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Saturday, 20 October 2018

Quasi-Tutorial: Make Your Own Slippers

DIY Slippers by eSheep Designs
My new Robert Kaufman slippers...
While my almost four year old kimono slippers still go on the road with me, I was recently inspired to make a pair of regular slippers for use at home.

I have slippers in my bathroom, where — on cold winter mornings — I appreciate having something to warm up my feet right after getting up. My current (store bought) pair is ready for the trash bin, with its plastic sole separating from the top part of the slipper. Upon examining it closely, it occurred to me that it should be relatively easy to make my own.

So I did.

And so can you, regardless of what size you wear.

Supplies needed...
How? Start by going to the nearest dollar store and picking up a pair of insoles. It will serve as the "template" for your personalized slipper pattern.

Be sure to pick an insole with a bit of width to it; i.e., don't choose the skinny ones that typically fit into a women's dress shoe. (In fact, I went for a men's felt boot insole and then trimmed it down to size.)

DIY Slippers by eSheep Designs
A pair of slippers made to size!

You'll also need some 1/2" double-folded bias binding, fusible fleece and coordinating fabric for this project.


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Make Templates


After ensuring that the insole was sized correctly for my foot, I traced around it on a sheet of paper and then drew a 1/2" outline around it for the seam allowance/bias tape. (I ended up drawing a narrower outline towards the back of the heel.)

DIY Slippers by eSheep Designs
Making a template for the slipper sole...

Next, I made a template for the top part of the slipper.

DIY Slippers by eSheep Designs
Make a template for the slipper's top piece...

This top piece should be about 45% of the length of your slipper's sole (i.e., multiply the length of the sole template by .45 to arrive at the length of this top piece) and should follow the same curve along the top edge.

Both sides should then flare out to become 1.5" wider along the bottom edge as shown in the picture above.

Use clips to attach the two templates together so you can check for proper fit.

DIY Slippers by eSheep Designs
Does it fit?

Once you're satisfied with the templates, mark them appropriately for fold line (only on the top piece) and for left/right top/bottom of the sole.

Cut Fabric & Interface


Use the sole template to cut fabric for the top and bottom of the left sole and (reversed) for the top and bottom of the right sole. You will end up with four pieces in total; interface all four with fusible fleece.

Use the second template to cut fabric on the fold for the top of the left slipper and (reversed) for the top of the right slipper. Interface only the top half of these pieces with fusible fleece. (I would recommend keeping the fleece out of the seam allowance, unlike what's shown here.)

DIY Slippers by eSheep Designs
Interface the top half of these pieces...

Now it's time to sew.


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Sew


Pin and then baste the top part of the slipper to the two sole pieces (which should be right sides out).

DIY Slippers by eSheep Designs
Pin and baste top part of slipper to top of sole...

The next step depends on preference. If you want the extra thickness — and can handle the resulting slightly trickier job of sewing the bias binding — slip the insoles themselves in between the two pieces of the sole's fabric. (However, this may affect how washable the slippers are depending on what the insoles are made out of.)

DIY Slippers by eSheep Designs
Optional: add the insole to the inside of the slipper...

The last step is to attach the bias binding.

I like to start sewing bias binding from the bottom, then flip it around to the top side and finish sewing from the top side. (I used my sewing machine's zipper foot for this part. Depending on the thickness — i.e., if you inserted the actual insoles inside — you may find it useful to use a zipper foot too.)

DIY Slippers by eSheep Designs
Attach bias binding around entire edge of slipper...

You may have your own preferred method of attaching binding, so I won't go into too much more of a discussion here. (If you want details, check out my Quilted Hanging File Organizer tutorial.)

DIY Slippers by eSheep Designs
View of the bottom!

And that's all there is to it! If you want your slippers to be "grippy" on the bottom, I understand applying some puffy paint will do the job.

I've been on a bit of a hunt for sewing projects suitable for guys this year and this is yet another that would qualify, when made with appropriate fabrics.

By the way, in my part of the world, we generally remove our shoes when we enter our homes. Hence, many people wear slippers indoors. Is it customary where you live to remove your shoes or do you wear them inside your house?


14 comments:

  1. What a fun project, thank you for the tutorial.

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  2. I can't wait to go to the dollar store, and most of all make these slippers. Thank you so very much.

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    Replies
    1. Most welcome, Judy, and thanks for dropping a comment. Have fun making your slippers.

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  3. These look perfect! So excited to try these out. Wish I could have made these for our current trip we're on! Thank you for all you do for us. 💜

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    1. Aww... my heart is swelling with happiness at your comment. Many thanks to you for making my day this way. May your slippers turn out great whenever you get the chance to make them!

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  4. Anxious to try making these. Thank you for all the instructions. Very useful!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you and welcome — these have been a bigger hit than I ever could have anticipated.

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  5. I'm going to make a pair of these for my daughter who has to wear combat boots to work every day. I can only imagine how good her feet will feel in these made with love slippers. Thanks so so much!

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    Replies
    1. You're so very welcome, and thank you so much for a lovely story. I hope your daughter appreciates her slippers!

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  6. Joyce P SchroederNovember 03, 2018 2:35 am

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I have been looking for slippers in this style, but have not had any luck. I will be making myself some to wear in the hospital when I have knee surgery in January. And I will use hot glue to make grippy sayings on the soles so I don't slip around on those hospital floors. Thank you for your talent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thank you so much for your kind comments!

      Hot glue dots — there's a smart idea; don't want to take chances after knee surgery. I hope all goes well for you and that your slippers make your hospital stay more comfortable.

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  7. In our house we leave our shoes on in the house, and only tend to wear slippers (ugh boots) in Winter. There are times when we're staying elsewhere, however, when your slippers would be perfect. They'd pack flat in a suitcase. I'd never have thought of making my own - don't have time at the moment, but Pinning for future reference. Thanks for the tutorial.

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    Replies
    1. *ugg boots*. I really should re-read comments before I publish.. LOL. It's good to be back reading a few blog posts.

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