Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Felted Recycled Wool Mitten Tutorial

Today is a snowy, cold day here in Michigan..... an appropriate day for a mitten post! My mom gave me a great pair of mittens made from recycled wool sweaters for Christmas. They are much fancier than this pair I made, with fleece gloves sewn inside them and fancy cuffs. I thought I may be able to simplify the idea. Here are instructions for how I did it.
First find a wool sweater. I found this for $3 at Volunteers of America. You might have one in your closet...I didn't because I just took 4 bags of clothes to Goodwill before Christmas. I washed the sweater in hot water and dried it on hot ...a process called felting. ( There is a link for instructions at the end of the post. ) I ended up washing and drying the remaining part of the sweater one more time after the mittens were done and it got REALLY small.....so for these mittens I would suggest washing it only once. It may vary by sweater.

Lay the sleeve out flat, with seams at either side.

Trace a pattern for your mitten. I used another mitten I own as a pattern, but you could also use your hand as a guide. You want to leave about 1/2 inch extra seam allowance.

Cut out the mitten leaving the bottom cuff intact. It just has an oval shape at this point. You will be adding the thumbs next.


I measured the size of my thumb and where it would hit on the mitten. I cut a thumb pattern out of one side of the unfinished mitten.

I had some grey fleece leftover from another project, so I cut these shapes out to use for the thumb and palm area of the mitten.

I measured the piece of fleece by laying on the mitten and cutting it to size.


I wish I would have a better picture of the next step. From one side of the unfinished mitten, I cut off the top part with the thumb pointing down. I cut out the remaining palm area where the fleece will be. (It ends up being sort of a small rectangular piece that I saved for an applique project) With right sides together, I hand stitched these pieces together using a strait back stitch. You only need to sew the top part that goes across the top width of your palm and the thumb piece at this point. Next, with right sides together, sew the bottom fleece to sweater seam (the one that goes across the bottom of your palm).

Flip everything to the right side and check to see if your seams align properly.
Then flip back inside out (I left the thumb still right side out but it doesn't matter) and sew your outer seam. I again used a strait back stitch.

Sew, Sew, Sew. I knotted my thread on the fleece part of the mitten because it is sturdier fabric.

I made another one for my left hand (make the thumb on the other side)and here they are!

This is a picture from Sister Diane of some felted wool ready for crafting.
Here is a link on Craftstylish with instructions from the very talented Diane Gilleland (AKA SisterDiane)on how to felt your own wool. She has many craft tutorials and podcasts on her blog CraftyPod. Diane is also the author of several craft books.


DIY Day @ ASPTL

The Girl Creative

7 comments:

Kate @ The Gaines Gang said...

Oh I love this idea! I found so many fabulous wool sweaters at my Goodwill. This is perfect.

Thanks for the insperation!

Thankfully Thrifty said...

Cute!!! Great how to!

Jerri said...

What an excellent project. They turned out great!

Cheryl said...

what a great way to reuse an otherwise not used sweater. Love this. Thanks for sharing.

Liz Noonan said...

this is great - tx for sharing!

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

Great upcycled project and cute to boot! Thank you so much for linking them up to Homemade Christmas! :)

Julie said...

I have been wondering how to do the thumb. This was a perfect tute and I understood it perfectly. Thank you very much. Gotta head to Goodwill and see what I can find.
Blessings!!

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