you should know how it will behave on your tights).
Tie off any threads you can, snip them to manageable lengths, and apply Fray Block along the final seam. Once the Fray Block has dried completely, gently remove your template from your glove. If any of your stitches caught the cardboard, don’t panic; you should be able to gently ease the seams off of it, even if a little cardboard has to be sacrificed.
3. Remove baste stitch and adjust fit
Remove the contrasting baste stitch, using a seam-ripper. Go carefully and be gentle. Sometimes the baste stitch will be stuck in the finished seam, but if you’re careful, you should be able to get it all out. Just make sure you don’t cut your finished seam by accident!
Once the baste stitch is gone, take your fabric scissors, and trim carefully around the edge of your glove, leaving nearly a centimeter of seam allowance wherever possible. Be especially careful between the fingers. There should be a little space between each finger, but you likely won’t have room for more than a straight cut. The fray-block will help hold the fabric in place, but if holes develop in the seams, you can easily fix them with some hand sewing. If you make drastic changes (like significantly shortening the fingers), remember to re-apply Fray Block along the new seams.
Once you’ve made any obvious changes, turn it right-side out, and see how it fits your hand. If you need to adjust it any more, you can flip it inside out again. If the seams along your finger tips are a bit bumpy, don’t worry; they’ll be obscured when we add the nails.
Although we didn’t have a problem with this on our final product, if you find you’ve got excess fabric at the wrists, you can take it in just below the thumb. Put the glove on inside out, and have a friend pin back the excess fabric. Take it off and baste-stitch along the pin line, and then sew that sucker closed with your machine. Add Fray Block, and trim!
4. Apply nails
Put your gloves on right-side out, exactly how you’d wear them. Using a pen or chalk, put a dot at the center of your fingernails.
Now, to actually apply the nails, you’ll want to use a pen or smooth dowel that’s about the same diameter as your fingers. You can use your own hand, but be aware that you do not want to try and peel off a glove that’s been super-glued to your finger (we know this from personal experience). It’s much easier to use a prop.
Insert it in the finger, and put a bit of super glue on the nail. It doesn’t have to be covered; you just want enough to get it to stick to the fabric. Place it on the finger, lining it up with your mark as best as possible, but don’t worry too much; it’s more important that it sits straight and extends a bit over the edge of the glove, than that it exactly matches where your nail is. Your gloves should have enough give for you to wiggle them into place when you wear them.
Now, press the nail to the fabric, using the dowel to tap the fabric in place from the inside. Make sure not to keep the dowel still for too long, or the fabric will stick! You should only have to do this for a few seconds; super glue dries very quickly. Once it seems safely attached, you can remove the dowel, and move on to the next finger.
And that’s it! Try on your new gloves, and enjoy how eerie your arms look. Complete the illusion with some matching tights and body paint (we’ve heard good things about Ben Nye makeup).
Let us know if you end up using these for a costume—drop us a line, or share a picture on our Facebook page (and make sure to mention if you want us to share it with other people, or keep your pictures all to ourselves).
Today we bring you a tutorial for transforming tights into gloves, as a handy alternative to body paint. Often referred to as “armsocks” in the cosplay community, these gloves can be a real time-saver when you’re trying to depict supernatural skin tones. With your arms and legs easily matching, all you need to paint is your face, neck, and any of your chest or midriff not covered by your costume.
These gloves are not for the faint of heart, and we recommend you practice a few times on old pairs of tights, until you get the hang of things. We made a lot of sample pairs before taking to our final green pair, and it definitely smoothed the process along.
Since this tutorial ended up on the long side, we’ve broken it into two parts. This week, Part 1 will focus on prep; come back next week when we dig out our sewing machine for Part 2!
Fray Block or similar
Finger-sized pen or dowel
When picking your tights, you’re going to want something nylon, so that it won’t unravel when cut. We found that the Opaque Tights and the Color Tights were pretty much perfect (we used the Opaque Tights in lime for our gloves), but we practiced on some Leg Avenue Striped Tights, and they worked fine, too, so most opaque nylon tights should work. You mainly want something with a tube-style foot, otherwise you’re going to have to cut the whole foot off, and that’ll limit the length of your gloves.
