December 8, 2014

Oven Mitts By Me For Christmas

I wanted to give a couple of my friends handmade gifts and so I settled on oven mitts. I need some, too, so at some point I'll make some for myself.

It was fun picking fabrics that suited my friends Pat and Carol. Pat shares my love of Paris and, in particular, with the Eiffel Tower.  The women in the Melody Miller linen print suited Carol, I thought, and I'd been hoarding this little fat quarter for a couple of years waiting for the right project. The orange plaid also reminds me of Carol.

This was also my first time working with Insulbrite ... the tinfoily batting that helps make the mitts heat resistant.

What I learned while making these oven mitts ...

  • Having the right tools makes all the difference ... thank you Hera Marker from Flo! I'd tried it once before but couldn't really see the lines I'd made using it. Since I wasn't going to wash these mitts before giving them, I didn't want to use a marker or chalk so I gave the Hera Marker another shot. While I could hardly see the lines while I was making them at my cutting table, they showed up clear as day when I got to my sewing machine with the Ott-Lite shining on them. PERFECT!! The combo of Hera Marker and Ott Lite is ideal!
  • These oven mitts are super thick! Each side has a muslin layer (for lining), a layer of insul-brite, a layer of batting, another layer of insul-brite, and then the fabric. The quilting squishes it all down quite nicely but the edges are still very thick. Zig-zagging around the edges of the quilted pieces before sewing them together is a good idea. 
  • Reinforcing with extra stitching in "the crotch" and on both sides of the thumb is necessary. 
  • Trimming the edges at the top of the curve and on all sides of the thumb before turning is necessary. Again, you'll be glad you reinforced the seams in those areas.
  • The hardest part of the whole project is turning the mitt right side out. It's a real work out and when you do it, you'll be glad for all that reinforcing.
  • My machine struggled a bit with the thickness when I went over the binding and loop areas. It's pretty thick, that's for sure.
These shouldn't really take so long as they took me to make. I'm always slow.

The pattern and instructions I used can be found at The Good Weekly. After reading other tutorials, I chose to follow a different tutorial for the binding. I bound the ends before sewing them together. I found instructions for that at Sew Hooked.  And to add the loop so they can be hung, I used this tutorial at the Riley Blake Cutting Corners blog. I picked up good collective instructions from all three of these tutorials.

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