December 10, 2009

Little Miss Muff(et)

Evelyn refuses to wear gloves and mittens. Actually, I should say she refuses to keep them on. She'll put them on (sometimes) but the minute she walks out the door she touches something wet or cold or dirty or pretty or anything and off come the gloves.

When Briton was littl I had a "fine, be cold" attitude about gloves. And generally, when he got cold, he would put them on. I'm not sure if it's just sheer stubbornness or what, Evelyn never seems to reach that point. Her fingers will be blue and STILL she will not keep gloves on. So for the last two winters I've solved this dilemma by making her a muff, or as she calls it, a "hand pocket"

The funny thing is I think people think I'm dolling her up, she does look a little like a Victorian doll with her little wool coat and her muff, but it's truly a practical thing on my part. She can pick things up, eat a snack, run her fingers through the snow and then put her little hand back in to warm it up. No gloves lying forgotten on the sidewalk, no chapped hands. Briton has even asked if there is a boy version (cant think of one one other than just pockets)

And as foofy as they look, they are really easy to make. Now, these aren't sell them in the store perfect and I'm probably constructing them all wrong, but it's a pattern that has worked for me. Both the muffs I made previously were used daily the last two winters and were only replaced because somewhere in the move I misplaced them.

Cut two 18 by 10 inch rectangles. One out of something fuzzy and warm (I've used fake fur and fuzzy blanket materials) and the other out of a sturdier fabric. I did make one last year totally out of fur but it was much harder to sew and a little over the top looking. Twill, corduroy or upholstery weight fabrics work well. For this muff I cut the outer fabric a little larger because the fur was stretchy so it needed some play.

Lay the fabrics so the right sides face each other and stitch up the long side. Since my sewing machine is kaputt I did this by hand while we watched a movie the other night. But on a machine it would take less than five minutes.

Turn the fabrics (now a tube) right side out and fold one end down a little so that you have a nice looking edge. Loop the other end around to form a muff shape and tuck the raw end into the folded end. Hand stitch both sides closed (a machine doesn't really work here) and run a piece of ribbon through the muff, adjusting the length so that it sits at a comfortable height when the ribbon hangs around the neck.

The size here is, of course, for my three year old so you may need to adjust. For the width, have your child clasp their hands together and measure from wrist to wrist then add about two inches. The length should be close to double the width.