I was really excited to be sent this Sewing Pattern
to try and couldn't wait to get stuck in.
I did manage (just) to stop myself from rushing straight in and did the sensible thing by making a toile.
So I duly drew around my feet, feeling a bit smug I might add, and took my foot measurements.
According to the length of my foot I am a size medium, so feeling confident I went ahead and cut the various pieces out.
You do need quite a lot of bits and bobs to make these slippers. These are what the pattern says you need, (I amended some items later, but I will explain why when I come to cut out my second pair).
For the basic view B you need small amounts (5/8mt) of a top fabric and a lining fabric. I had some fabrics in my stash so I decided to use this beautiful parasol fabric for the outsides and some polycotton for the lining.
You also need Fleece Interfacing
or headliner foam which goes between the inner and outer fabric on all pieces. And you will need a small length of 1/2" elastic and 1/4" bias binding.
When I was sewing the slippers together I did think that they looked a little big, but decided to trust the pattern! This is the result and I was so glad that the soles were only tacked onto the main piece as it meant that I could recut everything and start more or less again.
These are the finished test slippers and lovely they are too. I was thinking about the construction process as I was sewing and thought of a couple of changes which would make these a whole lot easier to make.
On this test pair I didn't add bias binding to the seam where the sole joins the upper, I used my overlocker. If you struggle with binding I think that this is an acceptable substitute.
The fabric for my actual project is this beautiful Navy Blue Velvet Fabric
and the lining is a very pretty printed cotton.
Now to start again!
Apart from the sizing which was totally wrong - I needed size XS in the end (I take a 5 1/2 shoe), I thought of other ways to make the sewing process easier.
When it comes to stitching the sole to the upper you are faced with a very thick seam.
The sole has a suede lower piece, two layers of wadding and the lining. This has to be stitched to the upper consisting of lining, main fabric and wadding.
All this has to be encased in 1/4" bias binding around the inside of the seam! It is tricky.
To make the process much easier I substituted one layer of iron on foam interfacing for the sole instead of two layers of fleece wadding.
After ironing the foam interfacing to the sole I marked the 1/2" seam allowance onto the interfacing and peeling it back from the fabric I removed the seam allowance in the interfacing only.
Iron it again, using a pressing cloth.
Although this new process seems time consuming, I actually found it less troublesome than struggling to sew multiple layers neatly.
Tack the sole interfacing and lining together by hand inside the seam allowance. This is much easier than doing it by machine.
Press the slipper upper onto the interfacing and join the back seam, remove the interfacing from the seam allowance. Join the back seam on the lining too.
Duck bill scissors make removing the interfacing so much easier and safer.
Make the back tab and the elastic strap now and stitch the back tabs to the centre back of the main fabric facing down.
Join the lining and main fabric together all around the top, trim the interfacing away snip the curves and turn right sides out. Press and then tack all around the bottom.
Stitch the straps onto the upper at the dots.
Then run a gathering stitch along the fronts between the notches as the front gathers onto the sole at this point.
Join the sole to the upper. You will find this easier now that much of the bulk has already been removed .
Trim the seam allowance and then start to apply your bias binding. I opened one fold and machined it to the seam, folded it over and stitched the other side down with a hand sewn slip stitch. I found this the easiest and neatest method.
Your slippers are now finished! I totally love them. The foam interfacing makes them comfortable to walk on and the non slip sole ensures that you won't slip and fall.
The pattern seems tricky at first but once you get your head around what you are hoping to achieve it all makes sense. The only place I would remind you to take special care is when attaching the sole to the upper, I confess that I had to think carefully as it is so easy to stitch the sole on the wrong way round.
This is a great way to use up scraps of fabrics and means that if you like to remove your shoes indoors as I do you could have a pair to match all your favourite dresses or tops!
Finally this is a photograph of my Great Aunt Ethel wearing a similar pair of slippers to mine. During the blitz she would sit in her chair resolutely knitting and drinking brandy until the all clear was given. Great Aunt Ethel was scared of nothing!
Enjoy your slippers, and don't forget to take them away on holiday and then you can look elegant when dancing around your room.