Thursday, 15 November 2012

Hot pink hot pads

Things I never thought I'd say: these are my go-to oven gloves. I mean, the idea of sewing something enough times for it to be a "go-to" anything is already a bit much, and also - how many times does one need to sew a pair of oven gloves anyway?

Thing is, I have quite strict criteria for a good oven glove. Full coverage + not joined in the middle is surprisingly hard to find (what is the word for those? A conjoined oven glove? I know there is one, but with age and distance I seem to be losing the vocab of my mother tongue). Anyway, now I've found my perfect pattern, I tend to make it for everyone.

These are for my lovely and stylish friend F's birthday (um, about a month late...)

She has exceptionally good taste, and also a very beautiful house, and I went specially to Atchoum to find Petit Pan fabric for these because I knew she would love it. This one jumped right out at me, and then the neon bias tape I knew to be available here jumped out of my head to go with it, and it was a match made in heaven.

But oh, what a b*tch it is to sew with satin ribbon, especially when you're trying to sandwich together three layers of insulated batting. I am truly ashamed of this mess...

To the extent that I wondered for a while about not giving them to F after all - but then what else would I do with them, and what would I give her? In the end I decided that the overall result was alright, given the use that an oven glove gets. Those colours are too perfect not to do it. She's a crafter too (she makes incredible jewellery) and understands about the made stuff of friends. The only thing bothering me is that F is the very model of politesse. She might find these horribly crap and homemade, but feel obliged to use them anyway.

F, if you're reading: please, feel free to just put them in a drawer! If you like you could always just get them out when we're coming round and leave them lying about in your kitchen. I won't know the difference and I won't mind anyway! I'm sorry they came out so wobbly!

Explanation of this picture is to be found below.
Keep reading, it's fascinating!

Anyway, having sewn it about 5 times now, here are my conclusions on the pattern/tutorial - for my own future reference and in the unlikely event that anyone else is as obsessive about home-sewn oven gloves as me.

  • On this occasion, as shown in the picture above, I sewed together the bias tape around the outside of the glove. In the original tutorial, the ends are overlapped underneath the loop at the top, which is really bulky and difficult to do cleanly. I'd do this again.
  • Next time though, I'll be positioning the join at the side rather than the centre bottom (less conspicuous).
  • The loop: this is a real pain to sew through all those layers of bias. Next time I will experiment with leaving it off and attaching a (slightly longer) loop in the top centre of the back piece instead.
  • The shape of the smaller glove piece. That little V in the centre is no fun to sew, and almost always looks messy. I would just mirror the curve of the top piece. Slightly less cute, but still nice and much easier to execute.
  • Finally, the batting. I have made these with one layer of insulated batting on each piece, and with two layers each, and now for these ones with two layers on the back and one on the front. This is perfect. It feels safe for holding hot pots but is not too bulky to sew.

OK people, that's enough about oven gloves for one day.

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What's your go-to homemade gift, if you have one? Are you planning - or even making already - your Christmas (etc) gifts? What'll they be? (I won't tell anyone!)

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