1. Make hand template
In order to make gloves that fit your hands, you’ll want to start by making a template. Trace your hand onto a piece of paper, trying to keep your fingers relatively straight. You’re going to want to use this as a base, and trace the shape onto a piece of cardboard. Make sure to keep a little space between your fingers, even if that widens your template a little; you’re going to need enough room between each of your fingers so that you’ll be able to sew a few straight stitches, instead of the seams coming together at a point. This will be crucial later, since you’ll need room to snip the seams (otherwise you won’t be able to move your fingers).
2. Prep fake nails
You won’t need these until the very end, but it’s good to start them first, so you don’t get stalled later. If you need to file the nails down to a specific length, or paint them to match the tights (or to match another design), you want to do this before attaching them. Make sure to give them plenty of time to dry.
3. Make neck-hole
Before you get too far in this project, you want to make sure the tights will be the right length, and the only way to really do this is to try them on! But first, you’ll need a hole for your head. These gloves are meant to be worn over your head; almost like a sheer shrug. Starting at the crotch, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut a few inches up the center seam from the gusset. You won’t need to cut much; it should stretch pretty well. Be sure to apply Fray Block to the new raw edges before you try it on, so that you avoid causing any runs.
Slide the tights on your arms, and then lower them over your head. The cut gusset should be your new neckline, and the waist-band of the tights should sit below your chest. You can adjust the shape of the neckline based on your outfit, but it should naturally create a scoop-neck.
There should be plenty of give in the tights, and you want to be able to move well in these, so you shouldn’t feel constricted. If there’s lots of excess fabric at the ends, you can pin it off and start your gloves lower, but as long as there aren’t any unsightly wrinkles forming, you should be good to go.
4. Insert template
Turn your tights inside out, and cut off the toes. Insert your template gently, with the thumb to the inside of the leg. Be careful not to force the material too much. It should be taut, but you want it to sit smoothly across the template. Leave a little space between the top of the fingers and the raw edge, so you have some wiggle-room when you’re sewing. You’ll trim it down later, but you want some margin for error.
5. Baste-stitch around template
Using a contrasting thread, hand sew a wide baste stitch around the cardboard template. It may be tempting to skip this step, but we found that it not only made it much easier to follow the outline, it also kept the underside of the tights from being pulled or snagged by the sewing machine. Overall, this step will lead to a much cleaner finished product.
And that’s it for today! Move on to Part 2 to finish your gloves!
We had a blast at Denver Comic Con last month! We got to see some wonderful costumes and meet a lot of great people, some of which incorporated Sock Dreams brand socks into their con look! Which we absolutely love seeing! Can’t get enough!
Jennifer is ready to crush the rebel alliance with her charcoal M45s.
Looking colorful and radiant in plum Extraordinary Thigh Highs
Will showing house pride in black/yellow Sorcerer Socks, 10 points to Hufflepuff!
Eva completed her look with black/grey Dreamer Vertical Striped Cotton OTKs.
We also took a lot of measurements, which makes shopping online easier. If you are headed to any of the same events we are or can make it into our Portland brick and mortar shop, we will happily take your measurements for you!
If you incorporated any of your purchases into costumes we’d love to see them. Share them to us on Facebook, Tumblr, tag us on Instagram or email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to let us know if you want us to share them with others or if we should keep them to ourselves!
If you spend much time on the internet, by now you’ve probably heard that Pokémon GO was released in some areas last week. The world has taken notice, and we here at Sock Dreams are not immune; in between dashing back to the warehouse to check for Pokémon, and spending our breaks trekking to the nearest gym, we decided to celebrate the only way we know how. With socks!
If you’d like to get in on the celebration—or beef up your sock collection, what with all that walking you’ve been doing—never fear! We’ve got socks to help you make that age-old decision: fire, water, or grass type? No matter your starter Pokémon, you can enjoy all three types with these socks.
Fiery and intense, or cute and cuddly? No matter your preference, you can represent your favorite element with these lovely socks.
Prefer leisurely strolls along the beach, or diving into a cooling lake? Grab some of these socks to let your water Pokémon know you’re one of them.
Strike out into the tall grass, search the highest mountains, and always let your grass Pokémon be your guides to adventure!
If those three aren’t enough, perhaps you prefer something with a little spark to it? Pay homage to everyone’s favorite electric mouse with these electrifying items.
Or, maybe you just want to represent your team colors. We refuse to pick sides; they’re all too awesome!
