Melissa from a happy stitch shows you how to turn an old sweater into new slippers. Melissa’s pattern making process would work for slippers of any size, making it easy to whip up a pair for everyone in your family. The project is fun for Mother’s Day gifts (or for yourself!). Melissa joined us earlier this year with another easy gift idea for Easy Spring Clean Lavendar Sachets. Find more from Melissa at a happy stitch, in her Etsy shop and in her introduction.
Mother’s Day Slippers
It’s nearly Mother’s Day so it’s time to stitch up some relaxing slippers. Make these for others or for yourself! It’s my strong opinion that Mother’s Day should involve as much relaxing as possible for all the mamas out there. So maybe, if you make these for yourself, you can put your feet up all day on May 11th and be pampered!
I made mine out of a felted sweater so they are extra cozy and naturally keep my feet so happy. I suggest felting a used sweater for yours as well (wash and dry a 100% wool thrift store sweater) but my example is in fleece because the wool I used was just so crazy!
- One 100% wool sweater, felted by washing in hot water and throwing in the dryer
- Half a Yard of 3/8″ or 1/2″ wide elastic
- Paper + Pencil
Making the Slipper Pattern:
We will begin by measuring the length and width of your foot. It’s most effective to use an actual foot for this measurement but if you are making these as a gift, you can use a shoe. To measure the length, mark on a piece of paper the furthest point of both the heel and the toe. For the width, mark points on the piece of paper that designate the widest sides of the foot. Use a ruler to draw a rectangle connecting the length and width of the foot.
Add 1″ to the width and length for seam allowance.
Using the larger rectangle you just drew, we will now round the corners to create the pattern for the bottom of the slipper. Fold the paper in half length-wise to find the midpoint. Using a bowl or other round object mark an arc from the midpoint at the top of the rectangle to around 1/5 from the top of the side. Repeat for every corner. This will form the bottom of the slipper.
Cut one slipper bottom from your fabric.
Cut the bottom of the slipper pattern in half width-wise; this will form the top half of the slipper that covers the toes.
To create our final pattern piece, measure around the edge of one half of the bottom slipper pattern. This measures the heel portion of the slipper. The easiest way to make a curved measurement like this is to use a piece of string or yarn and then measure the length of your string.
Using the heel measurement you have just made as the length, create a rectangle 3″ wide by the heal measurement length. For me, the heel was 14″ in length so I cut a 14″ by 3″ rectangle. Cut yours out of the felt.
Excellent! We now have all of our pieces. One last thing we need to cut is some elastic. Cut a piece of elastic 2.5″ shorter than your heel length measurement. For example, I cut a 11.5″ long piece of elastic because my heel measured 14″.
Time to Sew:
Begin by sewing your elastic to the wrong side of your heel fabric. Set your machine to a narrow zigzag stitch, grab your elastic and the rectangle of felt you are using for the heel. You will be sewing along the long side of your felt, about 3/8″ down from the top. You will need to stretch the elastic as you sew such that the elastic run the entire length of the heel fabric.
Next up, we are attaching the toe portion of the slipper to the heel portion. Begin by bringing the two short ends of the heel and overlapping them over each other. You want to overlap enough that the width matches the width at the flat end of the toe fabric. For me, I overlapped about 1″. Then pin, with right-sides together, the heel fabric to the flat end of the toe fabric and stitch with a 3/8″ seam allowance.
Once sewn, it should look like the picture below. Notice how the heel portion has overlapping elastic bits at the center? That’s how it should look. You have made the top of the slipper!
Place this slipper top right-sides together with the bottom of the slipper and stitch with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Clip a little around the curves to neaten it up a little.
Now, we’ll add a simple little, improv flower! Begin by cutting three triangles and one small square.
- 1. Make sure one of the triangles is a little bigger than the others.
2. Using the triangle points as guides, roughly cut them into rounded corners to form “petals” and cut the square into a circle to fit the middle of your smallest triangle.
3. Layer the rounded petals over each other.
4. Top with the flower center. Using a hand-stitch sew through the middle of the flower center to hold it together.
Attach flower to the slipper by hand-stitching to the top of the slipper.
Repeat to make second slipper.