Introduction: No-Fuss-On Water Proof Toddler Winter Mittens

Picture of No-Fuss-On Water Proof Toddler Winter Mittens

You're just settling in for a lovely first sip of morning coffee when your toddler comes running up to you, yelling loudly, "'now, 'now, 'now!" (his cute version of snow!). Both of you have been trapped inside for the last 2 days, because of a storm, and now you both need a little outside time. You glance out the window and notice a bright, sunny day with no clouds and no wind. You think, "Maybe". It's then that you check the temperature.... -18C (-.4F). With your toddler excitedly pointing at all the new snow and jabbering away, you mentally go through your list of clothes. Winter boots are good to -30C (-22F), ski pants and jacket are to the same temperature, hat and scarf will protect ears and nose, layers of clothing underneath with complete the warm outfit....but those little hands need something. And for me, this is where it always gets tricky.

Alberta is known for its beautiful, but cold, winter days. But with my toddler, I'm always faced with the "Mitten" issue.

1) Getting his hands into the mitten (where did his thumb go?)

2) Making sure the mitten stays on (stop, drop everything, tuck the mitten back up his sleeve for the 100th time)

3) Any amount of snow melt = wet little fingers

4) Warm, warm, warm

5) Do I want to spend big bucks on water proof winter mittens?

My goals with this project are to keep the cost as low as possible, find a mitten that would keep the weather and wet out, and finally remain on his hands the entire time. This Instructable is what came about...

Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed

Since I wanted to make mittens that didn't break the bank, I went searching around the house for leftover material. I know that most of you won't have the same material on-hand; however, all the material is available at your local fabric store or for order online.

  1. Paper and pencil (you will use your own toddler's hand for the size and shape of the pattern)
  2. Scissors
  3. Stick pins
  4. Soft inner lining material (I used an old flannel blanket, but fleece is great too)
    • I used a 2' x 3' of material with lots leftover, you might need more if your child is older
  5. Poly-cotton blend batting (or some other kind of batting available to you)
    • I used a 14" x 14" square of material
  6. PUL fabric in a print or solid colour (a polyurethane laminated fabric used to make cloth diapers)
    • I used 2' x 2' of material
  7. Hook and loop fasteners
    • 4 strips ~3" long for each
  8. Fold-over elastic in a matching colour to the PUL fabric
    • I used 44" in total, you might need more if your child is older
  9. Matching thread
  10. Your trusty sewing machine

Step 2: Making the Pattern

Picture of Making the Pattern
  1. Have your child come and lay their hand and arm on the paper. Have the child open their fingers as wide as possible (I did this to give my guy room enough for his fingers to open and grasp things when they're inside the mitten).
  2. Trace up from just above the elbow, around the hand and back down. You don't need to trace in between each finger. Your little one can go back to playtime, you're done with their help.
  3. Mark where the wrist came to and draw a line 1/2" below that mark.
  4. Draw a line around the hand print. Move out 3/4 to 1" from the original trace and draw the line around the hand and arm (this gives lots of room for the hand inside the mitten). Draw the line as a "big bubble" around the hand, we're not making individual thumb or finger placements.
  5. Add another line around everything, moving out 1/2" for seam allowance.
  6. Cut along the wrist line (the one you made in step 3), separating the hand from the wrist.

As you can see in the picture, I ended up with a hand pattern size of 5 3/4" from the highest point to the wrist, 6" from the thumb to the pinky, and then tapering down to 5 1/4" wide at the wrist.

The arm/sleeve pattern came to: 5 1/4" at the wrist, widening to 6 1/2" at the bottom, with a length of 4"

Step 3: Cutting

Picture of Cutting

Fold your lining fabric (the flannel or fleece) in half.

  1. Lay out the pattern on the fabric, both Hand and Sleeve
  2. Pin in place
  3. Cut each pattern out
  4. Repeat above steps to make a lining for the other hand and sleeve.

Fold the PUL fabric in half (I find putting the pattern together with the laminated to the out keeps the fabric from slipping around)

  1. Lay out the pattern on the fabric, both Hand and Sleeve
  2. Pin in place, use a minimum amount of pins (I used two), since the holes left over leave marks.
  3. Cut each pattern out (PUL is very slippery, try not to move it very much...cut carefully!)
  4. Repeat above steps to make the outer shell for the other hand and sleeve.

Cut the batting

  1. Since the batting is quite thick, cut only single layers at a time
  2. Lay out the pattern of only the Hand
  3. Pin in place
  4. Cut the pattern out
  5. Repeat above steps 3 more times to have 4 total

Step 4: Attach the Sleeve to the Hand for the Flannel and PUL

Picture of Attach the Sleeve to the Hand for the Flannel and PUL

**First, I had the pattern separate the hand from the wrist to give me the option of changing the material for the sleeve, should I make a second pair. If you don't want to use the PUL fabric for the sleeve, then this pattern allows you to cut the sleeve out of whatever material you choose.**

Bringing together the lining material.

  1. Take one side of the left hand and one side of the left sleeve.
  2. Put right sides together and sew along the wrist, with a 1/4" seam allowance; attaching a sleeve to a hand.
  3. Take the other side of the left hand and the other side of the left sleeve.
  4. Put right sides together and sew along the wrist, with 1/4" seam allowance; attaching the other side of the sleeve to the hand.
  5. You should still have two pieces for the left hand, just that each has the sleeve and hand attached at the wrist.
  6. Repeat the steps for the right hand.
  7. Set everything aside.


