Friday, May 21, 2010

Infant scratch mittens: tutorial and pattern

Well, my sweet little boy is three weeks old now, and I thought I would share a project with you all that I made last week to help prevent those long baby fingernails from scratching delicate skin.  I had a couple pairs of scratch mitts but most of them were too large and would fall off easily, or had scratchy elastic right next to baby's skin.  The tutorial I have come up with here is for a lined scratch mitt that has the elastic inside a casing.


You will need:
-Scratch Mitt pattern (included below)
-lining fabric (I used flannel- so soft and cozy, which is a plus in cold temperatures.)
-outer fabric (A fat quarter would give you more than enough fabric for one pair- probably two. Use a cotton jersey or other stretchy fabric for easier application!)
-thin elastic- 1/4" width or smaller
-coordinating thread and other miscellaneous sewing supplies

First, print out the pattern by clicking the thumbnail below.  Trim it to your desired size.  I made mine from the small size, which is about right for most newborns.  My little guy was 9 pounds, and it still fits him just fine!  If you are sewing for a baby on the petite side, or a preemie, you will need to trim it down smaller.  The medium and large sizes can be used for slightly older/ larger babies, or if you just like the mitts to be a bit roomier.

Click the picture to open the pdf (you'll be able to download and print).

Next, cut your fabric.  For each pair of scratch mitts, you will need to cut 4 pieces from your lining, and 4 from your outer fabric (pictured below are the pieces for just one mitt).


Now we start sewing.  Put two pieces of your lining fabric that you cut out together, and sew around the  curvy edge (don't sew the straight edge yet), from one corner to the other leaving about a 2" gap on the side.  If you look at the picture below, you can see two little blue marks where I stopped sewing.  Make sure to backstitch on each side of the gap.  Then trim all the way around the stitching, except for the area you didn't sew- leave the extra fabric there so it will be easier to sew up later.


Okay, now do the same thing for the outer fabric, with right sides together, and sew from one corner, around the curve, to the other corner- no gap on this one.  Try to use a smaller seam allowance, meaning sew closer to the edge if possible.  That will allow a better fit when the lining is inside the outer fabric.  Then trim any excess fabric and cut notches in the rounded part- you can see what I mean if you look closely at the picture below.  The notches will make it look better after you turn it right side out.


Now turn it right side out!  We will call this piece the outer mitt.


The next step is to put the outer mitt inside the lining so that right sides are together.  As you can see from the photo below, when I left the gap, I didn't sew down the second corner, and that made the next part more difficult.  I learned my lesson for the next one!  Now sew the raw cuff edges together, all the way around.


Now pull both the outer mitt and the lining through the gap in the lining so you have one piece that looks like this:


Push the lining down into the outer mitt and topstitch around the edge to make a casing for the elastic- the distance from the edge will vary based on the size of your elastic.  I recommend measuring the width of your elastic and adding 1/8" or a little more.  Remember to leave an opening on both sides of the seam that has the gap in it (see picture below).  That will allow you to thread the elastic up into the casing.


After the casing is sewn, you will need to cut your elastic.  I cut my elastic to 4 1/4"; cut it a bit smaller or larger if you need to, depending on the size of your baby's wrist (you can take your cut elastic and try it on your baby's wrist).  Pin a safety pin on one edge of the elastic and thread it through the casing.  Stitch the two ends of the elastic together.


Once the elastic is in, you can sew up the gap around the cuff, as well as the gap in the lining fabric- just pull the lining out, pinch the edges together with the raw edges pointing inside, and sew together as close to the edge as possible.


Stuff the lining back inside, and you've got yourself some cute- as- can- be scratch mitts!


Now go and save the sweet baby cheeks in your lives from flailing fingers!

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