Remember the monster stuffies I made as Christmas gifts for my children? This is more of that 100% cashmere sweater that I am recycling. It is just so soft that I knew I wanted to make a pair of lightweight mittens for myself. As I was cutting out the fabric pieces, my daughter felt the fabric and commented on how soft it was and how she wished the mittens I was making were for her. So, guess what! I still have more sweater left and am planning to make a pair for her and a pair of baby mittens for a friend.
These could even be the best fitting pair of mitten you own because you are creating based on the size of your own hand and natural spacing of your fingers.
How to Make Recycled Sweater Mittens
Trace your relaxed hand on to a sheet of paper. Do not hold your fingers close together unless that is natural to you. You will notice that my fingers naturally space with my pinky finger spreading out further. If you hold your fingers tight together and that is not natural then you could end up with a mitten that is more narrow than you are comfortable with.
Next trace 1/2 inch around the entire edge of your hand print. This 1/2 inch will give you room for a seam. Cut out around the outer hand print. Now you have made your pattern. Depending upon your hand size you could have a pattern to make other mittens to give as gifts.
Also, you will notice that I did not draw in a seam on the bottom edge of the mitten because if you line it up with the bottom edge of the sweater you will have a self-made seam and no additional sewing is required.
The next step is to pin your pattern to the sweater. You need to pin through both layers to the pattern. Cut around the edge through both layers. By doing this you will have already made both the top and bottom for your mitten.
Repeat for the second mitten by removing the pins from the pattern, flipping it and pinning and cutting again through two layers of the sweater.
If you want to make the mitten from different fabrics for the top and bottom, you will need to make sure you only do a single cut four times. Just remember to flip the pattern in the direction it need to be to match with the other side.
Before you begin sewing, you need to turn the fabric pieces so that they are right sides in and pin it. This will allow to sewing on the in-sides with no visible seams when you turn it right-side-out.
Sew around the edge with a 1/2″ seam. Start at the bottom edge of one side and stitch the perimeter until you reach bottom edge of the other side. I back stitched at those bottom edges to give it a more secure seam as I put my hands in and out.
After you have turned them so the right sides are out you can wear them they way they are, or embellish them with any extra supplies you have. I thought my cream colored mittens could use a little brightening up so I hand stitched some easy flowers made out of DMC floss and buttons. You can see the finished product in the upper right corner of this post.
Now I have new ever-so-soft mittens made out of a sweater that could no longer be worn and decorated it with leftover crafting supplies. I spent no money on this project and it took me less than an hour and a half to make the pattern, cut, sew & embellish.
Last year I made wrist warmers out of a cashmere sweater and a recycled sweater dress for my daughter. So, please don’t throw away a cashmere or wool sweater as they can easily be made in to a new garment.
What will you make for yourself or as a gift with a sweater?
…if only I knew how to sew…
Amy – do you know any one you could ask to teach you? I had a friend over to teach her some basics so she could get started.
I thought about taking a sewing class many years ago, but just never found the time…and I do have a very talented friend who sews…I never thought of asking her. Thanks for the suggestion.