Thursday, December 10, 2009

My easy toddler mittens

I hesitate to even call this a tutorial, because it's such basic info., but in case it helps out just one person, here goes:

If you're anything like me you have kids (me = 2 boys, 3 1/2 and 1 1/2) or know someone with kids. If you're like me you live in the northern part of the world where winter is a chilly, snowy reality. Also, if you're like me your children lose mittens like crazy. Or lose just one of the mitts.

Winter is enough of a pain without spending time searching for mittens. My solution was to make a bunch, all the same, so that we're never short.

You don't need much fabric for this; I've found fleece remnants and even made some out of this great thrifted felt I found at Goodwill for a steal!

Here is how I go about it:

Step #1:

Make a template. I used some cereal box cardboard and an existing mitt. (The only one left of the pair... imagine that!)

Here are my template measurements, to give you an idea:

6 1/4" cuff to top
3" across the finger area
2 1/2" wrist width
3 1/4" cuff width
2" approx. thumb length

This size fits my 3 1/2 year old and my 1 1/2 year old.

You can see the template's shape in the first photo.

Step #2: Use template to trace shape onto fleece as many times as you want. Make sure, if using one piece of fabric that you're leaving enough to fold over for the other side.

Step #3: Fold fabric over and pin in place. Fleece sticks to itself pretty well, so I just use one pin.

Step #4: Sew the mitten up, starting at the cuff and sewing all the way around. Make sure to backstitch a couple time at the start, as that part of the mitt will get pulled on a bit.

Don't sew up the bottom!

Step #5: Now you should have a bunch of sewn up, soon-to-be mitts.

Step #6: Cut out the mitts. I cut quite close to the stitches so that there aren't bulky seams when it's turned inside out. It's really important to snip the space between the thumb and finger area, or it will pucker when turned inside out. Just don't cut the stitches. I also snip the corners at the bottom just a little so they won't hang out.

Step #7: Turn right side out. You may need to use a poker (pencil, chopstick, etc) to get the thumb turned out. Don't use anything too sharp or you'll rip the seam and have to turn the whole thing inside out again to fix it!

The end! Again, if you're anything like me, you'll make a big stack to keep or give away. They are super quick to make. I made this bunch in 30 minutes from start to finish. (That was with taking picture too!).
These mittens are reversible and interchangeable. Yay! If you lose a lefty, just flip a righty over. They are going to win any awards for cuteness, but serviceable? Yes indeed.

You can see from the photos that I don't even bother hemming the bottoms, because fleece don't fray and can be cut cleanly. By all means, if you are more patient and have more time than me, hem away! Also, it goes without saying that these could be decorated with ribbon, trim, applique, etc. I would do that in the early steps, because they are sewn together, because there's no getting a hand into these babies once they're sewn up.

Here's the bunch that I first made. They've been in constant service for a few weeks now. I'm sure I've lost a few along the way, but with 12 mitts, I should be good for a while.

Here are a couple pair I made out of thrifted felt. They don't have the stretch of fleece, so you have to factor that into the sizing, but they are nice and warm.

That's the tute. Hope it helps at least one of you survive the Mitten Madness a little easier.

Winter has arrived full-force here in our temporary home of Montana, and back in our real home, Ottawa. Might as well accept that we have 4 months of mitts ahead of us.


  1. This is such an awesome idea! :) Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love love love! I want some in my size!

  3. I love the simplicity of this tutorial, as in "Duh, of course this is what I need to do with the leftover fleece!". Thanks! I know the whole point is that they are quick and easy, so no tears are shed when they are inevitably lost, but my crafty self can't stop the stream of embellishments in my mind..

  4. I just made some of these. Fantastic idea and great instructions. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for sharing this! Just what I needed. =)

  6. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reade. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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  7. Thank you so much! A friend asked me to make some mittens for her daughter, I have never attempted something like this, although thought it cant be too difficult.
    Yet every tutorial I saw confused me even more, until I found yours - will definitely try it.

    Thank you so so much for sharing!!