Sew a Set of Upcycled Sweater Fingerless Gloves




Introduction: Sew a Set of Upcycled Sweater Fingerless Gloves

Fingerless gloves are a fantastic way to keep warm in the winter, while still retaining the use of your fingers, much needed tools for delicate work, even in the cold. Why not take a favorite sweater that has out-lived its use, and give it a second chance at life in the form of a toasty pair of fingerless gloves?  Not only will you be able to hold on to your beloved sweater for just a bit longer, your hands will thank you when the temperature outside dips below zero - or more.

This is the companion instructable to Sew an upcycled sweater scarf. You can make both projects using the same sweater, and create a matching set for maximum warmth!

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Step 1: What You'll Need

Gather together the following items to create a pair of toasty fingerless gloves:

 - One old sweater (it can be made of anything - fabric, knitted or crocheted - it doesn't matter)
 - One half yard/meter of fleece, in a color that matches your sweater
 - Matching color of thread
 - Scissors
 - Straight pins
 - Yard/meter stick or measuring tape
 - Four matching buttons, 3/4" diameter
 - Sewing needle
 - Seam ripper
 - Scraps of felt
 - Hot-glue gun
 - sewing machine*

*This project is put together using a sewing machine, so I have outline the steps of the instructable as such, HOWEVER, this does not mean it cannot be completed by hand. In fact, I commend you if you choose to sew this scarf project by hand. It takes a lot of patience - of which I have never had.

Step 2: Harvesting the Fabric

The first thing you need to do is cut out enough fabric from your old sweater to make the fingerless gloves. Luckily, sweaters are excellent for this project in that they have SLEEVES, which are essentially fingerless gloves themselves.

Lay the sweater flat and find the shoulder seam. Use the scissors to cut along the inside of the shoulder seam to separate the sleeve from the body of the sweater. Do the same for both sleeves.

Step 3: Cutting the Gloves

Pull one of the sleeves on so that the end of it lies just above the lowest joints of your fingers. This will allow for maximum warmth AND movement. Bend your elbow, and mark the point where the sleeve creases with a pin. Remove the sweater arm and lay it flat on the table.

Cut straight across the end of the sleeve marked with the pin. This is the end of your glove. Once the seam allowance is turned under and sewn, this length will be slightly shorter than the length of your forearm, and will allow for maximum movement. Lay the cut sleeve on top of the uncut sleeve. and cut the second sleeve to the same length as the first.

Step 4: Preparing the Lining

Next comes the toasty warm lining! Fold the piece of fleece fabric in half , and lay both sleeves along the fold. Cut out the fleece around the sleeve, adding 1/2-inch to both the bottom edge and cut side. 

Remove the sweater sleeves and pin the bottom edge of the fleece sleeves. Stitch along the bottom edge of the fleece lining of both sleeves.

Now insert the sewn lining inside the sweater sleeve. The easiest way to do this is to put on the lining, seam on the outside, then put on the sweater sleeve over the lining, matching up the seams. Remove the lined sleeve.

Step 5: Assembling the Layers

With your fleece and sweater sleeves together pull the excess 1/2-inch of lining fabric out the skinnier end, where your fingers will eventually be.

Turn the fleece under 1/2-inch on the skinnier end of the sleeve, towards the sweater, and pin the fabric in place.

Using the sewing machine, sew a straight line of stitching around the end of the sleeve, 1/4-inch from the edge of the fabric. Repeat the process with the second sleeve.

On the wider edge of the sleeve, turn both the fleece lining and the sweater layer under(in towards each other), 1/2-inch each. Pin the layers in place.

Stitch a straight line of stitching around the widest end of the sleeve, 1/4-inch from the edge of the fabric.

Step 6: Adding a Thumb Hole

The basic form of the glove is done, but there is one more thing to do before we can call it a glove: add the thumb hole.

Lay one glove flat and lay your hand over it, as though you were wearing the glove, thus placing your fingers at the proper height. Stick your thumb out 90 degrees, and place one pin on either side of it. This is where the thumb hole will go. Transfer this mark to the second glove.

Going very slowly and following the instructions in your sewing machine manual, stitch a buttonhole in the glove between the pins indicating the thumb hole. Unfortunately, I cannot give more details than this, since each sewing machine sews buttonholes differently. Once you have sewn your buttonhole, use a seam ripper to rip open the hole between the lines of stitching. Try out the fit, then repeat with the second glove.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

At this point, the fingerless gloves are complete and wearable, but not finished! If you would like, you can doll them up a bit with buttons and felt, to match your upcycled sweater scarf you just made!

Cut out flower pieces from scraps of felt to match the design on your scarf and hot-glue the pieces onto buttons.

Sew the buttons in place on the gloves, lining up the buttons on the top edge of the glove opposite the thumb. Remember that these buttons are purely decorative, so there will be no need for buttonholes.

That's it! Try on your new fleece-lined upcycled sweater fingerless gloves and get toasty!

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    4 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    just made some of these out of a favorite hoodie i shrank in the dryer. i've wanted fingerless gloves for so long, but i've never been able to buy or knit any that i liked. great idea, easy ible, and now my hands will be warm while i game :) thanks for posting this!


    Nice job, and good photos, featured.

    Also these gloves keep a pint of beer cold and your hand warm, but someone ill get upset about beer gloves later...


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    But really, beer gloves are a small price to pay for a cold beer, wouldn't you think?