And if you’re local to Portland, OR, come check out our Sellwood shop—word on the street is, there’s a PokéStop right out front!
Conventions can be a ton of fun; you’re dressed in your finest cosplay, all your hard work finally paying off, having the time of your life—when suddenly, a button snaps off! A seam rips! A passerby gets snagged on your armor and brings the whole thing crashing down! No matter how carefully crafted, even the most professional costume can be subject to costume malfunction. And whatever the cause, a little preparation can keep your dream con from turning into a nightmare.
Some cons will have a “cosplay first-aid zone” where you can get help and supplies to fix your ailing costume, but just in case, we recommend you keep a basic survival kit on hand.
Find a small case that can easily be carted around with your luggage. Or if you’re driving in daily, it may be worth having a bag to carry everything around with you, especially if you don’t want to keep running back to your car.
Even if you’re not cosplaying, having some of these essentials close by will help you have a happier con!
Travel Sewing Kit
You can get these at most craft stores (and even some grocery stores), and they usually come with a selection of thread colors. It doesn’t have to perfectly match your costume, and you can always add your own thread. You just want some way of dealing with emergency sewing needs.
Spirit Gum (and remover)
If you’re wearing fake ears or prosthetics, spirit gum is an absolute must. Even if you don’t have immediate plans for it, it’s a good staple to have in your emergency box; you never know when you may run into a desperate cosplayer in need of a few dabs.
While it isn’t as hardcore as spirit gum, the It Stays! Adhesive is much less messy, and washes right off with water. It’s pretty much a must-have if you’re wearing thigh highs, but is also useful for keeping shorter socks in check (like those pesky no-shows that like to flip under your heel while you’re walking), and can also be used to keep gems or embellishments (or even an unruly neckline) in place.
These clips are great and very versatile. They can be a good alternative to sock glue or a garter belt, but can also be used to cinch back a jacket, add a fetching layered look to a long skirt, or even act as a stirrup to keep your leggings from riding up.
Super glue will probably provide the greatest power for its size, but if you have room, having your hot glue gun along can be a life-saver. And if you’re working with props, you may even want to bring along whatever glue or adhesive you’re using—just make sure to keep your room well-ventilated, or better yet, do any application outside!
Speaking of props, if you’re wearing armor, it’s always a good idea to have something between it and your skin. Chevron Sleeves are a great thin arm warmer to wear under your armor, without adding thick layers that may change the fit of your outfit. They can also add some much-needed breathability to jackets or shirts made out of synthetics like vinyl or heavy polyester, and may be a real relief on a hot day. For protecting your legs, we recommend Signature Cotton Tights or Leggings, which will give a similar layer of protection while also being more breathable than your average leggings. Costumes (especially armor) can heat up quickly!
Clear Nail Polish (and a nail file)
It may seem a little unnecessary, but many a cosplayer has realized on the con-floor that their nails have felt the brunt of all the con-prep. A file will quickly even out those rough tips that could snag your precious creations, and a quick coat of clear polish will keep your nails from breaking at the con. More than that, clear nail polish can be a life-saver if your stockings snag; just add a dab to stop a run in its tracks!
Cozy Socks (for after-hours)
No matter how sensible your shoes, a day of walking the con will have your feet crying out in pain. Bring some luxurious, cozy socks like the New Zealand Bedsocks or the Fleece Slipper Socks to slip into before bed. For really sore feet, make sure to soak them in warm water at the end of the day (even bring some Epsom salt, if you’re serious about happy feet).
Actual First-Aid Kit
Hopefully you won’t be doing anything too dangerous in your costume, but accidents always happen, and, well, we cosplayers can be known to get ourselves into precarious situations all for the sake of a good picture. If you find yourself with a skinned knee or a scratched arm, don’t let it ruin your day—or your costume! Keep some Band-Aids and Neosporin in your bag, and it doesn’t hurt to have some pain killers for when those long hours in a wig start to take their toll on her head.
Whether it’s flimsy plastic or hardy aluminum, you want to have a water bottle on hand. You may be standing on your feet for uncountable hours, possibly in the sun (depending on the con—and how bad the lines are). Keep hydrated and keep healthy to fight off the ‘con crud’!
Hopefully these tips will help you have a much better con. Any survival kit essentials we didn’t think of? Let us know in the comments!
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