Econd-ch nce mittens


- Words and project Esther Sandler


a 100% wool jumper with a ribbed edge at least 5cm wide (medium to large size is best to allow enough fabric to cut out all the pattern pieces)

wool yarn for embroidery (use yarn left over from other projects, if you have it!)

wool needle medium-weight, fusible, non-woven interfacin­g scissors fine permanent marker pins sewing machine washing machine iron

OPTIONAL: overlocker


Let’s start by breaking some rules. Put the jumper through a hot wash in the washing machine, using regular detergent, then tumble-dry on hot. While this treatment would be disastrous for most woolly tops, it’s good to shrink the garment and slightly felt the fabric in this instance, because the knitted fabric will now be slightly denser and warmer.

Carefully trace or photocopy the pattern pieces provided overleaf, then cut them out, making sure to adjust to roughly your hand size.

Turn the jumper inside-out and pin the pattern pieces to it, ensuring the bottom of the front and back pieces are flush against the jumper’s ribbed edge. Trace around the outline of each pattern piece with a fine permanent marker. The pattern pieces have notches on the side, and it’s important to carefully mark these when you’re tracing to ensure the pieces match up when sewn together. Unpin the pattern pieces and turn them over to repeat the process on the other side of the jumper for the second mitten. Don’t chop anything yet!

Using the pattern piece for the front of the mitten, roughly cut two rectangula­r pieces of interfacin­g, making them slightly bigger than the pattern. Then, placing the interfacin­g right side up on top of the pattern piece, carefully trace the outline of the pattern – as well as the embroidery template – onto your interfacin­g using your fine permanent marker.

Repeat this again for the other hand, but turn the interfacin­g so the wrong side is up (so, you are tracing onto the side with the glue). Make sure the drawn lines go through to the other side of the interfacin­g, which may mean retracing over some areas a few times. When it’s finished, turn this piece over and you’ll have a mirror image.

Starting with one glove, take the correspond­ing traced interfacin­g and line it up with the traced front pattern piece on the reverse side of the jumper. Use a warm iron to flatten out the interfacin­g and adhere it to the jumper, taking care not to iron too much, as you’ll need to remove the interfacin­g later.

Now it’s time to get busy with needle and thread. Use small stitches to fill in the flowers and leaves on the embroidery template. Don’t worry if your needlework skills leave a little to be desired – simply using small (0.5-1cm) and even stitches will give a great result.

Once the main flowers are complete, you can fill in the spaces between with some easy French knots. These are made by bringing the needle and thread to the right side of the fabric – where you want the knot to sit – twisting the yarn around the needle three times, very close to where it came out, then inserting the needle back into the fabric around 1mm from the original hole. (Jump on Youtube for a visual tutorial, if you need!)

Repeat the embroidery for the other glove, using the mirror image of the template that was traced onto interfacin­g earlier.

When both sides are decorated, carefully remove the interfacin­g from around the stitches. You should be able to peel it away and use sharp scissors to cut it off. Get as close to the stitches as possible, while taking care not to cut through any of them.

At this point, you’re ready to cut out and sew the mittens. Start by cutting out all the pieces along the lines you traced earlier.

Sew the back pieces together first: with the right side facing in, line up the top back and bottom back pieces with the thumb pointing up. Pin these together and machine-sew with a 1cm seam allowance between the two notches, across the palm and around the thumb shape, stopping when you come to the notch. Overlock or zigzagstit­ch this seam, then trim off any excess. This step will prevent any fraying and allow you to trim off any extra fabric that could make the mitten bulky. Repeat for the other side.

Next, pin the front and back mitten pieces together, with right sides facing in. Stitch around the mitten, then try it on for size. This is the perfect time to make alteration­s – you can make it narrower around the cuff to fit your wrist better or make the fingers or thumb shorter. Zigzag around the edge, then trim off any excess. Repeat for the other mitten.

Steam iron briefly on the reverse side to flatten out the mittens and relax the seams. Now you can wear them with pride!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia