Crafts: Easy Little Oven Mitt

So a little while ago, in a post about gluten-free pasta, I mentioned that I’d made the oven mitt in the background. We have two other store-bought oven mitts, but we went for the cheapest and most boring ones, and they look a little scruffy. The yellow one is the one we use the most.

I figured I’d make a couple more, and take snappies of the process.

This is a pretty easy project for a beginner, and a lot of fun. Onward!

First off, you’ll need to get your fabrics. This is a selection of stuff from my miscellaneous box. What you’ll need is:

– Cotton for the lining and the outside (I like quilting-weight cotton)
– Insulated batting / wadding / filler (whatever you call it in your ‘hood)
– Double-fold quilt binding (also called “bias tape” — I got the extra-wide 7/8″ size)
– Thread, naturally

I like quilting-weight cotton because it feels good, and also because it comes in a thousand and one cool patterns. Oh, and it’s relatively cheap. You can get a “fat quarter” (a quarter-yard of fabric cut in such a way that instead of a long, thin strip, it’s an 18″ x 21″ rectangle) for 99¢ most places. You might also check the remnant bin (one of my favorite stops at the fabric store) for anything that tickles your fancy. The plain blue fabric I have was a remnant, and thus super-cheap.

You can get fat quarters singly, or wrapped together with a few other patterns that go with each other. I have both single quarters and five-packs in my collection of miscellaneous stuff. Take a peek when you’re at the fabric store — the quilting section is surprisingly enormous.

The insulated batting will be over with other battings and fillings and waddings and stuffings. At Jo-Ann Fabrics, it runs $7.99 per yard; at the Wal-Mart, it was something like $6.50. Either way, you can get eight oven mitts out of a yard. Maybe nine or ten if you cut really well. I went ahead and got a whole yard last time, so I still had more than enough left over.

All right, on to making a pattern!

Take an oven mitt and put it on a regular sheet of paper. Trace around, giving yourself an extra half or three-quarters of an inch around the outside. I wanted to make these new mitts a little wider at the fingertips, so I accounted for that. And it’s important to always have a cat overseeing this kind of thing, and helping hold down the paper for you.

Fold your fabric in half, either right-sides together or wrong-sides together, then cut out two of each piece. This green will be the lining of a mitt. You’ll need two pieces of lining, two pieces of insulated batting, and two pieces of outside.

And also, if you’re nervous about how thin the batting is, you can cut an extra piece for the middle. You can either use another piece of insulated batting, or just something heavier like fleece.

Here’s the thing — this is going to be a LOT of layers to sew. So this extra layer, you can cut it a little smaller. So it’ll sit inside the mitt, but you don’t have to sew through the edges. Just make another copy of your pattern, and cut off a half-inch or so around the outside.

So now you’ll have four layers for the front of the mitt, and four layers for the back. Here’s how they’ll go together:

The lining, upside-down. Then the extra fleece. Then the insulated batting (toward the outside of the mitt, for maximum heat-protection) and then the outside cotton.

Now, the decision: to quilt, or not to quilt?

Your oven mitts at home might be either way. They might not be quilted at all, or they might be quilted with lines, or they might be quilted criss-cross. I advise quilting, because it takes four layers and turns them into one easier-to-handle layer.

If you opt to quilt your pieces, just take your stack of four layers, pin them together, then do single lines of stitches across one way, then across the other way. But be sure to pin them. PIN THEM. If you don’t, some of your under-layers could flop around, and you could do something foolish, like:


Then you have to pick the stitches out, which is a pain, then PIN IT and re-sew.

You really don’t want to go through that.

Once things are quilted, then put the quilt binding on. Make sure it’s double fold. This way you get a nice, clean finished bottom with as little effort as possible.

Sew the binding along the bottom of each half. Did you pin it? I sure hope so.

Now all that’s left is sewing the front to the back! Put the wrong sides together, pinning them, of course. I advise lining the sides up then starting the pinning at the thumb, because the thumb area is the most complex part of the project. Then sew all around the outside.

As you can see, I did a fairly terrible job of this. My sewing machine is small and cheap, and there are a LOT of layers to sew through. Instead of the machine feeding the material along, I pretty much had to pull it through. And the corners were problematic. As you can see.

I did a zig-zag stitch to hopefully make them a little tougher. And I went over the ends of the seams back and forth.

As I write this up, it occurs to me that I could have cut the insulated batting to the same size as the fleece. That way when doing my outside seams, I would only be going through four layers of cotton, not four layers of cotton and two layers of heavy batting. Live and learn, eh? Certainly it’ll be something to try next time.

OH, and if you want a loop to hang it by, take a little piece of ribbon (which I think all crafty girls have in a drawer somewhere) and put it between the front and the back before you stitch them together. The loop of the ribbon should stick into the entry-hole and stick out the bottom. (That sounds dirty.)

Flip right-side-out (yes, it’s tough — a lot of layers) and there you have it, an oven mitt!

With a fun, colorful surprise inside!

(Also handy for fisticuffs.)