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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Upcycled Knit Mittens Tutorial

I had a bit of sweater knit left over after my Men's Sweater to Toddler Cardigan refashion.  I am a bit of a fabric scrap hoarder, and had hopes that I could put the remaining bits and pieces to good use. 

I think that I found the perfect project for small scraps of knit: mittens.  It seems that you can never have enough pairs of mittens. Like socks, it seems like they are frequently separated from their other half.  

Read more to learn how to make your own pair of sweater knit mitts.

The materials for this project are pretty straight forward: 1 old knit sweater, and a small piece of ribbed knit (about 5-6 inches tall).
To begin you will want to make a pattern for your mitten.  Start by either tracing an existing mitten, or your child's hand on a piece of paper.  If you are creating your pattern with an existing mitten you will want to add seam allowance to all sides of your pattern piece.  I recommend 3/8" for knit.  

If you are making your pattern using your child's hand I recommend tracing their hand, rounding out the middle section, and adding 3/8 inch for moving room.  You will also need to add a seam allowance.  Assuming you are using a 3/8" seam allowance, you will add a total of 3/4" to the size of your child's hand.

When your pattern is created you will want to cut out four pieces total, two for each mitten. I suggest cutting out your pattern pieces with a double thickness of fabric (wrong sides touching), this will ensure that you have mittens facing either direction.

Match up your mitten pieces with right sides together.  Pin in place.  Using a narrow zig zag stitch, stitch around your mittens.  Leave the top one inch of the thumb side of the mitten open.  This will make it easier to attach the ribbed knit. Trim the seam to 1/4". I also recommend cutting a slit and the curve of the thumb.  Do not cut the stitching, but cut within an eighth of an inch. This will allow for greater thumb mobility.

You will want to cut two squares of ribbed knit, one for each mitten.  Measure around the wrist opening of mitten.  You will cut your ribbed knit so that it is 2/3 the width of wrist opening. I recommend a long ribbed knit cuff.  It can prevent snow and cold air from sneaking in between the mittens and the coat sleeve.  To determine the height of the ribbed knit you will want to decide how long you want the cuff to be, add 3/8" seam allowance, and times it by two. 

Once you have your knit cut, you will fold each in half lengthwise, and press.

We will not attach the ribbed knit to the mittens.  Fold the ribbed knit in half widthwise to find the center.  Pin the center of the width to the fully sewn side seam.  Stretch your ribbed knit to meet up with the thumb side edges.  Pin in place.

Using a narrow zig zag, or triple stretch stitch, stitch the ribbing in place. 

Match up the open edges of the mitten.  Pin in place.  Stitch closed with a stretch stitch, and trim.

Turn mittens right sides out.

One possible variation, is to utilize the cuffs of an existing sweater.  You can cut out your mittens at the edge of the cuff.  Take in the sides of the cuff, so that they fit snuggly around your little one's wrist.

Enjoy your new mittens.

I know that you can buy two pair of mittens at Wal-mart for just a dollar, but I didn't pay a penny out of pocket for these puppies.  I was able to use up ribbed knit, and sweater scraps.

I'll be linking here.


Unknown said...

What a smart use of scraps!

Nicole said...

What a great idea!!! Way to re-purpose!