Introduction: Felted Wool Shoe Liner

About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

Now that the cold weather has settled in I made a pair of felted wool shoe liners to keep my feet warm.  I always have cold feet in the winter months.  Wool is one of the best fabrics to wear when it is cold.  Wool wicks the perspiration and keeps our feet dry.  I wear open healed shoes and they are not very warm.  These shoe liners helped keep my feet warm and comfortable.  I will show you how to felt a wool sweater, make a pattern, and sew a liner for your shoes.  Lets get started!

Step 1: Supplies

This is what you will need:
  • 1 Thin soft wool sweater
  • Iron in interfacing
  • Lining
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing pins
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Shoes to make pattern
  • Marking pen
  • Seam ripper
  • Pattern
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Sewing Machine
  • Laundry soap 
  • Washer
  • Dryer
Please note: Your shoe size will determine how much fabric you will need.  You will need 2 pieces of interfacing, lining, and felted sweater fabric for each pair of shoe liners. You must use laundry soap for felting the sweater.  Simply add the soap as you would any other laundry load. I had plans for the printed fabric of this sweater but it would have given the shoes a cute appearance. You may sew these liners by hand and it would be fine.  A machine is faster but these are so small it still would not take very long to sew.

Step 2: Preparations for Felting

  • Remove all the seams of the sweater
  • Remove the cuffs
  • Buttons
  • Pockets 

Step 3: Washing the Sweater

  • Set washer for a long wash cycle
  • Set temperature for hot wash and rinse
  • Wash it
  • Check to see if it is felted enough for you.  If it is not enough then wash it again.
  • Dry it on a hot heat cycle.
Look how smooth and pretty the pieces turned out using a thin sweater. The reason  it turned out so nice is because we removed all the seams and pockets. The lining fabric should be washed alone. Do not wash the interfacing. 

Step 4: Pattern

Tracing a pattern using a shoe insert:
  • I used a shoe insert to trace a pattern but you may trace your foot to make a pattern from.
  • Trace the foot or shoe liner onto the paper.
  • Cut the pattern out trimming 1/4 inch from your mark line to allow for the seam.
Please note: a flat shoe insert will give you a much smoother appearance than tracing your foot or using an insert like the one I used.

Step 5: Interfacing, Lining, and Felted Fabric Pieces

Cutting method Sweater:
  • Fold the felted sweater right sides together.
  • Place the foot pattern on the top of the felted folded piece and pin it to the felted piece.
  • Cut it out.
  • Set it aside.
  • You should have a right and left foot piece.
Cutting Method Lining:
  • Repeat the above method using the lining fabric.
Cutting method for interfacing:
  • Repeat the above method using the interfacing.
Please note: In order not to confuse you I used a white lining for picture purpose only.  I would recommend using a matching or contrasting lining.  I would not use the wool because it may be too think to wear your shoe.  Keep this in mind when you are choosing a lining.  A light weight cotton worked nicely for mine.   

Step 6: Ironing

  • Iron the lining and felted pieces
  • Place the interfacing on left and right foot piece of the (lining) with the textured side to the wrong side of the lining.
  • Lay a piece of the lining over the 2 pieces and press according to the interfacing directions. 
  • This prevents  your iron from getting sticky. 

Step 7: Pinning

Pinning method:
  • Pin the felted foot pieces to the lining right sides together.
  • Pin it in the way you like.  I use this method because it works for me best.

Step 8: Sewing

Sewing method:
  • Begin sewing at the arch area and work all the way around leaving a 4 inch opening to turn the fabric right side out.
  • Trim threads.
  • Cut small slits up to the seam area all the way around the seam.
  • Turn right side out.
  • Using a pen work the seams smoothing the seam allowance.
  • Press well.
  • At the opening turn under 1/4in hem to match the seam.
  • Top stitch all the way around the insert back stitching at the end.
  • Press well.

Step 9: Place in the Shoe

Place the insert in the shoe:
  • Place the insert into the shoe smoothing it as you slide it in.
  • You may need to work it a little.

Step 10: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

Try it on for size!  Mine fit very nicely.  I am making a few pairs of these.  They can be machine washed when ever needed.  Wash cold on delicate cycle. I would not put them in the dryer though.  I was surprised how comfortable they were.  I am going to try and make a pair of slippers out of a felted sweater.  These would look so cute with a pretty sweater print.  They would make good boot liners also.  You could make them for rubber boots.  I never did like rubber boots because they don't breathe but sometimes rubber boots are better for snow and rain. Please stay tuned because I have a lot of fun projects lined up. 

Thank you for stopping by and have a safe and warm winter!