Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hand Sewn Hand Warmers!

I've been sewing!  that might not seem like much of a big deal but to me it's quite an achievement.  It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I find it incredibly difficult. So when I saw this little Hand Warmer project over at Cozy Things and the thermometer here was showing -15°, I knew it was the moment to get out my miniscule sewing set, and get busy!

Whilst waiting for some old woolen sweaters to felt, which took a surprisingly  long time, I practiced on some old corduroy material.  After carefully cutting out two rounds, I then used, what I believe is called a running stitch - more of a stumbling uncontrolably stitch in my case, around the edge.  Once turned the right way out my rounds were a little misshapen to say the least!

As my wool sweaters were determined to remain sweaters as long a possible, I reset the washing machine on HOT and decided to continue on with my 'test piece'.   Had to get out my Collins Complete Guide to Needlework and attempt to fathom out the blanket stitch!! - are you starting to get an idea of my sewing abilities.
To my pleasant surprise felted wool is far easier to work with than corduroy.  I employed a slightly different technique to sew my rounds together, by keeping the right sides facing out and doing a sort of invisible stitch.  The work stayed much rounder!! my blanket stitch still needs a bit of practice but all in all I'm very pleased with the result.
each warmer is filled with beans and heated 60-90 seconds in the microwave.
Once heated in my m.i.l's microwave (we don't have one and she lives next door) these little warmers, whether worn inside gloves or used with hands in pockets, should stay warm for the walk to school and back.


  1. Great idea! Have a nice weekend. Regula

  2. I made my own.
    Thanks for the tip!

  3. Regula sent us over, great work.
    Happy hands,

  4. What a great idea. We could use those here when cleaning animal stalls etc this winter. I did try to e-mail you, but it bounced back saying it was undeliverable. I'll try again later. :)

  5. Also, can you tell me how to felt old wool?

    1. Kristina, I just washed mine in the machine at 60°, twice. One of them came out very thick indeed so I'm keeping it to use as soles for crochet slippers. Maybe there would be more control over the finished 'felt' if the felting was done by hand in a bucket of hot water?
      When you can cut the fabric without it fraying it's felted!

  6. hee hee emma you are funny, and you are a wonderful seamstress! these turned out great! i loved them when i saw them on kristens blog too. alas we do not own a microwave either and i'm not sure how else to heat them. hope you all have cozy warm hands now!

  7. Oh yum! I love the use of felted wool. Delicious! :)

  8. Hand warmers for the walk to school ..... pure and utter total genius. Why, in 7 years of walking children to primary school (and 5 years more to go) have I not thought of this ????? I am SO doing this come winter!
    How do you stop little fingers fiddling the beans out? Presume they could be put in a little cotton "bag" inside ? And is it just any old dried beans ? Thankyou so much for the inspiration :)
    I've just started my blog recently, it would be great to see you over at