Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lining mittens, part 2: thumb on the front

This post is about lining front-thumbed mittens, and is part 2 of a series: the first post of this series was about lining mittens which have side thumbs.

As with the side-thumbed mittens, we are using Polar Fleece for lining. In the illustrations below, the "good" (fluffier) side of the polar fleece is illustrated in blue, and the "not-so-good" side is illustrated in green. 

Step 1: Lay out the mitten on a piece of Polar Fleece, and trace the back of the mitten. This is pattern piece "C."

Step 2: Flip the mitten over with the thumb pointing up towards the top of the mitten. Trace along the bottom (cuff) line, then up both sides to the level at which the thumb starts. Next, draw a straight line from the side of the mitten to the base of the thumb, then trace the thumb itself. This gives pattern piece "B." 

The last pattern piece to cut is "A." With the thumb now facing down towards the cuff of the mitten, and the front of the mitten against the lining material, trace the top of the mitten and down both sides to the level of the thumb. Draw a straight line across to where the thumb starts, then trace the the thumb itself. 

The end result is as shown: your lining material with the three pattern pieces "A," the top part of the mitten front with a tracing of the thumb, "B," the bottom part of the mitten front with a tracing of the thumb, and "C," the back of the mitten.

Step 3: Holding the "good sides" of A and B together, sew as shown. When you unfold the two after sewing them together, you'll find that you've made a pretty good front-thumb. As to the sewing: if you have a sewing machine, this will take only a few short moments and you don't even have to find a matching thread and bobbin, because no one is ever, ever, going to see this seam. If you're sewing by hand, a good stitch to use would be the back stitch.

Step 4: Now, sew the back piece, C, onto the front piece made up of A+B. After this bit of sewing, you will have a finished mitten lining.

Step 5: slip the lining form into the mitten as shown, with the seamed side out. This way, the seam will be trapped between the lining and the inside of the mitten, never to be seen (or felt) again.

Step 6: finish the process by turning the whole works inside out, so the "good side" of the lining is showing, and the mitten is actually inside out, completely inside of the lining. Sew the lining to the mitten using the overcast stitch.

Some final notes:

1) There is no seam allowance left for three reasons: First, you WANT the lining to be smaller than the mitten. Second, fleece can be sewn awfully near the very edge: because it can't unravel, you need not have very much seam allowance at all: 1/8 inch is enough, and 1/4 inch is a lot. Third, fleece stretches, so you don't have to be nearly as precise with fleece as with woven cloth.

2) The cuff is not usually lined in mittens: this would make the wrist stiff.

3) Mittens to be lined must be knit sufficiently large to accommodate the lining and your hand. This means making the mittens longer and wider, and it means that the thumb must proportionately be kitted quite large indeed in order to prevent the finished, lined mitten thumb from strangling your actual thumb.

You have been reading TECHknitting blog on "lining mittens with fleece."