I saw some animal slippers over the holidays and thought I could sew up an even more cute and comfy version for my 2-1/2 year old daughter, Elise, from items already in my craft closet. The snuggly wool interior and no-slip bottom make for safe hopping on hardwood floors. You can use my free bunny slipper pattern as a base to make all kinds of creatures - bears, cats, dogs, you name it. And the pattern can be sized up on a copier for bigger kids or kids-at-heart. Hippity hoppity!
Step 1: Gather Supplies and Cut Out Pattern Pieces
Kathy's free bunny slipper pattern (see images and instructions below)
One felted wool sweater (mine was an old green sweater)
One piece of cream wool felt
One piece of pink felt
Black embroidery thread and hand sewing needle
Grip stop fabric for slipper bottom (cotton fabric with little non-slip rubber circle grippers)
Sewing machine, thread, pins, scissors, etc.
To properly size the pattern: Print out all pieces. Increase (or decrease) the size of the sole on a copier to fit your desired foot size plus about 1/2" around all sides (I had Elise step on a piece of paper and I drew around her foot). Now use what ever copier setting you needed to use to get the sole to fit properly (125%, 150%, 200%) to increase the size of all other pattern pieces proportionally. Easy peasy.
To felt sweaters: Felt and recycle old wool sweaters by machine washing them in hot water and drying in the dryer. They should shrink and thicken up - if you can still see the thread pattern then repeat the process. I felted two 100% wool sweaters and decided to use the green.
Step 2: Cut Out and Sew the Slipper Upper Together
Cut one bunny tail out of cream wool felt. Place the bunny tail on the back side of Side 2 about one inch from the bottom edge. Sandwich the bunny tail by placing the Right Side piece on top, right sides together. Pin the back seam and the top seam, leaving the bottom and foot opening unpinned and unsewn. Sew back seam and top seam using a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat this for the other slipper.
Step 3: Make and Attach the Bunny's Cute Little Face
Cut out a pink nose and place on the bunny face. Using a water-soluble fabric pen, trace around a small button (or draw a circle freehand) for two eyes. Fill in the eyes using a satin stitch embroidery thread and a back stitch. Repeat to make the second bunny face.
Take one bunny face, two ears and one slipper upper. Pin the bunny face on top of the slipper, slipping the ears between the two layers about 1/4". Sew across the top of the bunny face close to the edge to secure the bunny face and ears to the slipper. Stitch around the perimeter of the face to secure it all around - it will make it easier to attach the sole later. Turn the slipper inside out and set aside. Repeat for the other slipper.
Step 4: Make and Attach the Slipper's Non-slip Sole
Place the bottom sole (grip stop fabric) face down on your table. Lay the inner wool sole on top, right side up, matching arches. Pin together placing pins on the grip stop fabric side. Baste together very close to the edge - it will make it easier to attach the sole later. And here's a tip: Place a piece of paper underneath your presser foot to keep the little rubber circle grippers on the fabric from gripping onto your presser foot. Nice, huh? When it's all sewn, you'll have the grippers on the sole bottom with a nice soft felted wool sole inside to keep your feet cozy.
Now you're going to attach the sole to the slipper. Pin the middle back first - middle of the sole pinned to the back seam of the slipper upper. Then move to the front - pinch the sole in the half to find its center. Pin together, placing pins on the slipper upper side (rather than on the sole side). Sew around to attach. I used both a straight stitch at a 1/4" seam plus a zigzag stitch and I think it looks pretty professional if I do say so myself. Turn right side out. You can use a bone folder to help push out the seams.