As I cut out the fabric for my recent raglan sweatshirt, I also used the leftovers to cut out two bonus makes! The October 2023 edition of Burda magazine had some surprisingly nice winter accessories – #132 (balaclava) and #133 (mittens) as well as a muff (tube to put your hands into). Even better is that these are all FREE downloads on the English BurdaStyle site!
I was drawn to both of these mostly because they looked very useful for winter, but also had a few nice touches to elevate them beyond most designs out there. Since the balaclava was the simpler one, I sewed that up first – entirely on the overlocker and coverstitch machine.
The balaclava was ridiculously easy to sew, with only one seam and two openings to hem! I thought I could get away with not doing the drawstring so left it off to begin with. If you have the opening under your chin, you don’t need it.
But if you want to pull it up to cover your mouth, you need the drawstring to not have wide wings at the side of your face! So I added a bit of elastic cord and stoppers into the area around the facial opening afterwards. The overall fit is great and I think it’d be a really nice gift made up in a fleece or wool.
The mittens caught my eye because they have flaps in the palm to pull your fingers out through and I’d not seen a pattern for these before. The construction was conceptually a bit difficult to wrap my head around but came together nicely.
However, the instructions are only for unlined mittens – and the instructions for adding a lining are like one sentence at the end and wholly inadequate! So I’d say to definitely make an unlined pair first, then think about how you might neatly do the lining.
These were sewn almost entirely on the sewing machine due to the thumb and flap construction. Once again, the walking foot is my MVP! I added some cuffs from my stash for the wrists (unfortunately I used every scrap of the designer ones from my sweatshirt!), but these were added after I took these photos.
The only change is make is to pinch out a bit of width from the inner flap edge as it gapes a little and I think would get drafty. It might also be an idea to add a snap or some velcro to hold the flap open against the back of your hand, but it depends on your usage, really!
Overall, these were really useful as wearable muslins and I’m already eyeing up holey and felted sweaters to upcycle into more versions. I know this isn’t the most exciting post but I mainly wanted to draw attention to these free downloads as they could make some great, low-cost holiday gifts if you’ve got scraps of winter fabrics lying around!