Monday, July 28, 2014

Christmas in July - Mittens from a Sweater

One of the things I love is working on Christmas projects during the summer!  The new fabrics come out, the Christmas crush hasn't begun yet, and there just seems to be so much time to get all those projects I have planned finished.  Come November I start triaging which ones will have to wait for next year .... but in July, everything seems possible.  This week, I'll show you some of what I've been working on.

I found this Christmasy sweater at Goodwill last spring.  At first I thought it would become a Christmas scarf, but I couldn't quite configure it right - so the arms have become mittens and I still have the body to make something else with!

First, I cut close to the arm seam and then along the shoulder seam to remove the arms.

To make a pattern, I laid my hand on a piece of paper and traced around it.  I don't like tight mittens, so I gave my fingers lots of room.  Be careful not to make the wrist too narrow or you'll have trouble getting your hand into the mitten.

I added 1/4 inch around the outside of my line, cut the pattern out, and placed it on a doubled over arm.  I had originally planned to use the sleeve's hem as the bottom of my mitten (the best way to go so you don't have to hem it), but that left out too much of the Christmas pattern, so I added a 1/2 inch to the bottom by placing a pin where I wanted to cut.  

For the second mitten, I wanted to match where pattern was with the first mitten, so I laid the first mitten on the doubled over second arm and cut out the second mitten.

I hemmed the mittens before I sewed them together by folding the bottom under 1/4 inch and then folding that over another 1/4 inch.  I didn't want to stretch the fabric as I sewed and it's tough for my machine to get sewing on thick pieces, so I began hemming about 1/2 inch in from the edge.  I then turned the mitten around and sewed that 1/2 inch, overlapping a little with the hem that was already done.

I pinned the right sides of two mitten pieces together.  Like with the hemming, I didn't want to pull the fabric (it makes it wonky) to get started on the thicker hem, so I began sewing half way on the mitten.  I then turned it over and overlapping a bit on the previous sewing, I sewed the rest of the mitten.  You'll want to experiment with what type of stitch you use to sew the mittens together.  Sewing machines usually have several edge binding stitches - depending on the thickness of the sweater you're using, some will work better than others.  Or you can simply use a zigzag stitch!  I used scrap pieces of sweater to experiment.

Turn right side out and you have one mitten done!  Repeat for the second one.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

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