Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adventures in Homemade Mittens

At one of the last farmer's markets there was a booth where they were selling recycled wool sweater mittens. Each pair was colorful, unique, and lined with warm fleece. They were $15 a pop, so I didn't buy any. I was determined, however, to make my own. It was a great idea!

So, the other day I went to the thrift store and casually combed through the women's sweaters and SCORE! The first wool sweater I happened upon was actually a pretty dark green with pink, blue, and white stripes. (I was expecting to come across the most hideous sweater on the planet, but I sure lucked out!) Needless to say, I bought it.

And my mitten-making adventure began. I wanted to line them with fleece, and not wanting to go out and buy any fleece, I cannibalized an old Old Navy fleece scarf. (We have a lot of scarves lying around. My husband used this black scarf a lot, but I consoled him that the exact scarf duplicate in red stripes would be just as warm.) So, using a website and Jenna's idea from Made From Scratch I set to work.

Actually cutting the sweater had me sweating. It was a beautiful sweater and I didn't want to waste a thread, especially with a dumb mistake like making them too small. It was about five minutes before I could make the first cut. But I did it! The cut-out mittens looked pretty promising.

Now, I've sewed a lot in my life (mostly historical dresses), but that doesn't mean you'll never make mistakes. My fleece linings didn't work out because the wool outer mitten was just the right size. I didn't make them big enough to fit a lining. And, on top of that, the fleece lining is too tight. Dang it. Wasted scarf. (Sorry, honey.) But the plain wool mittens fit just right and are beautiful and warm. I'll have to test them on a cold windy day to see if I need to make another pair that's bigger with lining. Thank goodness I have a lot of sweater left!

Here are my step-by-step pictures to my winter mitten-making:

After tracing around my hand and adding seam allowance, I cut out my paper pattern and then cut out the fleece.

Next I cut (nervously) cut out the wool.

Looking good so far!

Hey, what do you know? It fits like a glove!

Don't they make a beautiful pair?

This is the way to go, folks. Custom fit gloves - no elastic in the band needed to make it fit and you can pick the wool you like, recycling a sweater in the process. A great all-around project if you ask me!

I think the next pair I'll make them a little more roomy in the finger area, but I am sure feeling pretty darn proud of myself! Wouldn't you?


Amber said...

WOW Sarah, that is pretty impressive!!! I might see if I can make a pair!

Katherine Niesen said...

If they're too small, I always need gloves ;-)

Problem about this project for me is that sweaters at charity shops in the UK cost as much as a pair of new gloves.

Clair said...

This is so awesome! I need to try it! What great way to recycle.

Jordan said...

I saw your post and thought, "what a wonderful project!" So I made a post on my blog
referring to your post (with one of your pics). Hope it's OK, and I'll post pics of the finished product!
Thanks for the idea!

Jordan said...

I finished the mitten project! You can see the finished ones at:

Great Project! It was easy, cheap and will be extremely useful!

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