(This tutorial is for personal use only. I ask that you please do not sell any patterns or sweater slippers that are made from this tutorial. Thank you! ☺)
Let's get started!
Here is what you will need.
- a felted (fulled) sweater
- paper and pencil for making the pattern
- pattern weights and pins
- a sewing machine or a needle and thread if sewing by hand
- a flexible measuring tape and a willing participant to take measurements on
- scrap wool for an applique (optional)
- sewable heat-n-bond or similar for ease of attaching applique (also optional)
How to Draft the Wool Sweater Slipper Sock Pattern
(Google docs is glichy sometimes. If files are not available, just put a request of what doc you need in the comments or via email, and I will send you a copy☺)
Once you have your pattern made, lay it out on the sweater. You want to make sure the sweater you have chosen is big enough for all of the pieces, also to figure out the best layout for the least amount of waste.☺ If the sweater is not big enough, it's not a big deal. You can always mix and match pieces from other sweaters to complete the project. For example, use different color soles than the rest of the slipper. This is a fun thing to do even if the sweater you've chosen is the right size. Mix and match...make your slippers unique!
Be sure to line up the top edge of the ankle cuff with the sweater ribbing so your slippers will have a nice edge. It will also enable them to stretch well over your heel when putting them on.
Pin or put weights on the pattern pieces and cut them out. I usually cut through the 2 layers at once so I end up with mirror images of my pattern. Just be careful that a seam placement or knit pattern on the opposite side does not differ from the side you are cutting on. I also make sure that the upper piece and sole are not on the ribbing part of the sweater. Ribbing is usually wavy and it does not felt like the rest of the sweater.
Another option, depending on the thickness of wool, is to make a double soled slipper for extra cushion. This is a little more difficult to sew. If you are not really experienced, you may want to skip it on your first pair. The sweater I choose was kind of thin, so I choose to double up the sole.
You can also hand sew a leather sole on for added protection. My daughter just starts to wear out the sole of hers before she needs a new size, so I have never done this. It would be a good idea for feet that have stopped growing though. I think it would really extend the life of the slippers.
The following picture shows how I placed my pattern pieces and cut them out. (Do you like my excessive pattern weights? Hey... Those patterns were going nowhere!)
Now that the pieces are all cut out, it is time to embellish them if you want to. (Unless you want to needle felt a design on them. That can be done later if you place a foam block inside them after they are made.)
I am going to make Stinky Tweet slippers for my little stink's feet. I am going to applique on birds that I cut out from sweater scraps. (This is a great way to use up those leftovers!) Feel free to make some Stinky Tweets too. Just click on the link for the pattern. Sweater felt can be a little thick to work with, so another option would be to use fabric or felt sold by the yard/square for the applique.
I find it easier to cut out appliques if they are stabilized with something like freezer paper or heat-n-bond on the back. It gives a nice paper surface to print or trace your image on as well.
I used sewable heat-n-bond for my birds so I could iron them on. It makes it easier to sew the little pieces without them shifting around under the presser foot.
For my bird, I cut the body and tail out of a blue sweater scrap. I cut the wing out of the same sweater I used to make the slippers, and I cut the beak from a light blue scrap. To make the eye I just cut a little hole to let the pink show through.
The following picture shows the steps I took to apply the applique. (click picture to enlarge)
It's finally time to assemble the slipper socks!
It's up to you if you want to sew them by hand or machine. Sewing by hand on sweater felt gives you the ability to sew over the edge, producing an almost invisible seam, but it is time consuming (and I am lazy☺) so I chose to sew them by machine.
Set your machine to a zigzag stitch.
When sewing slippers together, let the needle penetrate both layers on the zig and fall over the edge on the zag. This will produce a flatlock like appearance that forms ladder stitches on the outside of the slippers.
Let's get sewing!
Take an ankle piece and fold it in half with the right sides facing together. Start the seam at the top of the ankle cuff, and stop when you reach the curve of the instep. Be careful not to stretch the fabric while sewing. Stretching will cause it to distort and be wavy. Repeat this step for the other ankle piece as well.
Now attach the instep to the ankle piece, placing the 2 instep curves right sides together. Repeat for the other slipper.Once the 2 uppers are complete, turn them inside out and attach the soles right sides together. Make sure there are a right and left foot, and that your applique is facing the right direction for each foot. (So you don't have to seam rip it off like I had too!☺)
Sew around the sole and turn them right side out.
Now try them on and keep those feet warm! ☺
Please feel free to ask any questions!