All in the Wrist

Nicki LaFoille
All in the Wrist


Stay cozy and fashionable in cold weather with custom-designed wrist warmers.


1/4 yard of fleece fabric

Coordinating all-purpose thread

Hand sewing needle

Removable fabric marker or chalk

12” length of 1/4”-wide decorative trim (optional)

Sew It

Place your palm on a flat surface in a relaxed position. Measure the circumference of the heel of your hand at the widest point; add 1”, and then record. Measure from your knuckles to the desired wrist-warmer lower edge; add 3”, and then record.

Cut two fleece rectangles according to the recorded dimensions. To create the featured project, cut two 9”x10” rectangles. Designate one short edge as the upper edge and the remaining short edge as the lower edge.

Fold each short edge 1/4” toward the wrong side; pin, and then stitch close to the fold. Fold the wrist warmer in half lengthwise with right sides together, aligning the long edges. Using a removable fabric marker or chalk, mark the raw edge 3/4” and 2 1/2” below the upper edge.

Unfold the wrist warmer. Mark the lengthwise center. Baste the centerline, leaving long thread tails at the stitching beginning and end. Carefully pull the bobbin thread tails to evenly gather the wrist warmer to the desired length. Knot the needle and bobbin thread tails at the stitching beginning and end to secure the gathers.

Set the machine to a medium stitch length. Stitch over the basting, backstitching at the beginning and end.

Remove the basting if desired.

With right sides together, fold the wrist warmer in half lengthwise, aligning the long raw edges. Baste the seam below the lower mark using a 1/4” seam allowance. Baste again using a 1/2” seam allowance to avoid breaking the basting thread when gathering.

Pull the bobbin thread tails to evenly gather the fleece to the desired length. Note: The featured wrist warmers are 7 3/4” long. Knot the thread ends at the stitching beginning and end to secure the gathers. Set the machine to a medium stitch length. Stitch the seam using a 1/2” seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end. Remove the basting.

Using a 5/8” seam allowance, stitch from the upper mark to the upper edge; press open the seam.

Hand stitch the thumb-opening seam allowances to the wrist warmer.

Tip: For less bulk at the wrist, only baste and gather 2” to 3” from the lower edge. Or, taper the fleece below the second mark. Pin the seam allowance and make sure your hand will still fit through before stitching.

If desired, hand stitch trim along the outer gathering line.


Change Up

Design your own wrist warmers using these tips for inspiration.

  • Stitch pretty wrist warmers for any season by using different fabrics. Choose lace, silk or chiffon for a spring or summer accessory. If working with fabrics with less stretch, stitch an upper- and lower-edge casing and insert a thin elastic band.
  • Stitch a contrasting fabric inset along the outer edge. Divide the wrist warmer circumference in half. Subtract the desired inset width evenly from each panel. Add seam allowances to each new edge. Stitch following the instructions at TK (A). Gather the inset through the center, or at each seamline, if desired.
  • Attach ribbon or other trim to the upper and/or lower edges (B).
  • Use a worn sweatshirt to stitch a pair of cozy wrist warmers. Simply cut the required dimensions from the sweatshirt body. If using an open knit sweatshirt, serge- or zigzag-finish the fabric raw edges to prevent raveling before constructing.


Sources provided the fleece fabric: (888) 455-2940,

Janome provided the Jem Platinum 760 sewing machine used to construct the project:



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