Bringing together the PUL fabric.

  1. Repeat the steps above for the PUL fabric

Step 5: Bring Together the Batting and the Lining

Picture of Bring Together the Batting and the Lining

We're going to make sandwiches in this step.

  1. Take the left hand lining and put the right sides together.
  2. Take the batting for the left hand
  3. Now begin your "sandwich". Starting at the bottom: stack one side of the batting, then the lining, finally the other side of the batting.
  4. Pin together.
  5. Starting on the outside (the pinky finger side) at the bottom of the lining, begin sewing a straight stitch up and around the hand. Use a 1/4" seam allowance.
  6. Continue sewing until you reach the wrist seam on the thumb side. Stop and back stitch.
  7. You will now have an open seam from the inside wrist to the bottom.
  8. Repeat for the right hand.

Step 6: Sew Together the PUL Shell

Picture of Sew Together the PUL Shell
  1. Take the left hand PUL fabric sleeve and hand, and put the right sides together.
  2. Pin together, using a minimum amount of pins (it's hard to work with, but you don't want your outer shell full of holes).
  3. Begin at the bottom of the outer side (the pinky finger side) sew a straight seam up and around the hand, using a 1/4" seam allowance. Stop once you reach the wrist seam on the thumb side. Back stitch to secure.
  4. You should have an open seam from the wrist to the bottom of the mitten.
  5. Turn the shell right-side out. You can steam press the fabric side of the shell, but NOT on the laminate side.
  6. Repeat the steps for the right hand.

Step 7: Just Stuff It...

Picture of Just Stuff It...

Here's a fun part.

Take the lining and batting of the left hand and stuff it inside the left hand PUL shell. The flannel should still be in the middle of your mitten sandwich, with the right sides together. Do the same for the right hand.

Step 8: Attaching the Fold-Over Elastic

Picture of Attaching the Fold-Over Elastic

The Fold-Over Elastic is used here as the edging for the raw edges. I used it to give a little more "spring" to the mitten, but also because I had it laying around. You can use bias tape as well.

Similar to bias tape, FOE does exactly what the name says. It will fold over the raw edges, creating a finished look to the mitten.

  1. Begin at an inconspicuous area (I chose just passed the centre of the bottom seam) and fold the elastic over the raw edge from outside to inside, covering both sides completely (don't let an edge peak out).
  2. Pin in place. Since I'm lazy, I didn't pin the entire FOE around the raw edges. However, you can pin the entire FOE in place before you start sewing.
  3. Using a zig-zag stitch or a decorative stitch, secure the beginning of the FOE onto the mitten (back stitch if possible).
  4. Keeping the FOE on the bottom, the raw edges tucked inside and the other half of the FOE on top, begin sewing on the FOE.
  5. At the corner, don't cut the elastic. Fold down the corner so the FOE lays in the direction of the new edge, sew up to the corner, leave the needle down, pick up the foot, turn the mitten, put the foot down and continue sewing.
  6. Continue the entire way around the mitten.
  7. Once you've reached the end, turn the tail of the FOE under and fold over the raw edge of the beginning FOE. Sew down.
  8. Repeat for the other mitten.

Step 9: Attach the Hook and Loop

Picture of Attach the Hook and Loop
  1. Sew two strips of hook fasteners to the outside of the mitten on the top. One just under the wrist seam and the other just above the bottom FOE.
    • I made the bottom fastener a little longer so I could adjust the tightness of the bottom to fit not only over his arm, but also over his jacket as well.
  2. On the inside of the opening attach two loop fasteners to the corresponding areas.
  3. Repeat for the other mitten.

Step 10: Seal the Holes and Enjoy!

Picture of Seal the Holes and Enjoy!

Once both mittens have everything sewn onto them, throw them in the dryer for 15-20 minutes to seal the holes made by the pins.

Enjoy little warm hands!

What I love about these mitttens is that they fit over my little guy's hands even when he is wearing his fleece mittens. Which gives me peace of mind on those really cold days (like -50C) when we have to go places, I know that little fingers will always be kept really warm. I also love that the adjustable sleeves can go both in the jacket sleeves and also can be secured over the jacket sleeves.

Comments

wold630 (author)2016-01-26

Great first instructable!! So well documented. I remember those days when the little ones didn't care how cold it was, they just wanted to go outside and enjoy the snow! I can't wait to see what you post next!!

SWhiteford (author)wold6302016-02-15

Thank you for the compliment....here's hoping my next instructable is any good.

twhitney401 (author)2016-01-29

I remember those mitten struggles well. This is a good instructable. Sometimes, I would just put a couple of heavy socks over my kids' hands...

SWhiteford (author)twhitney4012016-02-15

I used to be a teacher in a preschool and mitten struggles were always high ranking for me...socks would have worked sooo much better!

warriorethos2 (author)2016-02-14

SWhiteford, nice mittens. Instead of pins you can use the larger paper clips or small binder clips to hold the materials together while you sew and this way you won't get any holes in your materials. Binder clips can be removed or moved as you sew as well. Good instructions and pictures to show your steps.

SWhiteford (author)warriorethos22016-02-15

Clips are a great idea as well! I don't have enough of either (they seem to keep walking away on me) to do any justice with sewing. Thank you for the compliment.

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