Monday, January 16, 2012

Sleeve Gloves: No more cold wrists

Ok, so I don't consider myself a great seamstress by any stretch of the imagination. I usually make stuff for the house and can follow simple patterns. This is my first attempt at sharing a sewing tutorial. I got the idea to extend gloves by sewing them to the arm of a sweatshirt from my friend Amy who blogs "My Heart My Home." Here is her original post about sleeve gloves.

The purpose of these gloves is two fold. The first is to keep the gloves on during serious winter play. If you've ever had a frustrated child who can't keep his gloves on while trying to build a snow fort, you know what I mean. The second purpose is to keep those wrists dry and warm. You know how the snow compacts between the top of the glove and the bottom of the jacket sleeve? Then the wrist gets all cold and wet. This sleeve glove should solve both of these problems.

1. The first thing you want to do, is find 2 long-sleeve shirts you don't mind cutting up. Since my son is a size 4T, I went into the 3T stash and pulled out a fleece hoody, and a pair of pj's that he doesn't wear any more. I wanted the a pj layer on the inside because I wanted something that was snug against his skin without any seams. The fleece was a good choice for outer layer to help keep in the warmth. Ideally, I was looking for an old water resistant windbreaker jacket, to better keep out the snow, but I didn't have anything I was willing to sacrifice. Maybe I should have gone to Good Will to get something. Oh well. The photo below shows the shirts and the mittens I used for this project.

2. Next, cut off the the sleeves at the shoulder seam.

3. If your model is around, use him to fit the outer layer. Put the sleeve inside out, and pin the side with the the seam loosely against his arm. (For example in this photo, if I would have pinned above his arm, the sleeve would have two seams, and therefore not as comfortable.) Also, take into consideration the stretchy-ness of your sleeve. Since mine is fleece and has a lot of give, I could put my seam pretty close to his arm. But if you are using a windbreaker, your seam shouldn't be as close to the arm because it may reduce the ability to bend at the elbow.

4. Make a seam along your pin line. I made a zig-zag line and a straight stitch. The sleeve on the top is what is looks like before I trimmed off the excess.

5. Turn the outside layer right-side out, and place the inside layer within the outside layer lining them up how you'd like.

6. Sew the outside layer to the inside layer at the cuff. This will not be visible and will hold the two pieces together. I used a zig-zag stitch so that it would have a bit of stretch. (Excuse the poor stitches, my sewing machine is in dire need of a tune up.)

7. At this point its a good idea to put it back on your model to check for length. Decide how far up the arm you want it to go. You want it above the elbow, even with the elbow bent. This will help keep the glove on. Cut the outer layer 2 inches shorter than the inner. Then fold the inner layer to the outside, and stitch it.

8. The last step is to attach the glove to the sleeve. Overlap the 2 cuffs with the glove cuff on top. Unfortunately, I think the best way to do this is doing a hand whip stitch. (I couldn't figure out how to get to that seam on the sewing machine.) I also suggest using a thimble, to save your finger!

9. Because I made my layers so thick, my son wears a short-sleeve t-shirt, with the sleeve gloves under his winter coat. If you prefer for your kids to layer, you might want lighter layers for your sleeve gloves. Put them on and enjoy!


  1. you really done a fabulous job by defining your sewing experience in your post , thanks
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  2. I have two boys, 6 and 3. Sometimes it feels like I spend more time putting their mittens/gloves back on than I do playing with them outside. This is a great idea, and I've seen patented ones online for about $20/pair. Before I give it a try myself, I was wondering how did this worked out for you. Did they work as well as planned? Did your son like them?

  3. How did this work out for you? Did they stay on better? Did your son like them? I have two sons, 6 and 3. Sometimes it seems like I spend more time putting their gloves back on than I do playing with them. This is a great idea!

  4. I wandered in looking for easy ideas/instructions for lengthening my sons coat sleeves....I think I can alter what you've done to fit what I need!! :D (and it will be simple enough even for me! ;) )


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