I searched for a while trying to find a nice mitten pattern that wasn’t a “cookie cutter” style… think a cookie cutter placed on your fabric and cut out, so the thumb just sticks out the side. I find these so awkward and bulky looking. Anyway, I came across Lou’s Mittens from Filles A Maman and knew it was exactly what I was looking for. It even has a long cuff which is great for kids, since it keeps their mittens from creeping out of their jackets while they play!
I had some lovely micro fleece and sherpa fleece that I got from Water Tower Textiles Canada (pictured below) and decided to line them using some fleece back polyester because of it’s wonderful wicking properties. I made a pair for my 4 year old son from the micro fleece and a pair for myself from the sherpa fleece.
I initially sewed my son’s with my overlocker, which I do not recommend, at least not for the thumbs. Because of the tight curve of the thumb it can cause the fabric to bunch and not get properly sewn together. Even though the fabric I used had lots of stretch it still got pulled out of place and missed sections during sewing. I had to go back over it using my sewing machine in the end anyway. So when I made my pair I used my sewing machine.
A tip for sewing elastic, like in this pattern, where you need to sew it from one edge to the other. Pin the middle of the elastic first, then attach it to the middle of the mitten. Next tack each elastic end to the mitten, ensuring that you leave the thread tails nice and long (see photo below).
Then start on one end, with the needle through your elastic and fabric, slightly pulling the thread tails behind your sewing machine and stretching the elastic from the mid point, (where I placed my pin) sew using a 3 step wide zigzag or some kind of zigzag if you prefer another. Once you get close to the mid point remove the pin and sew the remaining half (I always remove pins and never sew over them). When getting close to the end pull the tails left from tacking the elastic on the end (in front of me like in the photo below) so that the elastic is stretched evenly the whole way through.
I sewed my mittens then went cross country skiing with them the next day! I was extremely impressed with the quality of the fabrics I used. We did not have the best of weather that day, by late morning it had warmed up and started to rain. We ended up having to ditch the skis and walk back on foot. I didn’t notice till we were in the lodge just how soaking wet my mittens were from the rain. My hands remained warm and dry though!
If your looking for a mitten pattern make sure to grab the Lou’s Mitten’s from Filles A Maman. She has English and French versions so make sure you get the right one 😉 And don’t forget to check out Water Tower Textiles Canada for all your cold weather (and not so cold weather) sewing and fabric needs!