Sweater Mittens…

This is currently my favourite DIY… I’m rocking a couple different pairs of sweater mittens right now 🙂  It appears a daunting DIY at first, but trust me, once you sew up a pair you’ll be pulling sweaters off of strangers in the street and running home to make more mittens 😉 or you could just checkout WINS and pickup some great knit sweaters at great prices – and you’ll be helping out a great cause at the same time!… AND you’ll be reloving the used into something new!… these mittens make great gifts and are super easy to coordinate to your friends and families outerwear, personalities and favourite colours!… Let the sweater hunt being!

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To make sweater mittens you will need the following items:





Sewing Machine / Needle and thread

Sewing Pins

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To get started turning your sweater into a pair of mittens we need to make a pattern of our hand (or the hands of the person that we’re making the mittens for)… if you want to keep the gift a surprise trace your friend’s hand exactly or have them photocopy their hand for you!… Then trace around the hand shape in a larger mitten shape, leaving space between hand and edge of mitten shape because your hand needs some room in there AND we need some seam allowance for sewing the mitten together! and be sure to make the wrist even a little bit larger to make sure hands can fit into the mittens! 🙂

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Once the mitten shape has been traced cut it out!  We only need one of these patterns…

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Now prepare the sweater that you will be cutting up! – I found a great selection of second hand sweaters at WINS for great prices!… When I got my sweaters home I put everything in the washer and then dryer and then turned the sweater inside out… matched up the bottom hem and smoothed it out flat…

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Once your sweater is laid out with a nice flat area lay on the pattern with the wrist lined up with the bottom of the sweater… the hem on the sweater will become the cuff of your mitten!… if the sweater has a long hem you could extend the mitten pattern down to accommodate the extra fabric that you could then fold up into a nice cuff!

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Once you’re happy with the mitten position on the sweater you have to trace the pattern onto the sweater with your marker!… don’t worry – the sweater is inside out so you are marking on the inside… and we still have to cut it out and sew the mitten together… the marker will not be viewable if there is some that didn’t get cut away…

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Cut out your mitten!… work slowly as you’ll be cutting through two layers of the sweater to make each mitten

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Once the mittens have been cut out pin around each mitten to hold the two layers of sweater together… this will help keep them from slipping apart while you are sewing

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Once you’re all pinned you can hand sew or machine sew around the mitten… don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end to ensure the stitches don’t come loose!…

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I chose to machine sew my mittens as it was a little quicker than I would have been hand sewing!… I’m impatient and I wanted them right meow! Once you’ve sewn around be sure to remove all of the pins!

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Trim off any excess seam that may get bulky inside and then turn your mittens right side out… then of course take it for a test spin!.. you just worked hard at making the mitten… its time to test the fit!

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It fit!… I was so excited that I ran downstairs to show my Pickle… he responded with “woah!… how did you make a mitten so fast!?” then I shared the reloved sweater trick!… I didn’t knit these… I sewed them together!

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Do a little celebratory dance… then its time to get back to work… we’ve got a second mitten to make!  The second mitten goes just like the first… make sure the sweater is inside out with the bottom hem lined up.  Trace the mitten pattern on with a marker…

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…cut out the mittens two sides together at once…

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…pin the two sides together…

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…sew around… remove pins… snip strings… turn right side out…

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…tie with a ribbon and add one of these darling free gift tag printable from Cynthia Frenette……and the mittens are ready to be gifted!

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I can’t wait to see the mittens that you make… what knits and sweater patterns you turn into some handmade mittens!  Please come and share some photos of your mittens in progress and of your final pairs of mittens over at the Feathering My Nest Facebook page!

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Don’t forget to download Cynthia Frenette’s free gift tag printable for the most darling gift tags around… print them out, paint them, embellish them however you please and use them on your gifts this holiday season!… then please come to the Feathering My Nest and Cyntha Frenette’s Facebook pages to share some shots of your tags in use!… Can’t wait to see how you dress up yours!… and be sure to come on back to Feathering My Nest for more how to’s!

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43 Responses to Sweater Mittens…

  1. Cynthia says:

    Wootwoot!!! Ack so cute!! Now I’m conspiring what sweater to start cutting up lol!

  2. Alicia says:

    Hi, I love these mittens but can you use any sweater or doesn’t the sweater have to be 100% wool? TY

    • Lacey Haskell says:

      Hi Alicia! They don’t have to be 100% wool… BUT if they are you can felt them in your washing machine first!… that would make for some extra warm mittens! 🙂

      • Alicia says:

        TY, I’ve got some old sweaters still good but dated! I’ll be cutting them soon! TY again.

      • Michele says:

        How do you “felt” them? What is the process?

