and Sewn from Shrunken Sweaters
1990, Revised November
Sewn Mittens © Rita O'Connell 2001
No knitting necessary, this is a cut-and-sew fabric mitten that can easily be made in any
size. It is made from shrunken (felted/fulled) wool sweaters --
Check you local thrift store for such a sweater, and if it's not shrunken
enough, then just throw it in the washing machine for a regular cycle or
two using hot water and soap (I have noticed that the degree of shrinkage
varies with the sweater, rather like different yarns will shrink
differently). The mitten can be made from either 2
or 3 pieces of fabric and modified almost endlessly in style. I learned this
pattern from my mother who used to make such mittens for us from sweaters
she picked up at the second-hand store that she worked at.
The mitten's seams can be machine sewn (inside or outside seams)
or baseball-stitched, whip-stitched, or blanket-stitched with yarns. Try
embroidering flowers on the back. You can even knit cuffs onto them
if you want and add cords. Or you can be creative with the cutting
of the mitten pieces and use the sweater cuffs as the mitten cuffs.
The mittens can be as crude or as decorative as you want. And,
depending on the thickness of the felting, you can make oven mitts (single
or pair) by cutting a double-thickness of the palm side of the pattern (if
you make a single oven mitt, be sure it's of the correct
"handedness" for your right- or left-handed self or friends).
And the pattern works great with real felt that you make by hand -- when I
made a cookie-sheet size piece of felt in my first felting class, I went
home and cut out and made one of these mittens. I was going to use
it as an oven mitt, but it was so pretty that I only take it out and use
it as a sample in mitten classes (of course I can't find that mitt right
now, but I'll add it's picture later when I find it).
This mitten pattern has been
around in one version or another for years - I have been given at least
two. The attached pattern is my version, and can be made of either 2
or 3 pieces.
Any size. Use your photocopier to adjust the size to fit
whomever you want (directions below)
REQUIRED: You don't even need to be a knitter, but
you have to be able to either hand sew or machine sew the seams.
A shrunken sweater or piece of wool felt large enough to lay out
the pieces in the size you choose.
scissors, sewing machine or sharp darning needle and yarn, straight
pins for pinning pattern.
IMPORTANT -- SIZING
PIECES: Because of computer scaling issues, I don't know of a way to
ensure that what you print out from your computer will be the same size as what I drew. So I
included vertical and horizontal scale lines on each pattern piece.
You can shrink or expand the pattern to a size you wish to make by just making
sure that the scale lines are the same length on each piece. If you
print the pieces so that the scale is exactly as written (i.e., an inch on
the scale is actually an inch on the printed pattern piece), then the
pattern is for a ladies' large hand (my hand size). The pattern
pieces may look rather huge, but remember that there are small seam
allowances included. As
an example, if you want a smaller size mitten, try printing so the scale
lines are 3/4 inch instead of 1 inch. ALSO NOTE -- there are no
cuffs shown because the pattern pieces wouldn't fit on standard typing
paper if I added cuffs when I drew these original patterns. But the
pieces as shown are the right length to make if you are going to add a
NOTE -- if you lay out the
pattern pieces on the right side of the fabric, you will get a
Lengthen bottom edge of each piece if a cuff is
desired (be sure to lengthen all pieces the same length).
For the palm piece, use the same piece as above in the 3-piece mitten (no
thumb piece needed).
Lengthen bottom edge of each piece if a cuff is desired (be sure to
lengthen all pieces the same length).
obvious what a mitten should look like, so I'll just say this -- cut
pattern pieces (if making oven mitts, you can cut two palms if the fabric
is thin). Be sure to cut a right hand and left hand mitten if you're
making a pair. Match the lettered dots and bottom edges of all
pieces and pin. Sew about a quarter inch seam by machine or hand, with seam either
inside or outside. NOTE -- remember, if you sew your seams with
a shrinkable yarn, the final product should be hand washed or it may
out of front side of sweater & palm out of back side of sweater
(that's the way the purple oven mitt is cut)
designs on the back if you like.
stitches from the bottom edge (using crochet or buttonhole stitches)
and knit a ribbed cuff.
mitten so that the cuff of the sweater forms the mitten cuff - you can
even cut a sleeve so that there is only a single seam that runs across
the top of the fingers and then down and up to the top of the
thumb. Also cut a small diamond-shaped piece of fabric and sew
into the seam at the inside base of the thumb to serve as a gusset to
take the stress out of the thumb seam.
oven mitt, cut a narrow strip of the felted fabric and sew the two
short ends into mitten's side seam as a hanging loop.
mittens out of any stretchy fabric, such as stretchy fleece or velour
know that the mitten fabric and trim is so felted that it will never shrink again,
you might want to hand wash and air dry, or make the mittens big enough
that a little more shrinkage will not matter.
and front of 3-piece
mitten of polar fleece with knitted cuff, well worn from camping trips
variation mitten made from sweater sleeve with cuff, and with thumb gusset
PLEASE NOTE ~~~
This pattern is for you and your friends' personal use ONLY ~~~
It may not be posted on other websites or used for any for-profit use ~~~
~~~ For any charity or other uses,
please contact the website owner ~~~
Feel free to pass it on (under the above conditions), but please include
the author's name,
copyright, and contact information ~~~