My late great Uncle Al used to make leather chopper mittsand bring them up north when he would visit. We got a lot of use out of thosemitts in cold weather. Here is one of those mitts Al made about 30 years ago.
Alís mitts were warm and simple and utilitarian and kept myhands warm while hunting all these years. For many years I have wanted to makemy own mitts. The recent cold snap and the increase in my sewing project got meagain interested in trying my hand at sewing my own mitts. If there was anythingI would change about Alís mitts it would be the length and the liners. They didnítgo up the arm enough to cover the cuff of a jacket. I plan to make mine a bitlonger and plan to have mine be skin side out (rather than the suede side outlike Alís). Also Alís mitts did not have a removable liner. The faux fur heused was sewn into the leather mitt. I plan to make my liners removable so ifthe liners need drying the liner can be removed to speed drying and to be ableto care for the liner separately from the leather since leather doesnít likethe heat I would use to dry the liner.
Then when I use the snow blower I wont have cold wrists andforearms. the longer cuff will make them warmer for hunting and ice fishing aswell.
I will be using the tanned hide of a deer I killed a fewyears ago.
As well as fur
The liners will be a dual layer of Polartec fleece closestto the skin as well as wool. The wool comes from a Swiss army surplus blanket.
Before I could any further I needed to make a pattern forthe liner and another pattern for the leather mitt. Because I want a longer mittthat fits over the bulky sleeve of a winter jacket I had flare out the longercuff. I will start with the fleece and wool liner and then make a mitt thatfits over the liner. Here is the pattern I came up with. Its 3 pieces with afolding thumb.
Then I cut the pieces from the wool and Polartec fleece.
The two materials are sewn together to keep them fromshifting when I join the separate pieces together.
I plan to have fur on both the liner and the leather mitt.Its more for show than warmth.
Before I can sew the fur to the other part of the liner Ineed to join the two pieces together to form the thumb. The three picturesbelow show the steps to form the thumb.
Then fur is added to the other half of the liner.
Then the two halves are sewn together.
Should the outside leather get wet all the way through (Iímworking to make sure that wonít happen) The wool outside of the liners is givena spray coating of silicone waterproofer.
With the liners finished its time to make the leather outermitt. Again I need a pattern. Theleather mitt thumb will be a bit different than the thumb in the liner. Thiswill be a bit more difficult to sew but will look far better.
I made a practice thumb to get a feel for sewing it and fora size check. Iím glad I did at the thumb was a bit long so I shortened thepattern (since it was easier than growing my thumb)
Then I cut the halves of the mitt from the deer skin.
The plain deer skin is very light in color and will showdirt and stains pretty easy so I am going to stain the thumb and palm side witha mixture of brown and Ox blood with a little alcohol to thin it out since I donítwant a solid color. Once I oil the leather it will darken considerable fromthis shade. I have other plans for the back of the hand so Im not staining it.
While I wait for the stain to dry on the leather I have timeto embellish the back of the mitt. I sewed on a strip of the same fur and addedthe Edge protection since the leather edge will curl and wrinkle over time ifit not sewn.
Then I saw the cuff as a big blank space needing somethingto fill it in so I reached for the sharpie marker.
With the dyed leather dry its time to start sewing. I startby sewing the thumb inside out to hide the stitching and to protect it fromwear.
Then the thumb is turned right side out and slipped insidethe opening in the palm and sewn from the outside. I stitched it twice foradded strength.
The two halves are sewn together inside out again to hindand protect the stitching and to tuck in the fur trim edge.