How to sew mittens using a recycled sweater

January 5, 2017 5 Comments

How to sew mittens using a recycled sweater

January 5, 2017 5 Comments

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Here comes a step by step guide on how to sew mittens using a recycled wool sweater dress

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As I had a vintage cable knit wool sweater dress that I don’t wear, I thought it would be the perfect fabric for this project. In hindsight I should probably have washed the sweater in warm water to make it felt a bit, because the knit was quite unstable to work with. But I have more fabric so left, so maybe next time!

A step by step tutorial on how to sew mittens using a recycled sweater

This pattern consists of four pieces

  • Cuffs (made of ribbing fabric)

Thumb piece

Upper mitten

Inner mitten

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As you can see I tried to utilize the details of sweater as much as I could, using the ribbing on the sleeves as cuffs and using the cable knit for the upper mitten piece.

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The mittens are lined, but I had to scrap the lining since I cut it in a stretchy lycra/bamboo knit that was too unstable for all the twists and turns of the pattern. I think a fleece would or a stable knit jersey knit would be a better choice for lining.

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First step is to sew the thumb part

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Then comes the only tricky bit with this pattern which is sewing along several corners to attach the thumb to the lower inner mitten piece. For this step I had to use regular zigzag stitches due to all the twists and turns.

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Then it ‘s time to attach the upper mitten piece to the lower one. For this step I used a serger.

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The final step is to attach the cuffs. In the original pattern this is a folded piece, but since I had ribbing on the sweater I wanted to utilize that instead and made it a single layer.

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The finished mitten, I did the smallest size (S), but they still turned out too big, so I took in the side seams and also made the thumb smaller. So the mitten in the photo is the adjusted version, which is a bit smaller than the original pattern.  Next time I will make the pattern even smaller!

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The finished mittens from all angles. The edges are a bit uneven due to using an unstable knit. But with a fleece or a felted fabric I don’t think this would be a problem.

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Happy in my new mittens!

Johanna Lundström

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5 Comments

  • JenL January 5, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    I have been thinking about making mittens too. I salvaged a nice sweater and turned it into a kind of cowl/snood, but I find that I never wear it. Mittens would be nice and I have small hands too. I may give it a try!

    • Johanna January 9, 2017 at 7:55 am

      You should! It was a very quick make, the only extra work was making them even smaller than the pattern. So making a sample first to make sure the fit is right is something I would recommend, to myself too 🙂

  • Anne January 7, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Nice! This is definitely a project I could take on to put old sweaters to good use! Thanks for the tutorial – seeing the way the mittens are put together is very helpful!

    • Johanna January 9, 2017 at 8:01 am

      It is, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about it earlier! It really mimics the look of hand knitted mittens, and I’m gonna make more for sure

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