Here's something I've wanted to make ever since the end of summer - mittens for the kids. Note that these are not winter mittens - it gets so cold here in January that we wear ski mittens with thinsulate and waterproof nylon or else our fingers die. These are just hand-warmers for early winter/late fall before the first snow, or when sitting in the cold car on the way to school. They are fleece on the outside, lined with flannel on the inside.
A good way to use up fleece and flannel remnants, for one.
And the mittens we now have for the younger kids end just at the wrist and never stay on. It takes me forever to get them on wriggly hands, and about two seconds for them to pop right off. You could say I made them out of desperation because I was tired of putting them back on again and again.
So three pairs of mittens - one for each of the kids. Depending on their age (and thus, their ability to keep said mittens on), I made them to fit at the wrist or over the cuff of their jackets.
It was a simple adaptation - making the mitten cuff wider/narrower/shorter/longer and positioning the elastic higher/lower.
They're so easy to make - I made my patterns by tracing around my kids' hands. Here's my pattern, if you'd like to copy it - just click on it as usual, and it should load at full-size (8.5" x 11"). All three sizes are on it - just follow the key at the bottom of the page for which size to cut out. Don't forget to add your own seam allowances.
For each hand, cut one piece of each shape in outer fleece and inner flannel fabrics. Note that the lining pieces and the outer pieces are mirror images of each other. The shorter pieces are the front of the mitten (the palm). The longest of all the pieces are the backs of the mitten, which we will ignore for the first few steps.
Place the shorter lining pieces together right side to right side, lining up the sticky-out thumb bits, as shown. Do the same for the fleece pieces.
We're going to work with just the short flannel pieces now, to make the front (palm) of the mitten. Sew across the short straight line and around the thumb, ending and backstitching at the same level as the horizontal stitching line. Not very clear instructions, so just look at the photo:
Trim the seam allowance around the thumb to about 1/8" to prevent bunching.
Snip or notch the web of the thumb:
Open out the entire front piece and lay it on the back piece, right sides together. Fold the thumb bit down and sew along the blue line in the photo. Start where the red stitches of the thumb begin, go all around the fingers, down the right side of the mitten, and to the bottom hem.
Flip the thumb up and sew from where the white stitches on the thumb begin, and sew down the left side of the mitten to the hem. This is the completed mitten lining.
Repeat Steps 3-8 for the outer fleece pieces to make the outer mitten.
With the outer mitten still wrong side out, fold down the cuff to where you want the elastic to be (no, it's not marked on the pattern because it's different for every child).
Use a fabric marker or tailor's chalk to mark this fold line all around the fold. This will help you sew straight lines later.
Turn lining right side out. Leave the outer mitten wrong side out, and insert into the lining. Push the outer mitten all the way in until their hems (bottom edges) line up. Make sure the thumbs are on the same side!
Sew on the fleece side, all along the line you marked in Step 10. It will be a tight squeeze under the presser foot, especially if the mitten is for a smaller hand. Sew all around the cuff. Sew a second line about 1/2" down (closer to the bottom hem than the first line) to make an elastic casing, leaving an opening (see black arrow) for inserting elastic later:
Fold back the layers to expose the opening and insert about 7" (longer or shorter as preferred) of 1/4" elastic with a safety pin into the elastic casing. Sew the ends of the elastic together, fold back the layers of fabric and sew the opening closed.
Tuck in the seam allowances of the hems of the fleece and flannel layers and top stitch around the hem of the mitten:
Repeat everything to make a mitten for the other hand.