Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Make mittens: Done!

I had a nice red sweater, but there was a hole on the side that kept growing every time I wore it, and unless I decided to follow a drastic calorie-reducing diet, there was no realistic way I would ever fit into this sweater again. Luckily, I found this article online, and making mittens seemed like a perfect project for a sweater I didn't want to throw out.
The video tutorial suggested using fleece as the inner lining, but around the same time that I started planning this project, my flannel pajama pants ripped. Naturally, I decided to substitute my torn PJ pants for the fleece to line my mittens. (People have asked whether I grew up during the Depression, considering the amount of scrap materials I am so hesitant to throw out.)

The "before" picture.

The first step was to cut out the pattern. I realized that I didn't have any pins to hold the pattern in place. But... within arms reach, I had some LEDs from another project that I'm working on.

Then I realized that it's even easier to just use double-sided tape to hold the pattern in place:

Here are the all the pieces that I cut out:

I had just enough sweater material to make two sets of mittens. Here are the leftover scraps...

I had just enough left over to make Juju's superhero outfit...
Serious business-cat by day...
... Super J by night!

GZC kindly lent me her sewing machine, and after careful reading of the manual with JM, I was on my way to sewing like a pro! Keep in mind that I had never used a sewing machine before, and had no concept of a bobbin or a presser foot. The instruction manual proved to be effective even for complete beginners.
I didn't even pose for this picture... This was the level of intensity the entire time.

Going around curves was my main source of frustration, but after some helpful tips from CB, I was able to sew each mitten layer with increasing agility and confidence.

A mitten begins to take shape!

Before sewing the cuffs on (which would permanently finalize my mittens), I took them out for a "test drive". It turns out that flannel is miserable as a mitten liner; the material did nothing against the wind that day, and its thinness left a lot of empty space inside the red shell. I ultimately decided to buy some fleece to replace the flannel.
Here, you can see the outer shell, the gray fleece, and the cuff. After sewing the three layers together, I would flip the cuff to the outside.

Tada! The finished product!

I had a lot of gray fleece left over, so I made some formal attire for Super J:

Thanks again to GZC, JM, and CB for all their help!!


  1. Juju does not look happy about this! Great work!!
    I might be inspired to do this at some point too...

  2. On the contrary, I believe Juju might be behind all the holes and tears in an effort to get new clothes for himself!