Look closely; can you see it?! This endeavour was close to the heart for me…
Sometimes it’s just by accident how things come together; there’s not always a plan. You could think it’s due to some special spirit but I’d say it’s just ‘allowing’ yourself to mix materials and creative ideas. Come see how these cozy wool Eco Printed Slippers came together.
I confess; I like my feet to be comfortable at ALL times. They take me through so much and will complain profusely if they are not happy. So every so often I am back to slipper making in the quest for perfect comfort.
Wool is fabulous and amazingly I had some preprinted in my stash from when I did this. I had folded the up-cycled wool blanket fabric over itself with the leaves between giving a duplicate mirror image; perfect for my paired slippers. Using my pattern I rough cut the shapes with a second layer of scrap wool blanket pieces.
If you need some tips for eco printing wool check out my secrets for printing wool
Using my Green workhorse; the Husqvarna 21A and a free-motion foot; I had fun doodle-sewing. I was not too fanatical about following exact edges. Note the leaves outline and the background is ‘squiggles’ to stabilize and fill in. The machine should have the feed dogs lowered and you will be able to move the fabric as you like since the foot will lift and lower. If in doubt do a practice run.
The thickness of the wool blanketing shows off the stitching wonderfully! The other advantage is it is now quite dense and stiff so it will have the strength to be footwear. Leather is great but unless you have a special machine it’s very difficult to sew, wool is not.
All stitched up:
The rough cut top pieces are all done; I am so impressed how great they look for just machine sewing, possibly it’s because I like to draw…
Pull out the pattern pieces again and cut the pieces to the exact shapes now. Sometimes adjustments can be made after if needed depending on the thickness of fabric.
Stitch the top seam with thick waxed thread or even waxed sinew with a running stitch and then double back securing well at the ends.
Like a Cloud:
I love wool, and also the wool that is still attached to a hide; Shearling, however I am not going to kill for skin but I will reuse and upcycle some old coats for their fur. My milner mother taught me to have an appreciation for fur. The inside sole will be absolutely heavenly when made with shearling. When cutting use a blade or cut very shallowly with scissors to just cut the leather and not the fur.
Stitch the top to sole making sure to match the notches. The seam allowance will be on outside but the wool is so felted by this time that it does not fray; another wonderful attribute of the printed wool.
The Important Sole:
My poor feet get quite a workout so I like to reward them with a nice supportive footbed. Many old sandals and slippers can be deconstructed and repurposed, even those Birkenstocks. In a pinch some inexpensive flip-flops give some spongy flat sole.
The tops now needs a good adhesion to the soles; I prefer contact cement. I have used the usual solvent type and also the non-solvent, low odor type; both do work but need slightly different application. Here I am using the low odour type but it takes quite long for it to dry. Make sure the milkiness is gone before carefully matching up the top to bottom. They will grip quite strong once they come in contact.
Test to see how the fit is. If needed the top seam can be sewn a bit tighter (always better to have extra than not enough). A collar of shearling is also a perfect way of having the slipper stay snug on the foot and mold to your fit. A mule type is best in my opinion since I am always in & out, off & on.
Cut a strip shorter that the opening, & round off the corners.
It can be sewn in place or hot glue will be secure enough to hold it instantly. Since it is so fibrous it will adhere very well and proved extra support for the centre seam of these Eco printed slippers.
You may be saying that you don’t have any shearling but you may be able to find some fake fur somewhere and will still look as great. I just love the details, but I may be biased as I love Eco Printing! Also I feel I am doing my small part by up-cycling the old wool blankets and also the soles and fur. It’s win-win all around!
Instant joy each time I slide my tootsies in to these… Enjoy your Eco Printed Slippers!