Monday, January 23, 2012

How to make Lined, Insulated Oven Mitts

Making oven mitts is pretty darn easy, and it's a good way to ensure you have some cute ones in your kitchen! As you can see from this picture, my old pink one was looking pretty sad. I've even caught it on fire a couple times. But an old oven mitt that fits well is the best place to start when cutting out a new one.

1. Lay your old oven mitt on your fabric and cut around it (making two pieces), remembering to allow for your seam.

2. Use this as the template to cut out your lining fabric (cut two).

 3. Now use your cut out fabric to cut out your insulation. I used a product called "Insul-Bright" that is designed with a shiny layer to reflect heat, as well as a couple layers of cotton batting for extra insulation.

 4. Sandwich each half of your oven mitt with the batting you cut out, and quilt your fabric to it. My picture here shows that I quilted my mitts by top-stitching around the various shapes in the fabric's design.  Once they are quilted you should have two opposite halves like in this picture.

5. Put the two layers together (right-sides together) and stitch around the them, leaving the wrist edge open. Trim edges and clip curves. Do the same thing with your lining pieces.

6. Turn your lining right-side-out and insert it into your quilted mitt (which should be inside-out) as in the picture.

 7. Stitch the lining to the mitt around the wrist perimeter, leaving a small gap to turn it right-side-out.

 8. Turn your mitt out and top-stitch around the wrist, closing the gap you turned it through. Yay! I made a dinosaur one for my nerdy husband too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Queen Bee Apron!

 I know I haven't posted in a long time, but that doesn't mean I haven't been crafting away. After making tons of projects for Christmas, including a quilt(!), I've gotten back to apron work. This is an entirely new concept for me--not really a specific character, but an abstract idea of "Queen Bee." The owner of this apron wisely suggested thick stripes, so I actually pieced the fabric together using French seams. She also liked the sash on the Phoenix apron, which really did add some royal flair to this bee, with a nice rich purple. It wraps around the back and actually ties on the hip. I used the same purple for the straps and to line the inside of the matching oven mitts.

 The crown applique on the chest is lined in the back with black to give it a little definition against the yellow stripe. I debated putting a black stripe on top, but that made the apron's bottom stripe yellow and for whatever reason, it needed a black stripe on the bottom to "ground" it. My OCD demanded this be so. There are two pockets on the skirt that are camoflauged. The sash itself can be functional for carrying items, or drying hands on since the entire thing is 100% cotton and machine washable, and although super cute, is allowed to get messy.

 Oven Mitts! These things are fantastic. They are lined on the palm side with "Insul-Bright", which is a batting that has a shiny layer in it that reflects heat, and have regular cotton batting on both sides, making them heat resistant, and I'll be honest, really cozy. I plan on wearing mine around the house to keep my poorly circulated fingers warm. These mitts were pieced together black and yellow and quilted along the stripes, and then lined with matching purple.

Here's my original sketch ideas. I thought wings on the back would be cool, although not particularly practical. I'm such a good artist, no?...