Winter + Your Cold Hands =must Sew DIY Fingerless Gloves

I am always up for a good sweater refashion, and today I’m showing you how to tackle DIY fingerless gloves.

Several years ago I started making these in droves. They are a life saver in winter! They’re perfect for those mornings your hands are cold but you still want to be able to do things.

And personal note, being a violinist, they’re awesome warm up gloves. It’s really nice to pop on a pair the first few minutes I’m playing in a day and enjoy my hands staying flexible in their warmth.

In short, I think you’ll really enjoy making your own DIY fingerless gloves! So grab an old sweater that’s seen better days and let’s do this.

Supplies for your DIY fingerless gloves

  • Old sweater with hem ribbing
  • Chalk
  • Ballpoint sewing machine needle
  • Matching thread
  • Fusible knit hem tape or fusible knit interfacing
  • Pins
Cutting the sweater sleeves

First pop your arm into one of the sleeves. Bring the hem of the sleeve so that it’s even with the base of your fingers.

Mark where your elbow is with your chalk, then take off the sweater.

Cut off the sleeve 1″ above your elbow marking.

Use the first sleeve as a template for cutting the second sleeve.

Make your thumb pieces

Cut off two small rectangles from the hem ribbing for your thumbs. I like the hem of the thumb pieces to hit a little bit before my thumbtip, but you can adjust this as you like.  

Wrap the piece around your thumb, wrong sides together. Use pins to mark a seam that is the shape of your thumb but comfortable.

Slide your thumb out of the thumb piece, then mark the seam with chalk.

Sew on the chalk line with a narrow zigzag, backstitching at the hem. Next sew a wide close to your first stitching line. Trim off the remaining seam.

Sew the seams on the thumb pieces, zigzag close to the seam, then trim.

Try your thumb on. Cut off any extra from the base of the thumb if it seems too long.

Repeat with the second thumb piece.

Shaping your DIY fingerless gloves

Turn one glove inside out and try it on.

Use pins to shape the glove to fit

Check the fit. If it’s not as fitted as you’d like, use pins to shape a new seam on either side of the original underarm seam that’s closer to your arm.

Draw chalk along your pin lines. Next, sew a new seamline along the chalk line with a narrow zigzag stitch. Be sure to backstitch at the hem.

Sew the seam, zigzag close to the stitching, then trim if needed.

If the seam allowance isn’t too big, the original underarm seam is a fine finish for your glove.

If you had to shape the sleeve a lot this step, go ahead and sew a wider zigzag close to your first stitching line. Trim off the extra and you’re good to go.  

Repeat for the other glove.

Cutting the thumbholes

Next, try your glove on your non-dominant hand, bringing the ribbed hem up to the level you like.

Feel with your other hand where the bone is at the base of your thumb.

Make a small hole at this point with the base of your scissors. Start small to double check the location. You can slip your thumb in the hole to see if it’s exactly where you want it.

When you’re happy with where the thumbhole is, make a slightly larger hole that’s the same circumference as your thumb piece.

You can double check this by bringing the folded thumb piece next to the thumb hole.

Cut the hole on the other glove using your first glove as a template.

basting thumb piece inside of the glove
DIY fingerless gloves

Turn each glove to the wrong side.   

Cut a piece of fusible knit interfacing 1/2″ wide. Fuse the interfacing in place around the raw top edge of your thumb piece on the wrong side of the thumb piece.

Flip the thumb to the right side, then pop it into the thumb hole with right sides facing. This is a tiny little hole to sew, so pins will be hard to get in there.

Instead, hand baste the thumb piece in place.  

Sewing with the interfacing side up, sew the thumb piece in place with a narrow zigzag and a 1/4″ seam allowance. Stitch a wider zigzag close to the first stitching line to finish off the seam.

Repeat for the second thumb piece. Now it’s time to finish off your DIY fingerless gloves.

Hemming the gloves

Cut two pieces of fusible knit interfacing 1″ wide X the circumference of the top of each glove.

Next fuse the interfacing in place, and press the hem towards the wrong side.  

Finish off each hem by stitching with a wide zigzag close to the top edge of the hem.

And just like that you’ve got a pair of DIY fingerless gloves made from the leftovers of this sweater hat. They’re both easy snowy day projects that will keep you warm all winter.

And here’s the video version of this tutorial I did a while back.

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Elizabeth Made This
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3 of 8 comments
  • Janie Janie on Oct 30, 2021

    I need it to be easier with less specifics…. Love idea tho!

    • Bde41406753 Bde41406753 on Oct 31, 2021

      I agree. There has to be an easier way. Maybe if there was a pattern to follow. I sew but found the directions and process difficult.

      love the concept.

  • Dpj26588891 Dpj26588891 on Nov 05, 2021

    I make these because I carry my dog a lot and she scratches me all over my arms, and it leaves terrible marks . I do not make a thumb, I just cut a slit and stick my thumb through. It’s great for us older people who are always picking up our pets and giving lovies.