Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dinosaur Mittens

I made these little dinosaur mittens for my nephew's 2nd birthday. I'd seen something similar - shark mittens on What I Live For (through TipJunkie). I actually had some light green fleece leftover from another project so I thought I'd make dinosaur mittens instead. And I added elastic in the wrist to help keep the mittens snug.

These are really simple to make. They only took me 45 minutes. Now that I've made one pair I could probably do it in 30. If you want to make some of your own here is what you will need:

  • 1/4 yd green fleece
  • scraps of green and white felt or fleece
  • 1/4-inch knit elastic
  • 2 black buttons (mine were 1/2-inch wide for size 2T mittens)
  • green and black thread
  • graph or plain paper and a pencil

Start by tracing around your child's hand on a piece of graph or plain paper:

As you can see I'm only loosely tracing the hand. This is to allow for the actual volume your child's hand will take up in the mitten. From this we will add a seam allowance:

The wavy line represents where the child's wrist is and where the elastic will be sewn in. From that wavy line I know I want a 1-inch finished cuff, so I've added 1 1/2 inches to allow for the cuff and it's 1/2-inch seam allowance. Everywhere else I'm just using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Cut out your pattern and pin it to your fleece. Cut 4 (2 sides for each mitten):

Now fold over the cuffs 1/2 an inch, wrong sides together (if your fleece has a wrong side) and stitch down:

Now we'll add the elastic. Following the wrist placement on your pattern, start by tacking down the end of the elastic on the wrong side of the fabric with a few stitches with your machine. You will want to use a medium zig-zag stitch and long stitch length (I used 4) to allow for stretch. Start stitching across the mitten while simultaneously pulling on the elastic:

This creates the gathers and will allow the elastic to stretch around your child's wrist and stay snug:

Do this for all 4 pieces.

Now we'll add the button eyes. Decide where you want your buttons to go:

Since fleece is a fairly loose material, I don't recommend knotting your thread. Instead, pull your thread through the button, leaving a long tail behind it on the wrong side:

This way you can tie the loose ends together when you are done stitching on the button:

MAKE SURE you are stitching your buttons to two opposing sides:

You don't want two left- or two right-handed mittens!

Now for the trim. For my dinosaur ridges I cut out two pieces green felt, 1/2" x 4" each. If you are making mittens larger than a 2T, you may want to increase the length. Then I cut zig-zags on one side of each piece:

I did the same for the teeth, cutting 1/2-inch wide pieces, zig-zagging, then trimming to fit the thumb and forefinger. You will place the trim with the flat side facing out like so:

Now pin your mittens right sides together with the trim sandwiched in between:

Stitch all the way around the outer edges with a 1/4-inch inseam. You will want to reinforce the crook of the thumb and forefinger - just stitch over it a couple of times:

Now you will clip into that crook almost to the seam allowance:

At this point I also like to trim the seam allowance to about 1/8th of an inch so there's more room for fingers and thumbs.

Turn right side out and ta-da!

You have a very cute pair of dinosaur mittens! If your teeth or green ridges look a little wonky, you can trim them down if necessary. I had to trim the teeth just a little after sewing myself.

Please let me know if you end up making a pair yourself!