What follows is step by step photo instructions for sewing the MonsterWear mittens (hat instructions are over here). There’s some additional tips and tricks mixed in. If you’ve got any questions while sewing along that this sewalong doesn’t answer, ask a question in the comments and I’ll do everything I can to help. Before sewing along, you might want to read about Fabric Selection and Sizing for the Monster Wear and you definitely want to read tips for working with faux fur.
Note as you’re sewing these mittens that the thumb and claw uses a 1/4″ seam allowance while the rest of the construction is a 5/8″ seam allowance. Before you start, you will want to machine wash your lining fabric and if you are using fleece, wash the fleece as well. Don’t machine wash faux fur. After cutting your pieces out, transfer the markings using chalk – I don’t recommend snipping the notches because the 1/4″ seam allowance on the thumb is too small to allow for snipped notches.
Step 1-3: Sew the each set of Claws right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Cutting 16 pieces gives you 8 sewn claws. You may want to start your seam at the top of the claw and sew down the side, then repeat at the top of the claw down the other side. This minimizes distortion as you sew. Trim the seam allowance down a little bit at the point of the claw and turn it right side out.
You may want a tool to help you turn your claws right side out. Just about anything narrow without too sharp of an end will work, since you don’t want the tool to poke through the claw. These claws are sewn with a scuba knit which is thick and stable, but if your fabric has too much drape to hold the claw shape, apply a layer of interfacing to the wrong side of each claw piece before sewing. Even easier, block fuse a large piece of fabric to a piece of interfacing and use that to cut out each of the claw pieces.
Step 4: Pin and then baste the claws to the end of the mitten palm using the claw placement marks. Placing your claws at different angles will affect how they stick out when the mitten is complete, so you can baste the mitten palm to mitten back, right sides together, along the top of the curve to make sure that you like your claw placement before continuing. Rip out the basting stitches holding the mitten palm to back (if you do use them) before you continue.
Step 5: Trim the remaining 2 claws shorter by 1/2″. These claws will be used for the thumbs. We trim them so that they are the same length as the other claws when the mittens are complete because the thumbs use a 1/4″ seam allowance while the palm uses a 5/8″ seam allowance.
Step 6: Pin and then baste the claw to the thumb, following the placement notch.
Step 7-9: Fold the thumb in half along the center line, and sew the upper edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn the thumb right side out. Fold the thumb lining in half along the center line, and sew the upper edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Step 10-12: Cut the thumb holes out of your 2 thumb palms, making sure that you cut mirror images – flip the pattern over before marking and cutting the second thumb hole. Lay your thumb on your palm so that you are sure you have the correct orientation.
Pin the thumb into the thumb hole. This will be tricky because you are sewing a convex and concave curve together, but the seams are the same length along the 1/4″ seam allowance, I promise.
Sew the thumb into the mitten palm. I recommend sewing very slowly, and stopping with your needle in the down position. I like to place my presser foot in the thumb to sew the seam so that I am sewing with the thumb as the top layer and the palm as the bottom layer. If you have a 1/4″ presser foot, use it to get the most accurate 1/4″ seam possible.
If you have a very difficult time getting your thumb to fit into your thumb hole in the palm, you can make tiny snips in the seam allowance around the curve to help the curve relax enough to fit your pieces together. Remember that you are sewing with a 1/4″ seam allowance at this point so the snips need to be significantly shorter than 1/4″. You might not think that a few 1/8″ snips can actually help that much, but you would be surprised.
After you have sewn the thumb into the thumb hole in the palm, you will need to notch the seam allowance by making small snips that are shorter than 1/4″ in the thumb seam. This allows the fabric to relax and fit smoothly and comfortably around the thumb. This is particularly important the stiffer and thicker your fabric are. It may not feel necessary in fabric with give, like fleece, but it will give you the most comfortable fit.
Step 14: Sew your thumb lining to the palm lining in the same manner.
Step 13: Safety pin the thumb to the palm to keep it out of the way for the rest of the steps. You don’t want it to get caught in any other seams!
Step 15-16: Sew the mitten palm to the mitten back, right sides together along the top and sides. If you are working with faux fur, start sewing at the top of the mitten and sew your way down the side (sewing the direction of the nap) and then start at the top again and sew your way down the other side. Trim the seam allowance down and notch it along the top curve.
Step 17: Line up the top of your seam tape or bias tape to the elastic guide line and hand sew it in place, leaving a gap on either end. You can use a catch stitch or any other stitch that you are comfortable with. If you make sure to only catch the backing of the fabric and not push your needle through to the fur, your stitches won’t be visible on the other side.
You can see that your tape should cover one seam allowance but be left open on both ends at the other.
Step 18: Measure your elastic and mark a line on it the suggested length of the wrist elastic. Use a safety pin attached to the end of the elastic to thread it through the elastic casing.
At this point, you can pin your elastic to itself, lining up the end with the marked length, to try on the mitten and ensure that this length of elastic is comfortable.
Align the end of the elastic with mark line and sew it to itself, making sure that it is making a round loop and is not twisted. Trim off any excess elastic.
If you are working with fleece, or another fabric that you can topstitch on, you can save yourself some hand sewing by machine sewing the casing to the mitten. Sew the mitten palm to mitten back, right sides together, with a 5/8″ seam allowance, along the top and one side.
Place the bias tape or seam binding in place according to the placement line and topstitch it down, starting and stopping the stitching 5/8″ in from the side of the mitten. Then sew the other side of the seam, making sure you do not sew through the casing when you sew the seam. Trim and notch the seam and insert the elastic as instructed.
Step 19-20: Sew the mitten lining palms to mitten lining backs, right sides together using a 5/8″ seam allowance and leaving a 5″ gap on one side. The gap is too small as pictured here, as it was a royal pain to turn the mitten right side out through it, so do as I say not as I do in this instance. Trim the seam allowance down and notch it around the top curve.
Step 21: Insert the lining into the mitten while the mitten is wrong side out and the lining is right side out so that they are right sides together. Make sure that your thumbs are on the same side of the mitten.
Sew the lining to the mitten using a 5/8″ seam allowance.
Step 22: Using the gap in the side of your mitten lining, understitch the bottom seam. This means that you want to sew a line 1/4″ away from the bottom seam on the lining side, stitching through the lining and both seam allowances.
Be very careful as you sew this line that you are only sewing through the lining and both seam allowances. It’s easy to catch other bits of the mitten in your sewing at this point. Go slow, stop with your needle down, and rotate your mitten and the gap through which you are sewing every inch or two.
Step 23: Turn your mitten right side out through the gap in the lining. This is what your understitching will look like when you done. It helps to keep your lining rolled toward the inside of the mitten instead of peeking out the bottom of your mitten.
Step 24: Hand stitch the gap in your lining closed or use the cheater method described in the Hat Sewalong.
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