Mittens are an important piece of winter equipment. While there is an abundance of options to purchase, it is not hard to make your own mittens. Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a pair yourself.
Step 1: Find a pattern
There are many patterns out there. I found mine from fleecefun.com; A Snow Walker’s Companion also has good ones. Copy or print them out and cut the pattern from the page. If the pattern is too long (such as the one from fleecefun), trim the top portion down to be ½” longer than your hand.
Step 2: Gather materials to make your own mittens
You can make your mittens from wool, fleece, leather, sheepskin, fur, or pretty much any material that suits you. If you are going for warmth, wool, fleece, sheepskin, and fur are all great. Using the fur of an aquatic mammal such as a muskrat or beaver will result in mittens that shed water easily and keep your hands warm when wet.
Step 3: Trace the pattern onto the material
Trace the pattern onto the material, then flip it over and trace the other side. This will produce the shapes for both hands. This is also when you should decide which side should be facing inward towards your hand. Sheepskin generally faces inward, while most other furs face outward. Wool and fleece can face either way. You should also decide whether the seams are going to be on the inside or outside when you are finished.
Step 4: Cut the pattern from the material
Using a sharp knife, cut the pattern out of the material. You should now have 3 pieces for each mitten: a wrist, a palm, and a back.
Step 5: Sew the wrist and palm together
Take the wrist and palm pieces for one hand (the pieces with the thumbs) and sew them together. You can use a machine or do it by hand. I use a speedy stitcher, but using a whipstitch works too.
Step 6: Invert it
If you want to have the seems on the inside, carefully turn the thumb section inside out.
Step 7: Attach the backs
Sew the back of the mitten onto the combined palm and wrist pieces. If you are using fur and want the seams on the inside, make sure the thumb and the fur are both facing inward. When you are done, the mitten will be turned inside out, putting the fur and thumb on the outside and the seams on the inside.
Step 8: Invert it
You are now done with the sewing part and should have what looks like an inside-out mitten. Carefully turn the entire thing right-side out. Congratulations, you made your own mitten!
Step 9: Repeat Steps
Repeat the process for the mitten for the other hand, and you are done!
Ideal Materials To Make Your Own mittens
You can use many different types of materials to make your own mittens. Chances are you have potential cloth sitting unused in a box in your garage or attic. Here are some thought-starter ideas for mitten-making materials.
- deconstructed felted wool sweaters
- thin wool blankets
- fleece sweater
- deer hide
- knit sweaters or garments
Helpful Tips and Hints When Making mittens
One hint when making mittens from knit sweaters. If the waist area at the bottom of the sweater has ribbing. Utilize that area to make cuffs for your mittens. Arrange the pattern so that the ribbing makes the base of the mitten