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Monday, January 15, 2007

Mittens and Kids

I realized early on that kids have a propensity for losing one of a set of gloves or mittens. Even a responsible child will invariably end up with one hand in the cold. I think the weight of winter wear along with the numbness from being outside create an unawareness of when one mitten falls out of the pocket (or even the hand!) and something must be done! They used to have mittens on a string that went through each arm hole, but after some terrible tragedies with kids and school buses, they were done away with. Now they have short snap-on straps that look like the kind you would use to hold on an ironing board cover or bed sheet, but they are not very attractive, and if you need a pair for each of 7 children, it will cost a bit. Instead, I sew the glove to the inside of the coat arm.

First, find some thread that closely matches the glove color, but is also durable. With the coat in your lap and looking down at the front (so the hood is against your chest and the bottom is on the floor) grab the inside of the arm on one side. Now we need to be careful about the location of the inside, because seams in coats can be misleading. When the coat is lying flat, the inside of the arm should be resting against the tunic part of the coat. If necessary, have the child try the coat on and mark with a safety pin the location of the thumb side of his wrist. Take the glove belonging to the arm you are currently working on and place it at the end of the sleeve where it would normally be.

* If the coat has an elastic banding at the sleeve, turn the mitten or glove backward so that the thumb side of the wrist and the thumb side of the sleeve are touching. Sew a 1/2" wide loop, starting inside the coat, about 8 times to get a strong attachment. When you tie off the thread and cut it, the glove should be easily moved into the correct position.

* If the coat has an inner elastic band covered by a longer quilted sleeve, pull the band out, turning the sleeve back, and attach as above. This is necessary in order for the coat arm not to bunch when the gloves are worn due to the discrepancy in length.

I also attach scarves in the same manner to the back inside of the coat neck, but this is not recommended if your child rides a bus as the dragging scarf can be a potential catch point as well.

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