Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Upcycled Sweater Slippers

So I decided to commemorate the LONGEST winter I can remember by making myself some striped slippers from an old, holey sweater. We're fortunate that our apartment is usually pretty toasty and warm, but this year even the biggest of my bulky socks aren't cutting it. Srsly, why is so damn cold?

Materials:
-old sweater
-2 pieces of 12"X 8" felt (maybe larger if you have a really big foot)

Creating The Footbed
Step 1: Trace your foot onto a manilla folder.  Clean up the shape till you like the way it looks.

Step 2: Cleanly cut out.

Step 3: Next trace the pattern onto your pieces of felt. Trace the pattern twice per piece of felt, as we'll need two piece per slipper- one for the sole and one for the midsole.


When you're done you'll have 4 foot shaped pieces of felt:

Step 4: Now place the foot pattern onto the sweater with the heel 1 1/4 - 1 1/2" away from the bottom edge of the sweater. Draw and arc around the pattern that is 1" above the toes and then extends straight down. (Don't worry that there is more allowance on the sides; it's supposed to be that way!) 

Step 5: Cut out.

Flip the pattern over and repeat steps 4 and 5 for the other foot.

Step 6: Use double stick tape to stick to stick the felt piece onto the sweater.

Step 7: Then repeat on the back side. Take your time to try to lineup the two pieces of felt as precisely as possible. (It will make the sewing look much prettier!)

Step 8: Place on your sewing machine with good side facing up and stitch all around.
**This step can also be handstitched. I'd suggest using a contrast color embroidery thread, so that it will become part of the design.

Preparing the Plug
Now we'll make the plug. (This is the part of the slipper that will be on the top of our foot, with footbed sewn all around it.)

Step 1: Cut off each of the sleeves 5" from the bottom.

Step 2: Stitch the sleeve opening shut.

Step 3:Round the other end. When you've finished this, the plug will look like an egg with a flattened bottom.


Now you have all the pieces and are ready to assemble the slipper!

Sewing It Up
Step 1: Place the the plug over top of the foot bed with good sides together. The pointed area of the plug should be lined up with the center top of the foot bed. Tack stitch together at the point.

Step 2: Pull the plug back 1" from where it would rest naturally and tack stitch the left and right corners onto that place.

Step 3: Make two more tack stitches. One at the midpoint between the point and corners stitches on the right and then on the left.

Step 4: Starting from the left side, moving right, stitch all around, evenly distributing the excess material from the footbed as you go. (It should be much easier to do this thanks to the tack stitches you did in the previous steps.)

Step 5: Flip right side out, then make two snips on either side of the heel that go almost all the way to the felt. 

Step 6: Fold the two side pieces to form the back of the slipper. Insert the center flap into the slit at the bottom.

Step 7: Close the back by running two rows of stitches up the back about an itch apart. Then sew straight across the bottom to close the slit.

Adding A Collar
The last step in finishing the slipper is to add a collar. This will give the edges a clean finished look and keep the slipper from being so floppy.

Step 1: Cut all around on the bottom of the sweater. Trim to about 2" high and cut in half. (If you can cut in half right on a side seam, even better.)Then put a little double stick tape on each piece.

Step 2: Fold in half around the top edge of the slipper and tack stitch a few place to keep it from flipping up. And that's it, they're ready to wear!

I was left with a good amount of extra sweater, which I've turned over to my kiddo, Ophelia. Ophelia is a wiz at making amazing stuffed animal from all things scrap.I look forward to  updating this in the near future with what she created from the remnants.


Think warm thoughts. The spring will be here before we know it:)

TOOLS
*manilla folder
*pencil
*scissors
*double stick tape
*needle and thread
*tailor's chalk
*sewing machine (optional)