These slippers were my first attempt from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. As you can tell from my previous posts, I’m a big fan of the “Day of the Dead” fabrics by Alexander Henry. Halloween also is my favorite holiday, so I thought these would be a perfect fall/winter slipper for me.
I was so impressed with how easily they came together, and how cute they looked, that I promptly made a 2nd pair out of different fabric.
I decided to use different fabrics on both slippers outside as I did for the inside, though once you are wearing them, you can’t tell. If you only have a small amount of a very expensive fabric, I’d use that for the outside, and use whatever you want for the inside. For the inside sole, I went with black fabric. I figured any light color or pattern would likely get dirty and dingy, so the darker the better. While these were very easy and quick to make, I did have a few problems/concerns. This was my first time making any sort of footwear. The directions call for ¼” elastic, which is narrower then any elastic I’ve ever worked with. I didn’t thoroughly read the directions, and just put the elastic in and sewed it in place. It wasn’t until I had fully finished the slipper that I realized something wasn’t quite right. I re-read the directions, and that’s where I realized that the elastic needs to be stretched and held in place, and then sewed, and that’s how you get the “puckering/gathering” at the heel. In any event, they fit just fine. In later slippers, I’ve sewed the elastic according to the directions, but I still can’t get it to pucker to the extent that it should. I also had some trouble with the rick rack. If you place the rick rack so that it hangs over the edge before you sew, then when you flip it, sometimes the rick rack does not show on the other side. For this, I had to actually rip out the seam and redo multiple times. I found that by lining the edge of the rick rack up with edge of the fabric (or a “smidge” over the fabric), you get a more even rick rack look once the shoes are turned right side out. For the first pair, I used a lightweight wool blend for the slipper bottom, and a wool felt for the bottom of the other pair. I don’t notice much difference with each. They are both slightly slippery, but then again, I like that about slippers. I have looked into putting slipper grippers on them, but all I’ve found is what they have at Joann Fabrics – which is a sheet of white rubber with white dots. They have a “granny” look to them, so I’ve opted against them. For attaching the bottom sole to the slipper, the book directions, and the book picture are not the same. The directions call for a blanket stitch, and give a drawing of a blanket stitch. I had never done this stitch before, but sort of guessed at how it was done. My final result is not as clean or precise as the book diagram, but it seems to stay in place, and look decent.
If you look at the picture of slippers in the book, it looks like they did one of the sideways triangle finishing stitches from a sewing machine. On a future pair I tried this as an option but it was not much easier, didn’t look much nicer, and made the slippers much smaller.
The hardest part of the slippers was probably turning under the outside panels so that they curved over the bottom sole. There was no easy way to do this on my ironing board (unless someone has any suggestions – I’d love to hear them), and so I found myself steaming my fingers quite a bit on this. Also, just to see the difference, I made the 2nd pair of slippers (the ones in the Everglades fabric) a size Large, which is for size 8 1/2 – 9. The 1st pair (Day of the Dead fabric) were a size Medium, which is for size 7-8. I’m a size 7 ½, and my feet are medium width (sometimes a little wider). Both slippers fit me about the same, so I don’t know how accurate the sizing really is.
Overall I love these slippers, and will be making quite a few as holiday presents – shhhh…it’s a surprise for them, so no telling!