Completed: mittens

front and back of a pair of mittens made from an old sweater.

Do your hands get cold in winter? Mine do and it bothers me more than it used to. Especially when I am riding my bike. I used to wear relatively thin gloves, but I needed something a lot warmer. I haven’t worn mittens since childhood but recently made some for my youngest daughter to match her new hat. For her mittens I used the free Sew Simple Home Easy Kids pattern and she really likes to wear them.  Then I thought I might like a pair of mittens for myself as well. Enter the Lovely and Enough pattern.

children's mittens attached to a winter coat

I made size M, but with hindsight I think I’d have preferred to make them size M in height and size S in width. This would require adjusting the pattern, but right now they’re a bit loose around my wrist while the height is fine. 

a hand in a mitten

Construction

The outer layer is made from an old wool sweater that at some point was probably washed too hot and no longer fit. I think it is a nice detail that the original sweater hem is now the mitten cuff. Since I was making these mittens for warmth, I went for the optional wool batting layer. This makes them a bit bulky but definitely warm! For the lining I used a knit fabric. If I make this pattern again, I’ll probably use a woven fabric instead. I find the knit just a bit too stretchy when I put my hands in and according to the pattern instructions you can use either.

mitten pattern pieces were cut from an old wool sweater.

At the cuff I did not do a double fold to create the hem because the edge of my main fabric was already finished. To ensure that the batting wasn’t visible, I trimmed it a bit before folding the hem to the inside. In the pattern the hem is finished with a blanket stitch but I simply topstitched by machine. The blanket stitch probably does give a prettier finish, though. 

the batting layer in a pair of mittens was cut back a bit at the hem to prevent it from peeking out after the hem was folded to the inside.

My hands are a lot warmer now when I am cycling. We’ve also had a lot of rain the past couple of weeks and my hands also stayed dry! The downsides are that it is not as easy to stuff these mittens in the pockets of my coat because they are a lot larger than my gloves. I also need to take them off when I have to lock or unlock my bike or do something else that requires the use of my fingers. Overall, however, these mittens are a winner and my hands are currently a lot happier!

a pair of finished mittens

January 23, 2023

Emmely Treffers

About Emmely

I am a sewing enthusiast from the Netherlands. I live in the Leiden area with my husband and two daughters and I am currently working as a senior researcher in molecular virology. With my quilting patterns and sewing blog I want to infect as many people as possible with my love for sewing.

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8 Comments

  1. Kate Chiconi

    You could add a small D-ring to your coat somewhere, and a small carabiner clip to your mittens so you could just clip them on instead of stuffing them in your pockets. I had that for my motorbike jacket and gloves, and it really helped me not lose the expensive gloves all the time! They sound beautifully warm and cosy with the wool batting, and of course, having the fingers all together inside really does keep your hands warmer. Lovely job!

    Reply
    • Emmely

      I am not really worried about losing them, they just create bulging pockets which is sometimes annoying. That my hands stay warm is more important!

      Reply
  2. Katinka

    I remember that sweater! Fun to see it repurposed as mittens.

    Reply
    • Emmely

      It was a super warm sweater, so made sense to use them for mittens!

      Reply
  3. Mariss Stevens

    Wow. Another remarkable and innovative project.

    Reply
    • Emmely

      Thank you!

      Reply
  4. tierneycreates

    I am impressed! You even make handmade mittens! Wonderful recycling idea with the old sweater!

    Reply
    • Emmely

      Thank you!

      Reply

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