Upcycled Slippers

My recent foray back into the world of baby shoes reminded me that Eli is needing some slippers for this winter. We don’t wear shoes in the house and when he wears socks alone he slides and falls on the hardwood floors. The only thing is that my baby shoe pattern has been long outgrown, so I set about trying to figure out how to draft a new pattern for upcycled slippers his size. (When I was almost done with this project Gwen of Gwenny Penny left me a comment that just enlarging the existing baby shoe pattern has worked for her, even for her 3 year old. Who knew? (Well, Gwen for one. Thanks for letting me in on the secret!) So while life could have been easier for me in the sewing nook this week, I still think I learned a lot.)

First, I took a pair of his current shoes and traced around them, later adding 1/4 ” for seam allowance.

Next, I measured the length and the width over the top front of the shoe.

I then used these measurements to draw my next pattern piece, free hand drawing the curve of the toe.

I measured around the heel and sides to get the length of the heel piece and also measured for it’s height. These then were drawn on the freezer paper with added seam allowances.

Okay, now I ironed the sole pattern pieces to the leather and cut them out. (This came from a neighbor-discarded broken recliner a few years back.) Repeat for the lining fabric. (In this case my brother’s old sweatpants. Thanks, Kev!)

I continued to cut both outer and liner pieces out for the back and the top of the slippers using discarded jeans and a men’s plaid shirt.

The next few steps I did in a series of stolen moments while Eli was awake but distracted with other things. It seems he was not the only one distracted, I forgot to take photos as I worked. I’ll just have to briefly describe.

* Put toe liner and top piece right sides together and sew along the straight line.

* Do the same for the heel pieces.

* Fold on seam, right sides out and press.

* Top stitch along straight edge of all 4 pieces, 1/4″ from the top.

* Sew the lining fabric to the top of the sole. I used a little Heat ‘N’ Bond between them to keep them from slipping.

(Sorry for the lack of photos. If this isn’t clear feel free to contact me.)

Next I took the top piece and the sole. I lined up the middle of the toe of each and sewed from that point down each side.

I attached elastic to one end of the heel piece by sewing back and forth a few times. I folded the top over to create a casing and stitched along the edge, being careful not to catch the elastic on the inside. Then I pulled on the elastic until the heel gathered and felt like the right amount of tension to hold the slipper on the foot without being too tight. (Unfortunately using this method I have no idea how much elastic I actually used.) Then I tacked the elastic to the other side as I did the first and trimmed it.

I lined the heel up around the back of the sole with the lining facing out and sewed it onto the slipper.

I turned it right side out. It looked a bit funny to me so I folded the top part back.

I had to wait for Eli to wake up from his nap to try them on.

He was pleased! They fit with a little room for growth. In the couple of days since I made these he has asked me to put them on him several times. Once on, he doesn’t try to take them off, so they must be just fine as far as comfort is concerned.

 

Thanks for reading!

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6 Comments

  1. Anshu said,

    October 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Oh my! those little booties look so cute on your little one. I remember making these when my daughter was small. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog.

  2. Inder said,

    October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    These are AWESOME. Joe badly needs some slippers, I need to get to work.

    • October 27, 2011 at 10:03 am

      Really, they come together pretty quickly! Eli has already lost one, I know it’s around here somewhere, but I’ve looked and looked! I think I’ll just make a replacement. Of course, as soon as I finish it will show up!

  3. randalin said,

    October 28, 2011 at 6:22 am

    These are amazing! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!!

  4. October 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I love them! Just darling.

  5. November 3, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    […] for a while. The soles are more leather from that old recliner that I used for Eli’s slippers here. The dark brown fabric is courtesy of one of my husband’s old […]


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