Mitten Pattern – How To Sew Upcycled Sweater Mittens

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Love mittens but unable to knit? Today I have a sewing solution for upcycling clothes into cozy mittens that may be just the thing you are looking for. Use my free mitten pattern and make your own simple fleece, jersey or even upcycled sweater mittens!

Mitten Pattern – How To Sew Upcycled Sweater Mittens

Upcycling clothes is one of my favourite ways of stopping fabric going to landfill. If a garment cannot be donated or sold, I would rather make something useful from it than consign it to the trash, as excess fabric is one of the major polluters of the planet. 

Today, I had an old cardigan of my daughters to upcycle. It was too small, and had a large black mark on the back of it. I had already made the cuffs into fingerless gloves – see the tutorial here. But I still had plenty of fabric. So I decided that a pair of mittens was the next step.

What Garments Can You Upcycle Into Mittens?

  • Old Sweatshirts
  • Knitted Jumpers and cardigans – see below how to felt these knits into useful material than won’t unravel
  • Fleece garments
  • Jersey garments – especially fleece or terry type jersey materials.

You may wish to do two layers of material, I will let you decide. But I am going to show just one layer in this tutorial.

You will need


Materials needed for mittens

  • An old garment to upcycle 
  • Coordinating thread
  • My Mitten Template
  • Sewing machine (optional – you can make these by hand)
  • Scissors, needles and pins

You May Need To Adjust The Free Easy Mitten Pattern

Please note before starting: This classic mittens pattern is to fit my own hands, which are a female size small. However in the tutorial I did size it down to fit my almost 7 year old daughter. If you do wish to make larger or smaller mittens, you may need to adjust the pattern to the size you wish. I always make a toile or practice garment before sewing my real fabric

See why I think sewing a toile is always a good idea.


How To Make Mittens


Use the Mitten Patterns Template to cut 2 mirror image pieces of each piece. For each mitten you need 3 pieces. 

Cutting Mirror Pieces for each mitten

Place the cut out pieces from part 1 and part 2 of the template right sides together. 

Template pieces 1 and 2

Using a straight stitch, sew the thumb pieces together. 

Sew thumb pieces together along this line

Next open up the resulting piece and place this right sides together with the part 3 piece of the mitten pattern template.

The opened up piece with part 3 of the template

Tuck the thumb into the centre slightly. And sew all the way around the sides and curved top edge, make sure to catch the thumb seam into the edge.

Where to sew around the mitten edge

Turn the whole thing the right way out. You can leave the cuff edge as it is as the materials we are using tend not to fray. But I do tend to hem the cuff by turning the cuff edge under by a half inch (1cm) or so, and sewing to hold this in place.

Before and after sewing the cuff of your easy mittens

And you have finished mittens! 

Finished upcycled Mittens -Mitten Pattern - How To Sew Upcycled Sweater Mittens - upcycle old clothes or knitted cardigans, sweaters and jumpers into cozy hand gloves!

Using Old Sweaters To Make Knit Mittens


I cannot knit, so using a mittens knitting pattern is out for me. But this pattern can also be used with felted old wool garments, meaning that you end up with some faux knitted mittens! Felted wool actually keeps your hands warmer as the wool fibres have been meshed closer together. Plus it wicks water away from your hands easily too, keeping your hands dry and warm.

To felt an old sweater place your old sweaters in an old pillowcase and wash on a hot temperature. Use less water and only a tiny bit of washing soap, as this increases the agitation to the sweater in the machine.

Dry the garment flat and it should be felted. However, if you want the felting (fulling) to increase, dry it in the tumble dryer on a hot setting and the sweater will felt even more. 

The resulting sweater will now have shrunk. And you should be able to cut the wool like fabric and make it into a more knitted mitten style using the template above. Happy sewing!

Love This Mitten Pattern Sewing Idea? Why Not Read Some Of My Other Zero Waste and Eco Friendly Posts?

I love to show you really easy ways that you can make the small changes that add up to make a big impact on how eco friendly you are. So why not read these other posts I have written?

I have loads of craft ideas and free patterns on my site so why not go take a look? I love to see what you are doing, so please do comment below, or tag me on social media.

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Mitten Pattern - How To Sew Upcycled Sweater Mittens - upcycle old clothes or knitted cardigans, sweaters and jumpers into cozy hand gloves!

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