Small Sewn Gift Mittens
Custom Fit, Easy-Peasy Mittens
A Custom Fit, Easy-Peasy Mittens are next up in the Small Sewn Gifts Sew Along. The mittens are quick and are lined with super soft minky fabric. The outside is quilters cotton fabric. Warm. Giftable. Machine-washable.
So before we get started on this tutorial, I wanted to give you some options. As it turns out each mitten only has 4 stitching lines and one pattern piece. (EASY!) For some reason, I have 36 unique photos in this tutorial. I’m going to give the experienced sewing peeps the “highlights” and if you want more detail on the construction, simply scroll down to see the step-by-step.
1/3 yard cotton fabric
1/3 yard minky, flannel or other soft mitten lining material (I used minky which is 60″ wide)
22″ of 5 /8″ wide elastic
pattern paper to draft custom fit mitten**
**If you choose to use the provided pdf download pattern, you won’t need your own pattern paper.
1. Draft a Mitten Pattern
You’ll be able to download the pdf file, drafted in the following images. If you are making child or men’s size mittens, though, you’ll want to know how to draft those for yourself.
First, trace your hand on paper stopping at your wrist on each side. Keep your fingers together.
Add a 1/2″ seam allowance all the way around the shape. Don’t worry about the wrist quite yet.
Draw 3 lines from the wrist area 1″ apart, to the apex of the mitten. Draw the lines to meet at one point, along the tallest point. Cut carefully on each line TO but NOT THROUGH the apex. You will need to make a single small cut in the seam allowance, which will allow the mitten pattern to spread out. (see below)
Spread out the pattern on an additional sheet of paper. How far? Simply make a fist at the wrist area. Spread the pattern wide enough to have your fist “in” the mitten. This will ensure the mitten can fit over your hand once it is finished. Once you have the wrist edge wide enough and evenly spaced, tape the cut pattern to the additional sheet of paper. (below)
Now connect the wrist line, making a soft curve along the lower edge. Add a 1/2″ seam allowance to that as well.
If you’d rather skip all that and simply make “average lady size” mittens. Get the pattern here: MittenPatternTemplate
2. Actual Construction
- Cut 4 exterior fabric mitten pieces MittenPatternTemplate
- Cut 4 interior fabric mitten pieces MittenPatternTemplate
- For each right and left sides – Stitch the two exterior fabrics around the the hand, leaving the wrist open- use a 1/4″ seam allowance
- For each right and left sides – Stitch the two interior fabrics around the hand, leaving the wrist open- use a 3/8″ seam allowance
- Use a 3″ x 14″ cut rectangle band to create a 1″ casing along each wrist edge.
- Add elastic to the casing
Detailed Longer Version:
Cut out two exterior fabric pieces and two lining pieces PER MITTEN, so a total of 4 pieces of cotton and 4 lining.
This part is pretty important. Sew around the hand side, leaving the wrist open.
For each lining, sew using a 3/8″ seam allowance.
For each exterior, use a 1/4″ seam allowance.
This slight difference will make it so the lining will fit nicely into the exterior and not look bunched up.
Yep, it fits. Just checking.
Here are the left hand pieces, above. (cough cough, or right hand pieces if you flip them over) Anyway, the exterior needs to be turned right side out. You’ll want to make a small clip into the seam allowance at the “V by the thumb” area so the fabric will lay smooth when it is right side out. The lining, does NOT need to be turned. Leave it as it is shown above.
Now simply slip the lining into the exterior. See it in there? (below)
Pin along the wrist edge, matching the cut edges. Line up the seams. Use a basting stitch to attach the exterior and lining together.
In the photo (below), this is when you’ll use the “free arm” feature of your sewing machine. Remove the little storage box. Remove the extended table. On most newer machine there is a “free arm” option which will allow you to slip your mitten onto sewing machine to sew more easily.
Ok. Ready to rock and roll.
Now, it is time to add the casing and elastic to the bottom edges of the mittens.
I used super soft minky for the lining. The big question is… how much??? I used a rectangle cut 3″ x 14″ each casing. I determined this amount by measuring the lower edge of the wrist and adding two inches.
Matching right sides, and using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch the rectangle to the wrist edge. When you start sewing, fold the short 3″ edge 1/2″ towards the wrong side. Over lap the other end as shown above. This will give the appearance of a finished seam, once you’ve sewn around the seam. (below) See, you don’t have to get the exact cuff edge measurement, if you do this fold over technique.
Once the rectangle is stitched to the mitten edge, fold the rectangle to create a 1″ band around the edge of the mitten. Since minky doesn’t unravel, you don’t need to fold under the cut edge when you are pinning the band. You’ll see this in the next couple photos.
Pin from the right side of the mitten.
Stitch in the ditch (or right next to the minky) to secure the band, inside the mitten. Back stitch at the start and stop of this stitching line. Leave 1 1/2″ un-stitched. This will be where you add the elastic.
Here’s the casing opening, as seen from the inside. You can also see the basting stitch which holds the two exterior and lining fabrics together and the stitching line that holds the casing to the mitten.
How much elastic should you cut? How strecthy is that stuff?
Here’s what I did: Stretch out the elastic around my fist and pin it. Then make sure that pinned elastic can slide on and off over my hand. Turns out, it is about 10″. (this includes a 3/4″ over lap) Your elastic length may vary based on the elastic brands you purchase.
Add a safety pin to one end of the elastic and use that to push the elastic through the 1″ casing through the opening.
Once the elastic is through and out on both sides, overlap the elastic and machine stitch the ends together. Make sure to not “twist” the elastic within the casing.
I use a bunch of sew-straight-backstitch-straight-sew-backstitch to secure my elastic ends. (below)
Stretch the cuff edge of the mitten to get that elastic settled into the casing. (You may want to try the mitten on right now to make any adjustments in the elastic, if needed.) Pin the opening shut and stitch in the ditch again to finish up the mitten. In the photo above, you can see the “fold” area of the casing rectangle. You can hand stitch that if you want, but really I don’t think it is going anywhere. I’m leaving mine.
Ok. that wasn’t bad at all. One down, one to go. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Cool. Now I just need a crock pot recipe, a scarf, snow, a snuggie, pj’s….. ah. I think San Antonio will have 4 outta 5 of those things. But really, maybe I should gift these to my up-north friends. I live south of I-10, so “up-north” would be…. everyone. hahahah.
This project is part of the Small Sewn Gift Sew Along.
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