Girl gifts are soooo much fun to make! For Christmas, the 16-year-old on our gift list got a pair of shabby-chic fingerless mittens made from old T-shirts.
One of my favorite speakers last summer at the Surface Design Association conference in Minneapolis was Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin. We can thank her for making reverse applique cool, as well as an economic boost to her hometown and keeping lots of T-shirts out of the waste stream.
Two of the three old tees used in this project originally resided in our closet. I was able to cut around the stains. The third was a probably-never-worn machine-embroidered souvenir tee I thrifted for 25 cents.
I layered the fabrics together and cut from a pattern I made by trial and error. I used a chalk marker to position the thumb hole. I think a disappearing marker would work better, if I could find where mine is.
What worked like a charm was the bent shaft scissors I bought some 15 years ago for cutting the reverse applique.
I didn't buttonhole stitch all the applique edges -- just the edges of the gloves, the thumb holes, and along the seam lines. There's a reason for the prices on those Alabama Chanin garments.
The three-layer thickness and machine stitching I used give these fingerless mitts some body. Maybe that's only important to me because I remember how frustrating it was when we played dress-up with Jody Newhart's mom's opera gloves and they kept sliding down.
Fingerless mittens went to another girl on our gift list. Next time.