18th C. · Accessories · Historical Sew Monthly Projects · Mitts/Mittens/Gloves etc.

Completed: AD’s 18th c. Mitts

Photo by author.

I actually completed these about a month or so ago but have not had time to sit down a write about the process. What was supposed to be a quick and easy project to do in one month…was not!

Photo by author.

Project Info

Pattern: Mitts pattern from the AD Guide to 18th c. Dressmaking + the custom bias sleeve pattern I developed from the Patterns of Fashion I under-sleeve pattern
Size: Custom fitted
Fabric: 100% wool twill, lightweight but on the stiff, springy side and a cream moire taffeta (using the non-moire side) which is probably acetate, both from my stash and previously other people’s leftovers.
Trims: None
Notions: Modern universal type thread from stash
Cost: $0

Photo by author.


  • The original measuring and drafting took me a whole evening, as the instructions in the AD book were not as thorough as I would have liked.
  • There is a MAJOR ERROR in the AD pattern. They place the thumb hole in the exact center of the arm pattern piece, i.e. in the middle of your arm. Thumbs, however, actually sit towards the palm, not perfectly in the middle of your arm. This meant that once my thumb was in, the seam allowance had shifted over towards the top of my arm. Good thing I left plenty of seam allowance to play with! To correct it as best I could I added to the bottom seam allowance and took away from the top one in equal amounts to shift the seam. The points are off center too, but I can’t change that as easily so I am laving it for now. The worst of it is that a friend of mine had made these before but didn’t know I was making them and could have warned me! A different friend was making the B&T mitts alongside me and that pattern has the thumb hole in the right place, as does the Costume Close-Up book. Oh well!
  • There is no mention of how much seam allowance to put in when drafting. I gave myself a lot of wiggle room in the arm side seam to play with, probably 2″, and then trimmed the excess away later.
  • The AD instructions also don’t give you much guidance on drafting the thumb hole, so I just laid my hand over the pattern and roughed it in. For the thumb piece itself I measured around my thumb knuckle to make the top circumference correct.
  • Attaching the thumb piece was the most difficult part but once I got the hang of it it was a fun bit of sewing.
  • The stiffness of my fabric wasn’t great for fitting these as snugly in the wrist area as I would have hoped, but it is fine.
Photo by author.


  • Partway through the drafting process I decided to use my custom-fitted under-sleeve pattern that I had previously made and found to be satisfactory in place of their arm drafting. The length had seemed off in the AD draft, and my guess is that they did not account for the bias stretching that would shorten the length once it is on the arm.
  • I stitched down the seam allowances with a whip stitch to the sleeve since my fabric was very springy it was the only way to get the seam to lay open nicely.

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