Here is a perfect project for a snow day. It is a simple sewing project that your kids can help make. In our Winter Wonderland unit we included basic directions for making super simple fleece mittens. It has always been my intent to do a more in depth tutorial. Today I finally (it’s only been 8 years or so) have a chance to share this project.
My kids have grown quite a bit since we did the Winter Wonderland unit. My over flowing basket of mittens, sadly looks like doll clothes next to my kids these days. All those lovingly knit mittens just don’t fit any more and at this time of year you can never have too many mittens. I needed to make a basket full of mittens fast. Sure I have some mittens on my knitting needles, but knitting takes more time than sewing. By making these super easy fleece mittens I was able to fill the basket up quickly. After the first pair, which I had to fiddle with a bit, I was able to turn out a pair of mittens in about 15-20. So in one afternoon I was able to restock that basket.
- 1/2 yd Heavy fleece (Outer mitten)
- 1/2 yd Lighter weight fleece (Liner)
- Paper, pencil, and marker (to make your own pattern)
- Thread to match
- Basic sewing supplies
First of all lets take a quick moment to talk about your fleece. Fleece is stretchy, usually in one direction more than the other, which is great for this project. Before you cut out your pattern determine which way your fleece stretches. You will want to line up your pattern so that the fleece stretches widthwise across the palm. This will make it easier to put your hand into your mittens and eliminates the need for elastic in the wrist.
You can also use woven wool fabric for mittens if you prefer. Felted would be best for playing in the snow. But keep in mind that they won’t be as stretchy so you might need to make your pattern a bit bigger and add some elastic to the cuff.
Making the Pattern
To start with, you will need to trace your child’s hand. Keep the fingers mostly together with the thumb stretched comfortable to the side.
Trace over the hand image with a marker, rounding out the area at the top of the fingers.
To avoid making a mitten that is too tight in the wrist, widen the wrist portion to match the width of the palm. I did this mainly on the thumb side. Be sure to add at least 3 inches for the wrist starting at the base of the thumb. You now have your base shape. Finally, draw a line one inch out, all the way around your mitten. This will give you a little wiggle room in the mitten and accommodate the seam allowance.
At this point look over your mitten for any areas that may need to be adjusted. For example, after I took the photo above, I trimmed the area between the thumb and palm because it was looking too bulky and as if the thumb portion had become too short. I also made a quick mitten out of some scrap flannel that I had just to test sizing. Once I was happy with my pattern I moved on to working with my fleece.
Sewing the Mitten
Once you have your pattern. Cut out 4 pieces each of the heavy weight and light weight fleeces. If there is a right and wrong side to your fleece be sure to cut them out so you have 2 pieces with the thumb facing one way, and the other two the opposite way.
Pin two mitten pieces right sides together and sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance starting at the wrist edge. Leave the wrist open.
Do the same for both outside mittens and liner mittens. At this point you should have essentially 4 mittens, 2 outer mittens and 2 liner mittens.
Turn one of the outer mittens right side out. Tuck it into the liner mitten so the right sides are together. The easiest way to do this is by putting your hand (or your child’s hand) in the mittens.
Sew the wrist edge together leaving a 1.5 inch opening for turning.
Carefully pull the mittens right side out through the hole. You will end up with a funny mitten tube with both right sides showing.
Next slide the liner mitten into the outer mitten. Once you line up the thumbs, the rest is easy to tuck in place.
Hand stitch the opening closed. Repeat for the other mitten.
You now have a toasty warm pair of fleece mittens.