Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to Make Mittens

Alright, so here's the instructions to make the wool mittens. You can just make them in the normal "mitten" shape, but after finding a pattern in a book for another way to make them, that's the way my grandma makes them now.

Following you'll find instructions for the better pattern.
I've included pictures from the book to help explain the steps. I know I'm a visual person, so I think it's easier to do these after seeing what it should look like. In the book it says that the instructions and photographs may be reproduced for personal use, so I don't think I'm violating any copyrights here..

Felted sweater scraps
Solid color fleece

Here are the patterns. I'm not sure how you can use these from a photograph, but in the book it says to enlarge the patterns by 200% to get the full size

Step 1:
Get an old sweater. 100% wool works best, but a mix of wool can be used, they just won't be as warm and thick.
Then wash the sweater in hot water and dry on hot. This will shrink the sweater, making the fibers tighter. This is why you would want wool, as it will get felted in the process of washing and drying.

Step 2: Cut out pieces
Cut the mitten pieces out. If using the pattern above, you'll cut out two of each pattern piece. So you'll end up with 2 back pieces (A), two palm pieces (B), and two thumb pieces (C). For one set of mitten pieces, reverse the palm and thumb (B and C) to create a left-hand mitten. You'll also cut off the cuffs or the bottom cuff of the sweater to use for cuffs on the mittens. For women's mitens, the ribbed cuff pieces should measure 7.5" by 3.5", for men's they should measure 8.5" by 3.5"

Steps 3- 5 are done first with the wool sweater parts

Step 3: Sew thumb to palm
With right sides together, sew the mitten thumb (C) to the thumb part of the mitten palm (B), leaving 1/4" seam allowances.

Step 4: Pin and sew mitten front and back together
With right sides together, pin and sew the palm and thumb piece (B/C) to the back (A) of the mitten. Trim seam allowances to 1/8" and turn the mitten right side out.

Step 5: Sew mitten cuffs
Fold the ribbing lengthwise. With right sides together, sew the ends of the cuff together.

Step 6: Sew fleece parts
Now, do steps 3 and 4 but with the fleece parts. This will create the fleece interior. When you have it sewn together, leave it looking inside out. You do this because you will be putting it inside the wool portion and you don't want the seams on the inside.

Step 7: Pin and sew cuff to fleece portion of mitten
Place the cuff inside the fleece part of the mitten (wrong side of cuff to right side of mitten), aligning the raw edge of the cuff with the mitten opening (so that when you flip the cuff out and over the mitten, it has the finished edge of the cuff on the outside). Line up the seam of the cuff with the outside of the wrist. Pin the cuff and the mitten together along the edge. Sew this seam leaving 1/4" seam allowance. Trim the seam to 1/8". Turn the ribbed cuff right side out.

Step 8: Putting the final mitten together
Now, turn the wool portion right side out so that it looks finished. Slip the fleece portion inside the wool portion. Then, flip the cuff up and over the wool portion. This will make it look like the finished mitten. You should not be able to see any raw edges at this point. Then, whip stitch the cuff top to the outside of the wool, making the cuff stay flat against the outside of the mitten.

(I do not have a picture of this part because the mittens in the book do not have the fleece lining)

If you want to make it extra fancy, sew a button to the outside part of the cuff.

There you have it! Your very own wool mittens!


  1. I think I have to try this one! VERY cute!

  2. Thank you! Thank you! This looks like a fun project and just the right gift for Christmas =)