Friday, December 19, 2014

A Gift a Day Gift Fifteen: Furry Slippers

So, last year, I made my daughter some pink furry slippers as one of her Christmas gifts.  She loves them.  Almost as much as her brother.  See, one of Alvah's newer stims is he likes to pluck things, like oh the cat or say furry slippers and watch the resulting bits of fluff he's managed to pluck float on a puff of his breath. 

After about the fifteenth time grabbing her slippers back from her brother a couple of weeks ago, my daughter looked at me and said exasperated, "Mom, could you PLEASE make Alvah some furry slippers for Christmas?  Then he can pluck his slippers."

I didn't want to tell her that even after giving in to her request...the son is probably still going to like plucking her slippers more because it annoys her so, but hey, it is worth a shot, right?

I'd love to point you to a tutorial on how to make slippers like these, but I can't find one online *scowl*.  I honestly eyeball these when I make them, but here's the gist of how I do it.

Step 1:  Get some felt, enough to fit four of each foot for the person you are making slippers for.  Or you could use two layers of felt and a layer of cotton batting instead.  This is going to be the sole of your slippers.  If you have the material you could also make the sole out of leather or some other tougher material, but considering how often my kids wear slippers?  Yeah, felt will work fine.

Step 2:  Grab the insoles out of your sneakers (I find this the easiest way to do this honestly) and use those as a template to cut out your soles.  Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect.  These are, after all, slippers we're making here.  Also, if you are me, be sure to mark "L" on your left soles and "R" on the right ones.  It will stop you from screwing that up me on this!

Step 3:  Once you have the soles of the slippers cut out (four of each foot remember, or two of each foot and one of each foot out of your batting), I used dark green felt for these with a layer of cotton batting in between.

Step 4:  Take your fake fur and cut a strip that's about, oh, three and a half inches wide or so.  You also want this strip to be long enough to wrap around the back of your foot templates.  Fold the fur in half lengthwise, so that you have a nice long strip of doubled over fur.  I go about 80% of the way around the foot with this fur strip to make the back of the slipper.  Take two layers of felt, or the layer of felt with the batting on the bottom of it.  With the felt facing up at you, sew the fur to the bottom of the foot (reserve two layers of felt or, if using batting one layer of felt, for the bottom of your slippers...this will cover up your seams and give you a nice finished look when done around the back edge of the slipper.

Step 5:  Once the back of your slipper is in place, take fur scraps big enough to fold over the top of the slipper.  You want it far enough up so that the slipper will fit the person you are trying to make the slipper for, but down far enough that the foot will fit in the opening left without incident.  Fold over the fur scrap like a dome, so that...well so that it looks like the right height for the top of a slipper.  You can be generous with how much fur you secure to the bottom of your slipper, so err on the side of the caution and don't cut the scrap down too far.  Then find a lining material for your slipper top (two layers of fur would just be too thick).  I used cuddle flannel for these.  Color doesn't really matter as it's on the inside of the upper part of the slipper. 

Step 6:  Pin the upper part of the slipper in place (with the exception of the curved toe part at the front) and sew the fur into place (I hand stitch all my slippers to make sure I can customize without issue as I go along).  When you get to the front of the slipper you're going to have like a fur tunnel staring up at you.  Cut the fur in notches where needed as you wrap the fur around the front of the slipper (I can usually get away with one seam slightly off to one side of the toes with slippers) and whip stitch the fur into place (no, trust me, you will not notice the stitches later). 

Step 7:  Turn the slipper inside out and secure the back and sides to the front of the slipper and secure anything else you need to (like I cleaned up the seams at the front of the slippers while I was there and made sure my seams to the bottom of the slippers were good and tight.

Step 8:  Turn the slipper right side out again and place your final layer of felt on the bottom where it should go (this is where the L and R thing comes in handy...I've flipped those darned things so many times.  It doesn't do anything bad to the slippers, but it looks weird when someone shows you the bottoms when wearing them *laugh*) and whip stitch the soles into place.
And voila!  You now have some custom made fur slippers for that special person in your life.

Total Time to Make Project:  Six hours.  I make sure that everything looks good before and a lot of it was making my daughter (same size shoe as my son) try on the slippers on over and over again to make sure they felt good on her feet.

Total Cost to Make Project:  Nothing.  I've had a HUGE fake fur piece in my fabric for YEARS.  I think it was given to me, but honestly I can't remember it has been around that long.  I have a huge store of felt that I got from a cousin of my husband's who was cleaning out her stores of fabric ages ago, so I had that and the thread I already had as well.  The batting I used was some scraps of batting were left over from making the daughter's quilt.

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