Free Pattern… Sew Cute Mittens from a Sweater!

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You can sew warm and fuzzy mittens using an old sweater! Use this free mitten pattern with a step by step sewing tutorial to create lots of mittens out of nothing – well out of last year’s too small sweaters. 🙂

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If you would rather sew than knit (like me) you can still make handmade mittens using warm stretchy fabric from an old sweater.

You’ll probably be able to make 2 pairs of mittens from one sweater. The most important part of the sweater for this pattern is not what you see above…


It is this… the cuffs and waistband. You’ll cut them off and use them for the mitten cuffs. Now, this pattern would work with just about any sweater. I stated wool or wool blend because I love how durable, pretty, and warm wool is. But if you have another sweater with a ribbed cuff and/or hem that you’d like to try it will most likely work. And FYI, this sweater has been lightly felted or fulled. That basically means I shrunk it in the wash on purpose. I could repeat the process until the fibers were so tight it would not stretch, but I am happy with it the way it is for this project. {Here} is an easy to understand blog post about felting sweaters.


Cut the sweater up along the seams to make yourself some nice usable ‘fabric’ and then cut off the cuffs and waistband because you will sew them on separately.

Download the free mitten templates here.

I drafted the pattern piece in S/M/L and adult sizes. The sizes are approximately:

  • S – children’s 4-6

  • M – childrens 8

  • L – childrens 10-12

  • adult – women’s size

but the size you end up with will depend on how stretchy and thick your sweater fabric is. If your sweater fabric is not very stretchy or is very thick, definitely go up a size.


Cut out four mitten pieces (two reversed). For a perfect cuff fit, measure to see what length fits snugly but comfortably around the child’s wrist and add 1/2”. If you don’t have the child (or adult) nearby, cut 2 cuff strips as follows:

  • S – 6” long

  • M – 6.5” long

  • L – 7” long

  • adult – 7.5”-8.5” long


Place two mitten pieces right sides together and stitch all around with a 1/4” seam allowance.

Cut off the points and clip to the inside curve where the thumb is. Don’t cut your stitches! You may also make notches around the curves if you feel it is too bulky.


Fold each cuff strip in half and sew the short edges together with a 1/4” seam allowance.

Place one cuff over a mitten with right sides together and the raw edges aligned. Stitch, stretching the cuff slightly to fit the mitten. If the mitten seems stretched out at this point, use your iron on the steam setting to shrink it back into shape.


Now make pom poms from yarn. I found an awesome video tutorial using just yarn, a fork, and some embroidery thread. These pom poms were the perfect size. To sew it on your mitten, run a needle and strong thread through the center thread in the pom pom that holds it together. Then take a stitch on the mitten. Repeat once more to make it strong and tie off. Done!


This little elf kept going outside in 80 degree weather to see if her mittens worked, lol. I told her she could get me a soda from the fridge and see if they kept her hands from getting cold… a much better test!

Happy sewing!

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