Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Elf slippers tutorial

I ran across this and just had to post it. I don't think I have the sewing skills to tackle these, but they are fantastic! I found these on Mayamade blog, and I highly recommend checking out her fabulous blog (i'm following it now!). The following is copied/pasted from her blog:

I've wanted a pair of elf slippers ever since I can remember. When I missed my window, I thought I would make some for my son. Missed that window, too! He says "no way" to elf feet at ten years old. Can't blame him. When I made my daughter's toadstool slippers last month, they seemed to fall into that gnome/fairy category... but not quite elf. Maybe I made them too small subconsciously? Not sure, but I couldn't wait to make my own pattern, this time. I wanted that quintessential curled up toe look.

We love them!
When you make your own patterns, it's always nice to do a trial run through with an inexpensive fabric... just to check your fit. With clothing, I've used muslin. For these slippers, I tried a scrap of cotton batting. It behaves exactly like felt and helped me make the perfect size and shape!!

I can't believe what a wonderful resource it is. I'm loving batting for all of its unexpected uses.
Here's a tutorial for making your own wool slippers from repurposed felted sweaters:

Creating the pattern is the first step. I'm not including a pdf, but will gladly make one if I get enough requests. Instead, I will give you the measurements for a 4-6 year old and instructions for how to make any size. That's right, I could still make myself a pair. You'll be the first to know if I do!


Draw measurements onto an 8x11 sheet of paper. Use my numbers as guides. Make the sole by tracing your child's foot. If your child's foot is smaller, you'll need to reduce the length of the slipper sides by subtracting from the heel side. The opposite advice for a larger foot. The important thing to remember is that each side must ease around the sole and match evenly at the center of the toe and heel. You can check the sizing by sewing up a quick sample out of batting and trying it on. They should be a bit roomy because the actual slipper is made out of two layers of thick wool.


felted wool sweaters or blankets
cotton batting
- Cut out pattern
-Pin pattern to sweater and cut out pieces to get the most of your sweater. I tried different placements until I found just the right spots for cutting.

- You will need a total of 8 sides and 4 soles to make a pair of slippers. Try to cut with all pieces having the weave of the sweater going in the same direction.

-Pin all of your pieces together right side in, wrong side facing out. If you click on this next photo you'll see that the sweater pieces look inside out.

Assembling the slipper sounds far more complicated than it really is. It goes rather quickly, you'll be surprised. Use the numbers on the photo for reference and sew the outside and liner at the same time. They are identical with the exception of 3b. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

1. sew up the top front seam.
2. sew up the toe seam.
3a. determine which side will be the outside and sew up the heel seam.
3b. sew up the heel of the liner keeping 1 1/2 inches unstitched in the center for "turning". See photo above.
4. Attach sole to slipper sides making sure that the front and back seams stay centered at toe and heel. I would recommend pinning at this stage, but it's not necessary if you're fairly brave and have measured accurately. Remember to keep all of the right sides facing in.

Now, it's starting to look like something!

-Sew together around the open top of the slipper. That's right, sew them closed! It should look like this:

-Now, all that's left is the turning of your slipper to the right side. Gently pull both slipper pieces through the opening in the heel. Poke the pointy toes out and into shape with a pencil eraser. Arrange the liner inside the slipper and sew up the opening with needle and thread.

I embellished these with little dots cut from a contrasting sweater. You can add your own touch with needle felting, embroidery, buttons, etc.

These are so soft and warm, but slippery too. I plan on putting some anti-skid dots on the bottom. I might try some recycled suede. If you want to make them more secure on wild dancing feet, simply slit holes through both layers around the ankle and weave a ribbon through for a tie... like these. Felted wool won't fray, so this is easy. Please, let me know if you have any questions. I'd also love to see yours, if you make a pair.
[Please direct any questions to Mayamade. I have only copied/pasted this tutorial]


Victoria Velting said...

I love these! I can't wait to make some, for fyn and for me! maybe with cashmere inside...

The Sewing Dork said...

I've been wanting a pair of these for myself (perhaps minus the elf toes for my already huge feet). I'm going to give this a try.
And Resweater, can you email me?
The Sewing Dork

Archie and Melissa said...

hi kris!
oh what a wonderful tutorial!
thank you so much for sharing it!

Levi's Mommy said...

Thank you! I just made some 'elf shoes' for my son. I used fleece and put jingle bells on the toes. He is going to love them!

Unknown said...

i luv your blog and your fun ideas. If you run across anymore bright striped sweaters Im interested!!:)

obat herbal
crystal x asli
obat keputihan
crystal x
Ciri crystal x
I think you mean Portsea! :)