From Issue 16::SHELTER. Pattern by Amanda Riley.
Making Simple Upcycled Mittens from Out-of-Use Sweaters
Note: Use the bottom hemline or the cuffs of the sweater as the bottom edge of your mittens. This way the edges will be finished already, with no extra sewing required. Even better, if the hemline or cuffs are ribbed, the edge of your finished piece will have a nice stretch that allows for a good, close fit without being restrictive.
1. Lay the sweater, inside out, flat on a work surface.
2. Have the recipient place a hand on the sweater near the cuff or bottom hem, and use chalk to trace around the outside edge of their hand. (Alternatively, you can use a reusable template: trace their hand on paper or paper board first, then cut out the template and use it to create an outline on the sweater in chalk.) Be sure to leave enough length between the existing hem and the tip of the recipients fingers so that the mittens will cover their wrists well.
3. Draw a ¼- to ¾-inch seam allowance all around, depending on the thickness of the sweater material: for a cotton knit, a ¼-inch allowance should suffice, but for a thick wool, such as the red sweater in the photos, I’ve found at least ¾ inch is necessary.
4. Cut through both layers of the sweater along the chalk lines, making sure to include the seam allowance. Align the edges and pin together.
5. Sew the two pieces together, either by hand or with a sewing machine, taking care not to stitch the bottom edge closed.
6. Once the sewing is completed, turn the mittens right side out and carefully push out the thumbs. Present to the lucky recipient.