I made myself recently some really comfy slipper booties! It was my first attempt at sewing any kind of footwear and I am really pleased with the result. This project requires you to draft the pattern yourself, but don’t worry… I took note of all the steps and if I did it I’m pretty sure you can do it too! Take a look at the tutorial and let me know if I’m right.
But why did I decided to sew slippers? I really wanted to participate on the #instaslipperparty that happened on Instagram some weeks ago hosted by Bridey Davies. I did some research online for patterns and tutorials, as I had no idea how to even start. I got the idea for the booties from Cheryl of Sew Can Do. I had seen some nice faux sherpa fabric in the market and so this project was ideal! Early on Saturday I rushed to the market to gather the materials. The faux sherpa fabric comes in different colours. I chose a cotton-candy tone for mine (yes, I like pink)! That afternoon I drafted the pattern and cut the fabric. On Sunday morning I assembled it and spend the rest of the day dancing on them! They are really a fast project!
You will need 0.5 m (~0.5 yards) of your favourite “sherpa” fabric, a piece of leather and leather needles for your sewing machine. To draft the pattern you will need an old slipper boot or any boots you have at home in your size. You will just use it to take measurements.
Taking a boot in your size as reference, you can start by drawing the sole. Then you will want to measure precisely the front part of the boot. For this I did some rough measurements, cut the paper and then laying the paper on the boot adjusted the pattern by drawing the cutting lines. So you place the paper on top of the boot and trace the lines of the front part. You will then do the measurements for the legs. Again the best way to go is to put the paper on top of the boot and draw the “seam” lines. You finish the leg parts by adding as much height as you wish to have on your slipper boots, but make sure to also measure the width of your leg (which will be larger the higher you want the boots to be). Finally draft the heel part. As you see this is just the decomposition of my old slipper boot. The heel and the legs are drafted such that you cut on the fold (and that’s the reason why you just see half of it). Take your time to sketch and re-sketch the pattern, and adjust as you go. This is the most important part of the whole process. My first sketch was not very good, so I laid the pattern pieces on top of the boot again and adjusted it.
Once you are happy that your pattern can come together as a boot, feel free to cut on the fabric. You will need 2 soles on the fabric (one left, one right) and 2 soles on the leather (one left, one right) , 2 fronts, 2 heels, 2 front legs and 2 back legs.
You are then ready to start assembling the pieces. I didn’t find this part very easy at first. But the trick is that you need to think that the structure needs to be “3D”. Usually when sewing a dress or so you are used to the seams to simply match each other. Here you still want them to match each other (and they do), but keep in mind that a 3D structure will appear and that’s ok. Simply let the fabric curl and get form as much as it wants. Then sew it slowly and carefully. Start by sewing the heel to the back leg by joining the seams, right sides together.
Then you can join the front of the boot to the front leg, right sides together, as showed bellow.
On the next step you will sew the back and front parts together. With wrong sides together, join the side seams and sew along. This will keep the fluffy part of the fabric to show along the sides. You should at this point start to see something that resembles a boot!
To do the soles, I first sewed the fabric to the leather, so that it would be more stable when attaching it to the rest of the boot. When doing so, you place the right side of the fabric with the wrong side of the leather and sew around.
You’re getting close! Here be patient. You will need to sew 3 layers of fabric (one of them being leather), so take it slow. You will reverse the body of the boot and try to attach it to the sole, right sides together. I used pins and so made really tiny holes on the leather. But I really wanted it to be stable as I sewed it, so that was my choice. You can use any other method that works for you (and if you know a good one let me know).
And you get beautiful and resistant soles. In this stage you can then fit the boot and adjust if necessary. You can also used a different material for the soles instead of leather if you like.
And there you go! They’re cute, aren’t they?
I then entered the #instaslipperparty absolutely happy that I manage my first attempt to sew myself slipper booties on a weekend. To my surprise, a day later I got to know that I was the winner of the competition (yay!). The prize was this gorgeous sewing box!
It comes filled with sewing goodies from Gutherie & Ghani, the lovely shop by Lauren Gutherie, and included a very special treat: very posh and delicious hot chocolate! I also received an Amazon voucher for a book and I have decided to buy “Love at First Stitch” by our dear Tilly Walnes from Tilly and The Buttons.
It is important to remember that the most important goal of this event was to raise money to the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity through donations from the participants. Even though the #instaslipperparty is over for now, you can still help by making a donation here. I encourage you to read the story behind this raising fund, which is in memory of a little boy!
I hope more events like this will get the sewing community together for a good cause! Many thanks to Bridey Davies for hosting this amazing event!
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and let me know if you make yourself some comfy slipper boots this Winter!