        • Lacey Haskell says:

          Hi Michele – to get the fabric to felt look for sweaters that are 100% wool – there are a few ways to felt them – you can do it by hand or by using a washing machine – a quick google search will turn up lots of options for felting wool sweaters – be sure to do the felting before cutting and sewing as the overall fabric size will decrease when you felt the sweaters! 🙂

  3. RoseToti says:

    Love your mittens idea but do you have any ideas on what the reset of the sweater/s can be used for/made into?

    • Lacey Haskell says:

      Hi Rose! You could use the sleeves for leg warmers! or boot cuffs for tall boots! 🙂 I saved the white angora sleeves to use as leg warmers!… they’re so soft and fluffy! and the wrist cuff will look great folded down over the top of my boots! You could use the extra body of the sweater to make little christmas tree ornaments… balls maybe… or mini mitten shapes! 🙂

  4. Ashley says:

    I think this is a great diy for teacher gifting. My daughter has multiple teachers and she loves them all. Every year I spend at least $60.00 on gifts for teachers. This would be such a cute gift and my daughter will be about to learn a skill in the process. I also think that with a sowing machine that this would be a great community service project. Getting sweater donations and then people to make the gloves and deliver them to homeless people in the area or even people who maybe just can’t afford the extras. I love this idea all around!!! I’m definitely on the look out for sweaters now!! Lol Xoxox

    • Lacey Haskell says:

      Ooo yes great for gifts! with skills learning built in! 🙂 and I love your giving to those in need idea! how wonderful! XO

    • Cindy says:

      Why not use the rest of the sweater that wasn’t cut and make scarves and skull caps. What a lovely gift for a homeless person.

      • Lacey Haskell says:

        Definitely Cindy – You could make multiple hats out of the remainder of the sweater – would make great gifts for many people! 🙂

  5. Sue wolf says:

    Great gift idea!!!

  6. Barbara Barba says:

    These mittens are so nice!… Great gift idea!

  7. edith says:

    Yard sales or thrift stores are great places to buy sweaters. No need to cut up one you like.

    • Lacey Haskell says:

      Thats where I got all of the sweaters for mittens that I’ve made – at WINS!… or when a favourite get too ratty for wearing they make excellent mittens!

  8. Nancy says:

    I have done this and lined them with fleece for extra warmth and softness

  9. Emily Woods says:

    what a great idea, these would even be great for kids.

    I’ll be making a few pairs of these for Christmas gifts.
    Thank you for the tutorial.

    • Lacey Haskell says:

      So fun right!? Please come share some photos of your mittens over at the Feathering My Nest Facebook page! I can’t wait to see!

  10. […] In case  you didn’t see them before, I’m reposting our Holiday Gift tags, with love from me and Lacey to you! You can find the downloadable file at the bottom of this post. Lacey has posted an updated link and blog about her fab projects and check out the awesome upcycled mittens tute she made so you can remake an old sweater into sweet ne… […]

  11. Sharon says:

    Can these mittens be lined for colder weather areas?

    • Lacey Haskell says:

      They could! I recommend making the mitten shapes cut out of the sweater a little larger than the mitten shapes that you cut out of your lining material! 🙂

  12. Marie says:

    I love this and for the homeless great idea. please share the WINS address i couldnt find it.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Lacey Haskell says:

      Hi Marie, There are three WINS locations in Calgary – if you google WINS thrift store it should bring up the locations for you! 🙂

  13. Cheryl says:

    The mittens can also be tied to a tree branch for the homeless this time of year. What do you yhink?

  14. beverly says:

    great idea.

  15. Roma says:

    How would you make a hat from left over material?

    • Lacey Haskell says:

      Hi Roma! It may take a couple tests to get it just right – I would start with laying a knit hat flat and tracing that and cutting two sides and sewing them together – you may need to cut it bigger based the stretch of the sweater… or if you want to get adventurous you could cut the pieces smaller but cut multiple – sewing them all together to create a hat with multiple seams!

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  17. Joan Crasten says:

    I love the sweater gloves idea, and I plan on trying to make some, as soon as I find some old sweaters. I live in New York City! There are plenty of places I can find some sweaters. We have a Salvation Army store, which I haven’t shopped at yet. When the weather isn’t so cold and nasty I will go when I have a few extra dollars. Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

  18. Liz says:

    What a great idea, just in time! Last night I found a sweater my daughter bought me for Christmas at least 10 yrs ago. It’s a little out of shape, but can’t bring myself to throwing it away! Mittens it is YAY! thanks for your creativity😀

  19. anna says:

    In the past month I have made 16 pairs of mittens for Christmas gifts using this method. I bought wool sweaters very inexpensively at the local thrift store. These are quick and easy and the possibilities are endless!

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