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If you have ever had a pair of REAL shearling/sheepskin slippers, then you know the true heaven that your feet feel! ‘Ask any Uggs owner. There is absolutely no substitute! When I see an old Sheepskin coat go to waste, it really pains me, as some poor animal has already paid the ultimate price. It gives me much pleasure DIY’ing and revamp it and make my old aching feet some comfy slippers.
Jacket and coats come in all kinds of shapes, colours and sizes. If need be, they can be handwashed and dried naturally. Sheep did get wet sometimes. I believe there is a charm to having seams in the pieces as that is what real coats are like. However, I don’t think a seam on the sole would be good for comfort though. The added bonus is that there is fraying or finishing of edges needed! AND the inside will be lined with fur…
Cutting fur is somewhat different than cutting fabric or even leather. I learnt this from my mother who was a milner. She would use a razor blade and cut very very carefully from the leather/skin side. Then once through the skin, you just pull the fur apart. You could also use an exacto knife, or just slide the scissor tip through the skin part only, then there isn’t an odd cut in the fur length. Also there will less fuzz flying around and clinging to your pants. (you’re welcome)
As for the pattern, I have a size 9 womens foot. Click the image below to download the PDF file. For scale, see the 1 inch markings. If you have a smaller size, you could take the back seam in and shorten the sole. Fit will depend on thickness of fur as well, so I usually do a bit of a baste test fit. You can cut off, but can’t add.
Cut, 2 pieces of each, (note inside foot is showing wrong side, so turn it over) The overlap is just to save space. You could print multiple pages. (11″x 17″)
You do have options of how to sew the pieces together. An awl can work, as also a basic needle and thread. I would use a thimble to save your finger tips though. Notice that my stitching is somewhat coarse, again adding to the handmade charm.
In most cases a good sewing machine can handle the shearling since it is usually quite soft. You may want to squeeze the seams together and just let the fur spread out of the seam. Make sure the machine stitches are not too close as this will weaken the leather and make it rip along the many holes the needle is making.
- Sew the front seam, making sure to double stitch top front centre for strength (stress point)
- Sew back centre seam
- Use bulldog clips or small clamps to centre sole on sides.
- Sew around sole (tight curves are difficult, so I prefer to handstitch the sole. Ease along to make it fit. Shearling is forgiving but also has some stretch.
- For an added re-inforcement I added the heart embellisment to prevent front centre ripping. Adjust height to your foot/arch
The next thing to consider is the sole. If you are just going to shuffle around the bedroom, then the plain sole should be fine. I like to have some stability, so I am always scouring for sole material, as shoe/slipper making supplies are hard to come by. Think; how many times that you tire of shoes but the sole is still fine…
Soooo, I used a pair of sandals that were on the way out, but had great soles. I cut the straps off and they fit the bottom shape well. You could also use some rubber matting or flipflops.
Contact Cement is quite smelly but one of the only glues that has the strength. Just be careful to ventilate well. Apply liberally to both surfaces and let dry. Once dry, line up properly and attach.
Here they are attached. And worked quite well. The button also came from the coat and my usual “heart” went into/on it! I am sure the poor sheep would be happy not to be in the landfill. “For the LOVE of sheepskin!” Baaa, thank you! Tootsies enjoy!