One of the unfinished projects that has been lurking in my sewing room has been oven mitts.
Long ago, I bought some Insul-Bright insulated wadding, and I set it aside with some kitchen print fabric with the intention of making mitts. More recently, I realised that I could also use up quilt wadding scraps and some heavy wool fabric remnants I had in my cupboard.
The Insul-Bright came with a pattern for oven mitts, so I used that pattern and some cotton upholstery fabric remnants for my first test mitt. I only had enough fabric for one mitt, so that is all I made. I used wool and quilt wadding for the insulating layers.
The mitt is nice and long, but I misinterpreted the dashed red line on the pattern as indicating a seam allowance was included. It was not, so the mitt is smaller than planned. It fits my hands nicely, but my husband cannot get his hands in. I gave it to a friend whose husband can only make toast, so they will not notice that it is too small for him.
Each mitt has four layers of fabric: the outside, the lining and two layers of insulating quilt wadding or wool. The layers create a lot of bulk, which means that you have to spend a lot of time trimming seams and clipping curves.
Next, I made a pair of mitts with some Japanese fabric scraps I bought in Takayama in 2014. (Yikes! It was that long ago!) Continuing the Japanese theme, the lining was a Japanese indigo print.
The pattern I used was the Bombazine mitt, and I patched together the scraps in mirror-image pairs.
I used basting spray to keep everything in place while I quilted the outside fabric to two layers of insulation by sewing in the ditch. I thought about adding some boro stitching, but I knew that would take more time than I had in the pre-Christmas rush.
The Bombazine pattern does not call for binding, but I added it. I felt binding the wrists made construction easier and avoided the problems of turning a ridiculously bulky seam.
I was so happy with these Japanese fabric mitts that I gave them to my mum for Christmas. I think they look smart, and they are a dark enough colour to hide kitchen spills and scorch marks.
The colour is perhaps not the most practical for the kitchen, especially as I used a cream fabric for the lining, but their prettiness makes me happy. I used the Insul-Bright for this pair, and the foil layer in it makes a crinkly sound.
The Bombazine pattern is a good size for my large women’s hands and my mum’s small hands, but my husband could not use them. If you are sewing for a man, you might need to scale the pattern up a little. (Late correction: they do fit my husband.) It is a great shape, so I would definitely reuse this pattern.
It is now March, but I finished these in December as Christmas gifts. One of my UFOs for 2020 was making the oven mitts and emptying the project bag that had the kitchen print and the Insul-Bright in it. Despite the delay, I am counting it as a 2020 UFO finish!
The more of these UFO project bags (and boxes) I can tidy away, the more space I have in my sewing room. Last year’s efforts mean the room is looking neater. Hurrah!