No, this isn’t a reference to our past election and Governor Romney.
This is in rereference to my hideously stained and abused and damaged kitchen hot mitts. I went to buy some new ones and didn’t care for the ones at a famous cooking store and at Macy’s–where Martha has taken over everything in the domestic world–there were only hot mitts with ruffles. Ruffles? I knew they’d be disgusting looking in short order. (Ruffles? I’m still shaking my head. Very cute, I want the kind of mitt that if I have to use the thumb to scootch things over onto the cooling rack, I won’t worry about how precious those tools are. Just want them to work.)
So one day, I turned the ones I liked inside-out to see how they were made.
Then I traced it with a sharpie onto what was laying around on the counter–an ad from the car dealer. Actually this ended up being a good idea because it was thicker than regular paper and pretty sturdy.
And after I cut it out, I had a pattern. But I decided I should allow for shrinkage, because I wash and dry these over and over, so I enlarged it by 10% which yielded the pattern at the end of this post. Print it out, match up the car writing and making sure your 1-inch guide on the side is really one-inch (every printer is a little bit different), tape it together and you’ve got a good pattern. I’d actually purchased a pattern but took it back when I realized how easy this was going to be.
Go the Big Box fabric store and buy some utility fabric that looks like this: a metallic cotton on the outside, cotton batting on the inside, already quilted together. Use your coupon. I bought one yard and I’ll get four mitts out of it. Get yourself some 80% cotton/20% wool batting or some 100% cotton batting, if you don’t have scraps laying around.
And throw a bias tape maker into your cart, too. I chose the 1″ version and it worked great. I picked up the Dritz (on the left) and on the right, I show the full complement of Clover Bias Tape Makers. Either work fine. They have decent directions on the back of the Dritz.
Layer in the following order: (1) Utility fabric, metallic side down - then – (2) your cotton batting – then – (3) your chosen fabric. I’m using some of Malka Dubrawsky’s first line. I love it, but I have never figured out how to use it. This will be perfect as it will brighten up my kitchen every day. Using pins, secure it in a few places. Cut out what you need by placing your hot mitt pattern down and guesttimating: I think mine ended up about 14″ by 18.” Roughly. Quilt all layers together. Don’t get too precious about it!
Now lay out your pattern and cut out one mitt.
Reverse the pattern by flipping it over, and cut your second mitt. Match them up, metallic sides out, then pin in a few places so it doesn’t shift. Sew from under the thumb all the way around the mitt STOPPING 2″ FROM EDGE. Leave that edge flapping, as it will be easier to attach the bias tape.
(You can click to enlarge this picture so you can see the writing better.)
Follow the directions on the back of the tape maker package for cuting a bias strip. Basically you fold the corner down into the fabric, creating a bias edge. Cut the strips 1 3/4″ wide for a one-inch bias strip. Feed it through the bias tape maker tool, using a pin to help out the leading edge if you need to. Then use your iron to set the folds.
I put two pins on the tape, as I drew it out, and then pressed it. It sounds WAY more complicated than it is.
Beginning with one of the loose edges, fold the tape over the lower raw edge, and stitch the tape onto the mitt. I found it easiest to stitch from the “inside” which would be what I would see when I use the mitt.
Again, don’t get too precious about this–just make sure that both folds of the tape are caught in the stitching. I did one, and then decided I wanted to trim out that seam allowance under the thumb edge for about one-quarter inch up from the lower edge, just to get rid of some bulk. The world won’t end if you don’t.
Finish stitching that last two inches, and backstitch to secure.
I also zig-zagged that last two inches to finish it off. Given that it’s BIAS tape, it’s not going to ravel, but hey. Just thought it needed it.
Flip your mitt right-side out and admire what you’ve done!
I cut some scraps into squares with rounded edges, and used the leftover bias tape to make a couple of coasters. Don’t examine my stitching, because like I said, I didn’t do anything too precious on this project. Just sturdy.
Okay, below are the patterns. Print them out and adjust your printer settings so the inch mark is true, then tape your two halves together. I scanned my pattern so it’s pretty true; I’m hoping you don’t have to do too much monkeying around. My hand size? Medium in rubber gloves, so if yours is smaller or larger, use your copier/printed to enlarge or smallerize your pattern.
Have fun making them!