Slippers or baby shoes that stay on

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I’ve had about 20 years of trying to get kids to wear slippers in the winter.  We’ve tried many styles, and for the most part, they don’t wear them!  For the last several years, I’ve been making these slippers for babies and right up to adult size, and they get worn- as long as they’re not lost!  So, I like to make 2 pair at once, at least for the little ones.


Leather for sole

soft leather, fleece, or bottom weight woven

1/4″elastic, upholstery thread, regular thread

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Draw around the foot.  I like to add about 1/4″ in front of the toes for growth.

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Using scrap paper, or whatever, fold down one edge 1″,  this will be sewn folded later.  Try to shape the paper over the foot as closely as possible.  Make a little tuck (dart) in the paper at the toe.  Draw around it with a pencil. With another paper, also folded down 1″, position and shape it around the heel, draw around it with a pencil, it should come half way up the side of the foot.

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So, you’ll end up with something like this.  Using a marker even out all your lines and add a seam allowance.  The heel piece should be symmetrical.2013-10-22 10.01.26

Mark elastic slits as shown.  Mark the toe dart. I’m using a stiff leather for the sole, that doesn’t turn up well on the sides, so that dictates a very small seam allowance, about 1/8″ for the leather.  If you have a very soft leather, you can use a 1/4″ seam allowance if you’d prefer.

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Here I’m cutting out two pair- a denim pair and a leather pair.  The leather I’m using for the top is a very soft leather from a skirt.  Make sure for each pair you cut one sole right side up, one right side down- you don’t want two left feet!

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Cut 2 of the heel.  Cut 2 of the front food piece, also make sure to cut one with the pattern right side up, one right side down.  Cut the elastic slits.

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You should use regular thread now, switching to upholstery thread when sewing on the soles.  If you use a woven fabric, make sure you surge or zigzag around all the pieces, and the elastic slits (you could make button holes).  This is very important when using a small seam allowance.   I like to keep the woven seam allowances closer to 1/4″. For leather uppers or fleece, just cut a slit.  No picture, but here it is in the finished shoe with the elastic going through the slits.

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All the edges that were folded over during the making of the pattern, those should be folded over again and sewn in to place.  (For the denim pair, I folded the foot piece to the outside for more visual interest.  Since I folded this piece the other way than normal, the elastic slits are made on the top of the foot piece, not in the fold over part.) Sew the toe dart.

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Things can slip around while sewing, and it is hard to pin to leather, so be very careful to line things up.  You can mark with pencil on the soul where the pieces should begin and end.  You should sew this with the top part down.  The feed dogs will help pull in any extra fullness and make up for the fabric stretching.  It should look something like this.  I like to go around the soul twice with a medium length stitch.

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Turn the shoe right side out and finger press.  Insert the elastic through the elastic slits and through the back of the heel making a loop around the ankle.

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  I like to safety pin the elastic in place and try it out before stitching it in place.

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So here they are- cute and comfy. The denim ones turned out very cute, too.  I’d show you a picture- but they’re already lost!


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