project: folk felt mittens
Let's talk for a moment about craft fails. We all have them. Sometimes we overcome them, sometimes we rework them, but rarely do we want to share them.
After my latest fail, I wasn't so sure that I was ready to completely remake what I had completely messed up. Thankfully, some very kind and encouraging Twitter friends helped me realize that changing my failure into a success would make me happy. They were right.
And now I have some sweet new mittens! The trimming I used is vintage, and I use it only for special projects because I love its folk-look so much and want to save it! You can make a pair for yourself (and hopefully avoid the same fatal mistake I made!) by grabbing some simple supplies. And at the end of this post, you'll find the first pair that I made. (*hangs head in shame*)
You will need:
wool blend felt (1/3 yard or four 9x12 sheets)
cotton batting (the same equivalent as the felt)
decorative ribbon (about 12 inches)
embroidery floss to match your ribbon
Mitten Pattern PDF
(This pattern will fit most. My sister is modeling above and she has small hands.)
Using the pattern template, cut out four mitten shapes from felt and four mitten shapes from batting. Be sure to note the cutting instructions on the template for if your printer shrinks the pattern.
Cut a piece of ribbon to be the same width as the cuff section of the mitten. Pin it in place as shown, then stitch it onto the felt. I used matching embroidery floss so you don't really see the stitches.
Repeat on a second mitten piece, but be sure that the shape is flipped the opposite direction and that they are the same distance from the straight edge. If you prefer, add ribbon to all four mitten pieces.
Pin each felt piece to a batting piece. Use blanket stitch along the straight edge to sew these two pieces together.
Pin a plain mitten shape to a ribboned mitten shape with right sides together. Sew around the shape on a sewing machine, backstitching at the start and finish. Use a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Clip the curves, and trim off the excess fabric on the thumb within about 1/8-inch of the stitching.
Turn the mittens and check for fit. If they are a little big, you can turn them inside out and stitch in a little closer, but be sure to leave the cuff opening with plenty of room. Why? Because otherwise you may have a craft fail.
First, let me start by saying, I think these are very cute-looking mittens. I love the shape so much, and really, this is what I would like my mittens to look like.
Next, let me tell you how I got here. I had an idea that I wanted to make felt (not felted) mittens. Then I happened upon some instructions in a really old craft book. When it came time to make these, I couldn't find the book, so I Googled felt mittens. A nice tutorial came up with how to trace your hand to get the template. Either they were wrong or I measured wrong, because take a look:
My hand is not going in there. I hoped that I could still make use of these by passing them onto my skinny 8-year-old sister. HER hands won't go in there! Clearly, I messed up.
For the record, I only sewed up one of these before finding my blunder, but the materials had already been cut and half made, so I figured, I might as well finish off the second mitten. I now plan on adding a string and using them as winter holiday decor. Maybe hanging on our antique sled? All is not wasted.
I really am glad that I decided to give this another go. Even if I do have mittens that look a bit oven-mitt-ish. And even if I accidentally snipped one of my blanket stitched edges and need to go back and fix it. I'll still call this a win in the end!
Now, if you're feeling extra brave today, share your biggest craft fail with us. It's really so much better when you just get it out in the open!