Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Wrist Warmers?

A reader asked this question:

"I hope this doesn't seem like a weird question but why wrist warmers? Don't your fingers get cold? I like them but I'm not sure when to use them."

I used to wonder the same thing..."why wrist warmers?" until one day when I was playing my oboe and my hands and fingers were cold. It was one of those aha moments and I decided to make some fingerless gloves, aka wrist warmers. That was several years ago, but I never made any until this month.

Yes, my fingers still get cold, but not my whole hand. You'd be surprised how warm fingerless gloves actually are--I was. When your hand is warm, your fingers don't feel quite so cold.

Basically, fingerless gloves cover the wrist and hand but yet allow the fingers to have ease of movement for playing a musical instrument, sewing, crafting, typing at the computer....things you cannot do with gloves or mittens.

So, there you have it. Wrist warmers are great!

My 18 year old son bought me some Tofutsies yarn (I love this yarn!) for Christmas...and I've been knitting. Right now I have 2 pairs of socks on the needles that I hope to show you soon. I decided I need to finish a few UFO (unfinished objects) knitting projects before starting the Tofutsie socks.

On the sewing front, I've been hemming 2 bridesmaid dresses. Two of my daughters are bridesmaids in two different weddings in two different states on the same day. One dress from David's Bridal has over 6 yards of chiffon at the hem....let me tell you, chiffon is ten times worse to sew than satin! Somebody, please tell me, just what is the best way to hem yards and yards of chiffon fabric?

While I'm on the topic, how do you suggest hemming a satin dress that is knee-length? I had thought about doing a narrow machine-stitched rolled hem, but now I'm having second thoughts. I have no experience sewing formal garments.... Seriously, I hope somebody can help me decide what is best.



  1. For the chiffon, I'd say starch it.
    For the satin dress, why not hem it with a satin bias and maybe even embellish the inside with a lace ribbon?

  2. Yes, starch the heck out of that chiffon, and then serger rolled hem it (unless you want to spent years of your life hand rolling...) For the satin, if it isn't underlined, the only way that I have found to make the hem really invisible is to fuse it with steam a seam. I'd never have thought to do that on a formal dress, but I shortened a RTW dress for a friend that had that treatment, so I copied it. It was quick, looked great and held up fine.

  3. I made myself a pair of wrist warmers several years ago and really liked them, even here in freezing Michigan! They were helpful for when I was running errands and I needed to be in and out of the car, my purse, etc. I didn't have to take gloves off and on. Unfortunately, I threw them in the wash and they got felted. :(

    How sweet of your son to give you yarn! I have only made one pair of socks with Tofutsies and I wasn't much of a fan. But the socks did turn out nicely!

    No idea on the hems! Hope you get them finished to your liking!

  4. Thanks Ruth for answering my question! Funny thing, I mentioned them to my husband and he wants a pair for himself. His workplace is very cold at this time of year and he types most of the day. So, I guess that answers my question too! :-)

  5. Mom, I have been wearing mine constantly since I got them for Christmas...I like them because they cut out any draftiness around my wrists. My arms are long and one of my pet peeves are sleeves that are too short...wearing the warmers keeps that feeling of too-short sleeves away and keeps my hands warm and toasty! (even though my fingers are exposed)

  6. Mom, I have been wearing mine constantly since I got them for Christmas...I like them because they cut out any draftiness around my wrists. My arms are long and one of my pet peeves are sleeves that are too short...wearing the warmers keeps that feeling of too-short sleeves away and keeps my hands warm and toasty! (even though my fingers are exposed)

  7. Regarding the formal dress, I always hem the dress the way the manufacturer it. I've seen a lot of rolled hems on tea length and shorter gowns/dresses. As far as the chiffon, starch and a machine rolled hem is the easiest. You could do a triple stitched baby hem, but that's a lot of work for so much yardge!

  8. The reason wrist warmers work so well is that they pull the blood to the hands, which are close to the fingers, so the fingers reap the benefits of the extra blood. Now if I can convince Hubby, who has really cold hands from a medication, of this fact.

  9. wrist warmers are great. I wear them while working on the computer - hands stay mostly warm and I can still type!

  10. I have worked with many fabrics including chiffon and satin. In both cased, I would do a rolled hem with my over-locker/serger. Practice a bit on scraps if necessary especially if the edges are curved. It is surprising how many professionally made garments are finished this way. The other alternative with the satin is to overlock the edge then turn a narrow hem and machine stitch. This too is found on purchased garments.
    Re the wrist warmers, I have been using them for years especially when I played my trumpet. Even now, I wouldn't go through a winter without them. They are so versatile and easy enough to make that you can have a variety of different colours to match your winter wardrobe.
    Good luck.
    Sandra. Mount Gambier
    South Australia. Australia

  11. Just have to be careful on both the satin and chiffon if they are cut on the bias, that you don't stretch the fabric when you roll-hem it. If you do, the hem line will end up wavy, not the look you want. Roll-hem is perfect for chiffon, gives it just enough weight to hang right. Iron the satin from the wrong side so you don't get press marks!!
    Love wrist warmers! I like my sleeves long enough to cover my hands and wrist warmers fit the bill when they don't.

  12. Wrist warmers: I was going to say just what you said, also, when the temperature is really bitter, and your gloves aren't doing the job alone, wear your bulkier wrist warmers over your gloves for the warm layering effect. It works very well.

    Hemming chiffon: using scrap pieces of pattern paper as a stabilizer under the chiffon, to keep the machine from eating it, run a seam with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, press the seam allowance up, trim close to the stitching, fold up again, enclosing the cut edge, and do your final hem stitch. You will see two rows of stitching on the wrong side, but only one on the right side. Of course, you will want to have initally cut your hem with an extra half inch of fabric for trimming away. This will work like a dream for you.

    I cut leftover pattern paper into one inch strips, & paper clip them for storing, so I always have a nice lightweight stabilizer that will tear away easily. You could even use a Q-tip to moisten the pattern paper just a bit, just on top of your stitching. This won't mark the chiffon if you don't soak it too much, and the paper almost dissolves.

  13. BTW, I don't like to starch chiffon because then you either have to clean the entire dress to get the starch out without leaving a watermark, or you have what is supposed to be a soft flowing fabric all stiff with starch, and likely leaving a mark also.

  14. I love the Tofutsies!! Beautiful colors and so soft for socks!!

  15. I agree with you whole-heartidly. I've been making them, wearing them and selling them on my store on etsy. Check them out at

    Stay Warm,

  16. Also, if you keep your wrist warm, it helps your body to stay warm.

  17. I haven't done a lot with chiffon. But my thought is to sew around a 1/2 lower than the length you want it (straight stitch) to help it turn and then roll hem it from there.

    I used to work at David's Bridal as a wedding consultant and ALL the satin gowns have a rolled hem - if that's helpful.