Harley helps.

Harley helps.
Harley, my hard-working sewing assistant.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

born of frustration: Alabama Chanin fingerless gloves

My dermatologist yelled at me. "You're doing a good job of protecting your face," she said, "but you have quite a bit of sun damage around your neck and shoulders, and you have got to watch your arms and hands."

Then she zapped two not-precancerous-yet-but-they-could-be-someday things on my arms. AUGH.

Skin cancer freaks me out. My mother has it (as do a bunch of my other relatives — we're pasty!) I've seen what she has to go through — surgery after surgery, even chemo at one point — and I never, ever want that if I can possibly avoid it. So I buy vats of the highest SPF I can find, wear UPF t-shirts and sun hats and all that.

But I draw the line at wearing long-sleeved shirts in the summertime. I've tried, but it's just really uncomfortable to go out in 90-degree heat in long sleeves — especially in polyester UPF fabric. Plus, they don't cover the backs of my hands, where age spots and other things are starting to show up.

Enter: Alabama Chanin fingerless gloves!


Obligatory silly Alabama Chanin-style photo:



These are wearable muslins. I made them out of organic cotton from Dharma Trading (I think — it was in the Dharma Trading part of my stash, anyway). I pretreated them with Jacquard iDye Sun Blocker. (Don't know how well I can vouch for it, exactly, but I did use it on my whites last summer before our trip to Orlando and didn't get burned.)

Construction was super-easy — it's just one pattern piece, and you can probably guess how it goes together. As always, I did two rows of straight stitches right next to each other to reduce gaps. There's just one size in Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, though, so it's definitely worth making a muslin. For me, there was a ton of extra fabric in the wrist area:

Hi, Harley.
...which I pinched out, marked with needles and chalk and then transferred to the second pattern piece.  I stitched out the extra fabric:


The fit isn't perfect yet -- there's still more fabric around the thumb hole than I'd like, and the upper forearm is a bit tight — but I think they're okay for now. I've already worn them a bunch of times on my bike, in the car, and around town. (Yes, I know they look weird with t-shirts and shorts. I'm embracing the weirdness.) And they're so getting worn to Canobie Lake Park and to the Big E in September.

I'm going to make another pair at some point and stencil, draw, or write on them somehow. Haven't decided what yet — leaves, birds, punctuation marks or something. Maybe "Silent E Is a Ninja." We'll see.


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