What, you don’t know what emergency mittens are?? Then you DON’T LIVE IN CANADA. But you probably know that already, so moving on!
Emergency mittens are what you must have on hand for when your one year old (hypothetically) loses one of his existing mittens. And then it snows a whole lot and he wants to go out and play with everyone else but CAN’T because OH LOOK NO MITTENS.
Mittens for toddler types are tricky things. They do. not. want. to keep them on, at all ever. Mittens will make them cry. But also? They don’t want their hands to be cold and wet, at all, ever. This will also make them cry. So the TRICK is, to get the mittens onto their hands (securely!) as close as possible to the very second where they will be outside having all the fun. There may be a brief flicker of annoyance at having their hands covered up but they will be almost instantly distracted so it’s okay.
Well as you might have guessed, Sam misplaced a mitten. (As it turns out, we left it at Gran and Papa’s – so we will get it back, but given the current state of snow storminess we needed to improvise). BOO. This is an extra big problem because you know what is in the stores right now?? Spring break clothes! Easter dresses! If you’re very lucky there’s the odd bedraggled hat on clearance shoved on a dusty shelf somewhere….but no mittens.
Here’s what I did.
1. I took the lone mitten I had and ignoring the thumb, traced around the outside of it to get a rough mitten shape that I knew would fit Sam’s hand.
I left the thumb off because at his age there is absolutely no hope of teaching him to FIND the thumb hole, so it just hangs there anyway. Plus it made the
mitten construction more complicated and I was trying to do this fast.
2. Added about 1/4″ seam allowance to the mitten shape, and then cut 8 pieces of fleece to that size. I ignored the cuff part of the mitten for now, because I
knew I wanted to use ribbing to do that piece.
I did a double layer of fleece for these mittens rather than trying to get fancy and do something waterproof – basically I knew anything thicker than fleece
would drive him nuts and make it harder to keep them on, so I figured with two layers he might possibly stay dry enough.
I also cut yellow fleece stars for each hand (curb appeal!) and I found the widest section of ribbing that I had on hand and cut about 5 1/2″ sections for each
hand (folded in half it gave me about a 4″ cuff).
3. Stitch the stars onto two of the mitten pieces. Then (right sides together), stitch one of the star pieces to a blank mitten piece around the curved part of the mitten (leave the straight bottom part open).
Now you’ve got two “outer” mitten pieces.
4. Take two of the remaining mitten pieces and stitch/serge them together (again leaving the bottom open). Since these are the inner mitten pieces, use a
slightly larger seam allowance for these ones so that they sit inside the other ones nicely.
5. Slip an inner mitten piece into an outer mitten piece, wrong sides together, aligning the side seams. Set the mittens aside and grab the cuff pieces.
6. Serge (or sew) the ends of each cuff piece together, forming circles. Then fold each cuff in half (so that the raw edges align).
7. Slip a cuff over the outside of the mitten (raw edges together) and pin in place. You are going to need to stretch the cuff pretty hard to fit the fleece mitten
piece – this is good! You want the cuff to be tight on your shorty’s wrist.
8. Moving very slowly and lifting the presser foot often to reposition things, sew your way around the raw edges of your cuff.
This is going to be a bit tricky because it’s such a small opening and because you are going through so many layers of fabric. Just go slow and it will come
together! I finished mine off by serging – but if you don’t have a serger, just trim the seam and zig zag over the edge to keep things neat.
Repeat for the other side, and you are done! Emergency mittens complete. Now try to make your kid model them.
Oh well. At least we can play in the snow now.