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How to Sew Slippers from a Felted Sweater – A Tutorial

Remember this sweater that I showed you last year? Well, about a week ago I looked at it sitting folded on the shelf and noticed a small stain on it. Below the boob, which explains why I never saw it before. You know, due to my massively huge girls (not. They are so not).

At any rate, I tried to wash it out, and it wouldn’t, so I threw the sweater in the washing machine (even though I KNEW better, I did it. Doh!) and long story short I felted the sweater. I tried all the pinterest un-felting techniques and managed to stretch it out where I could put it on, but the sleeves were too short and the top didn’t drape right anymore.

So after moaning on Instagram (@mellysews) and taking advantage of cyber Monday to buy (superwash!) yarn to make a new sweater, I set out to make something useful from my unfortunately felted sweater. Something that would let me cut around the still there stain.

These are my favorite slippers. Knitted on large needles a few years ago and PURPOSELY felted (as opposed to stupidly overriding my common sense felted) and they aren’t so cute but they are so warm. And I always have cold feet and hands.

But Uh-oh! Can’t really be seen wearing hole-y slippers around, can I?

So, I traced one of my flip-flops. Then I cut out two copies, keeping one as the sole, and cutting one in half vertically…

And spreading it 1 1/4″then retracing the toe.

I checked my paper toe on my own foot.

Then marked the toe 1 1/2 inches over from each edge.

I measured the back of my sole around to the toe and cut two strips half that length + 1 inch by 1 1/2″ wide. I taped these to the sides of my toe piece, angled in the top a little, and here was my pattern. NOTE: if you’re doing this, stop here and make a muslin out of fleece or something so you don’t ruin your sweater. I ended up rounding the toe a little and flaring the strips out to 2 inches at the ends.

Now cut out of your sweater. I cut 4 soles (2 per shoe) and two tops. You can see how I modified the pattern below.

 I also added extra when I cut, because this sweater wasn’t fully felted and I knew I would be throwing it in the wash again and it would shrink a little more. Also, make sure you cut 2 soles and one top with the pattern face up and 2 soles and one top with the pattern face down if your sweater has a right/wrong side (mine didn’t), so you can do a right and left slipper. No one wants two left feet.

Pin the toe edges and sides down, and stitch around, leaving the back open. I sewed this on my regular machine, using 1/4″ seams.

Try on your slipper and pinch the back flaps to match your heel. Pin.

Stitch right next to the pin and cut of the extra, leaving yourself about 1/2″ seam allowance.

Press the seam allowance open, and stitch down each edge so it stays flat.

Pin the finished back around the heel of the sole. You might have to trim the sole. I did.

Turn slippers right side out. I did a single crochet around the raw edge of the slippers. Pictured above; you can also check this tutorial about how to do the stitch or google – there are tons of tutorials out there.

At this point I threw these back in the wash to finish felting. You can see the stitches are even less defined now, and the fabric is firmer. 

Also  the seams felted and basically blended away – you can barely see them now.

Finally, I added some Irish Crochet flowers I had sitting around leftover from another project long ago. I hand sewed these on. This appears to be a good tutorial about how to do a few of these.

And snuggle up with some warm toasty feet in non-embarassing slippers!

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Comments

  1. says

    I love this! Totally going to do this. If you did these out of fleece you could use that puffy fabric paint and make little dots or something on the bottom for traction if you don’t have carpeted floors like me.

  2. says

    I am tucking my toes away in shame, these slippers are bad! As you can imagine this post came at the perfect time. I happen to have a felted sweater without a purpose.
    Thank you for taking the time to post this tutorial. Your new slippers are beautiful!

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