Makin’ Mittens

Mittens are not something one sews often in Australia in November. Actually, no-one even wears mittens here, at any time of year, (gloves are the hand covering of choice, if anything) but I think they would be great for bike riding when it’s cold.

I badly wanted to try this low-waste mitten pattern by Maureen Gleason of Process of Sewing. Maureen is a young American theatre maker and textile artist who lives in Berlin. Her patterns are zero waste with a modern vibe.

Maureen was developing this pattern at the same time as I was wrangling with the oven mitt pattern, and we corresponded over whether a mitten pattern could be used for oven mitts and vice-versa. The conclusion was “not really” – it’s better to design for a specific purpose, although I think this mitten would be a better oven mitt than the oven mitt would be a mitten.

The cutting layout involves some clever tessellation of the thumbs. The top of the mitten is rounded which makes it low waste rather than zero waste – a concession made to aesthetics.

I had THE perfect fabric to use, which was given to me by Tracy of Knit-Spin-Weave, our local yarn shop. Tracy had bought a new loom, and wove two pieces of beautiful cloth to try it out. However, when she fulled them, she overdid it and accidentally created felt. She gave them to me to use for something, and honestly, even felted, the fabric is so gorgeous I wish there was enough to make a whole coat! It’s like very soft, thick boiled wool. I’ve had it aside waiting for the perfect pattern, ideally one which wouldn’t waste any.

Each piece of fabric is only 35cm-ish wide, and about 1.10m long.

The mittens are lined, so I found some suitable lining fabric, shown below. The floral is some sort of Vyella and the bicycle print is flannelette. In the end I chose the darker handwoven fabric and the bicycle print.

The mittens are economical on fabric, like many zero and low-waste patterns. These took 35cm x 48cm for a pair. As the pattern pieces are modular, they can be re-arranged on the fabric, which is helpful if you’re cutting up old clothing such as a felted sweater.

Sewing-wise, they came together pretty well.

As my fabric was very thick, I turned the mittens through via a gap in the side of the lining, rather than the cuff…
…then I machined the gap shut, just like sewing a lined jacket sleeve.
The cuffs are cut bigger than the mittens, which allows them to turn up properly over the thickness of the fabric. They are eased on, but my lining fabric didn’t ease well, so I just pleated it.
The pattern comes in 2 (adult) sizes with a narrow and wide option for each. I chose the smallest, narrowest size, however, now I wish I’d picked the wide option. It fits OK, but snug – it would have been better to go wider then adjust if needed. This is purely my own fault, since there is plenty of finished size guidance in the pattern. The finger and thumb lengths are excellent.

If you’re making Christmas/end-of-year gifts, and live in a cold country, I think these would be a great idea.

Currently the pattern only has adult sizes, but Maureen will email the children’s sizes to purchasers when it’s ready.




  1. on November 1, 2022 at 10:37 am

    I love mittens! I remember wearing them in England riding by bicycle to school in winter.

    • lizhaywood on November 1, 2022 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks for sharing the memory Jill 🙂 Mittens bring a certain nostalgia – they seemed to feature more than gloves in my childhood. Because they were easier to knit, maybe?

  2. Maureen on November 1, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Liz, it feels like such an honor to be on your blog! Your mittens look great, and I agree, you had the perfect fabric! Hugs to you!

    • lizhaywood on November 1, 2022 at 9:53 pm

      Maureen! Welcome! Well done on a fabulous pattern – it was a pleasure to sew.

  3. Stephanie on November 17, 2022 at 3:35 am

    Thanks for all the tips, I am about to cut my fabric. I am glad I read your blog first, I am going with size one regular. I will let you know how it comes out

    • lizhaywood on November 17, 2022 at 8:40 am

      You’re welcome Stephanie. It’s a satisfying pattern to sew 🙂

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