When it's cold outside, there's nothing like slipping into a comfy pair of slippers. For extra coziness, make your own from an old sweater. It's actually pretty simple! Designed for indoor use, these will definitely keep your feet warm and toasty.
- Slipper pattern or a pen and paper to make your own pattern
- Two old sweater sleeves or a 1/2 yard of knit sweater material
- 1/2 yard fleece
- 1/4 yard heavy felt
- Sharp sewing scissors
- Paper scissors
- Sewing machine
- 90/14 medium-weight ball-point sewing machine needle
- Coordinating thread
- Measuring tape
- Hand-sewing needle
Download a slipper pattern (in your shoe size) or create your own. Drawing your own pattern allows you to make custom slippers for a child or an adult. To make the bottom pattern, trace your foot onto a piece of blank paper; then draw a top pattern like the shape pictured that's the same length as your foot. Cut out your pattern pieces with paper scissors.
If using an old sweater to make your slippers, cut off both of the sleeves at the shoulder seam. If using sweater fabric, fold it in half lengthwise. Place the top pattern over the part of the fabric design that you'd like to appear on the top and sides of your slippers. Align the top pattern piece onto the fold of the sweater sleeve or sweater fabric and pin into place.
Use sharp sewing scissors to cut around the pattern; add a 1/2-inch seam allowance all around the pattern except on the fold side. Remove the pattern piece and repeat the process on the other sweater sleeve (or folded sweater fabric if not using sweater sleeves). Remove the pattern piece to repeat the process on the fleece—fold the fleece in half lengthwise, align the pattern on the fold, pin the pattern onto the fleece, and cut out the pattern leaving a 1/2-inch seam allowance around the fleece except on the fold side. Do this twice on the fleece so you have two fleece pieces.
You now have four identical top pieces that look like the picture when you unfold them. Two pieces come from the sweater fabric, and two pieces come from the fleece fabric. The sweater pieces become the top of the slippers, while the fleece pieces become the top lining of the slippers. Set these pieces aside to use later.
Fold the fleece fabric in half lengthwise and pin the bottom pattern piece onto the fabric (not on the fold). Use sharp sewing scissors to cut around the bottom pattern piece, adding a 1/2-inch seam allowance all around. Unpin the pattern piece and repeat so that you have four identical pieces of fleece.
Fold the heavy felt in half and pin the bottom pattern piece onto the felt (not on the fold). Cut the felt directly around the pattern. Do not add a 1/2-inch seam allowance around the felt pieces. These felt pieces will become the bottom soles of your slippers.
When you finish cutting, you will have four bottom fleece pieces and two bottom heavy-felt pieces. Lay them out like the picture so you don't end up with two left feet.
Pin the two heavy felt bottom pieces to the center of two of the fleece bottom pieces. Make sure you have both a right and a left foot. Set aside the two remaining bottom fleece pieces for later.
Sew the heavy felt pieces to the fleece pieces with a sewing machine, using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Remove the pins as you sew. Set these pieces aside to use later.
Fold the top sweater pieces in half with the right sides together. Pin the back raw edges together as shown.
Sew the back raw edges together, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Remove the pins as you sew.
Place the right sides of the top and bottom pieces together. The right side of the bottom piece is the side with the heavy felt. Pin all the way around the bottom edges. The photo shows one top/bottom piece unpinned (left) and one top/bottom piece pinned together (right).
Sew the tops to the bottoms, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Remove the pins as you sew.
Cut out a notch, about every inch, in the curves of the seam allowance, cutting through the fleece and sweater fabric. Be very careful not to clip into your stitching. This will help the slipper seams lie flat when you turn them right-side-out by removing some of the bulk in the seam.
Turn the slipper pieces right-side-out and press around the seam with the iron. Set aside to use later.
Fold the fleece lining top pieces in half and pin the back seam.
Sew the back seam on both lining pieces and leave a 1 1/2-inch opening in the center of each seam. This is important; you will use the opening to turn the slippers right-side-out later.
Pin the top fleece lining pieces to the bottom fleece lining pieces, pinning all the way around the bottom edges. The photo shows one top/bottom piece unpinned (left) and one top/bottom piece pinned together (right). Sew the tops and bottoms together, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Remove the pins as you sew.
Cut out a notch, about every inch, in the curve of the lining seam allowance. Be very careful not to clip into the stitching.
Leave the lining pieces inside-out and keep the outside sweater pieces right-side-out. Insert the outside sweater pieces into the lining pieces so the right sides of each are together. Pin the top raw edges of the slipper pieces together. Sew the top raw edges of the slippers together with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Remove the pins as you sew.
To turn the slippers right-side-out, pull them through the opening in the back of the lining pieces.
After you have turned the slippers right-side-out, hand-sew the lining opening closed using a whip-stitch.
Tuck the lining inside the slippers and top-stitch all the way around the top edge of the slippers. This creates a finished edge around the top of the slippers and keep the lining from slipping out.