If you have been following my blogging progress since I began, I have made quite a few pair of felted slippers for my husband. He wears them out at a very fast rate. I’m not really sure why my slippers last so much longer than his. He needed a new pair so I decided that would be a good Christmas present. Unfortunately, I didn’t start working on them until December 22nd so they didn’t quite get finished.
The template/resist that I used was again one that was originally shown here in a guest post from Nada. I think that Nada no longer uses this template when making slippers but I really like the way the heel works on this one. I have two shapes here because I have made these for my husband before. The one on the right is the shape I used originally. The slippers turned out too wide and almost too short. I made this pair a couple of years ago and I had forgotten the finer points of how the heel works on this slipper after being cut. So I was just thinking that I needed to make the template longer and more narrow. So I used the template on the left. I was in such a rush to get these done that I didn’t take any felting photos at all. Sorry!
So here are the finished slippers. The new template did give me a better size that fit better for my husband’s feet but there was definitely an issue with the heel. Because I made the heel in the template so long and narrow, it ended up with an extra round part on the bottom of the heel. You can see it slightly in the right hand photo on the bottom slipper a little extra lump there at the heel.
Hopefully, you can see it a little better here from the bottom. I had to really work this area to shrink down the extra felt in that area. It actually gives a better cushion to the heel which isn’t bad, but the next time, I need to remember that the heel on the template should be much more wide and rounded.
I think this is the shape I would use next time. Or maybe even a bit less distance between the “ears” and the end of the heel. Do take a look at Nada’s tutorial if you’re interested in making a pair. I am still waiting for the leather bottoms for hubby’s slippers which I will stitch in place. He was very excited to get them and was really appreciate of my efforts – always nice to have a happy recipient of hand made gifts.
I made a couple of pairs of slippers about a year ago using the shape of slippers that Nada showed in this tutorial. One pair for me and one pair for hubby. My pair are still doing fine. Slightly worn on the bottom but they don’t look like this:
This is what is left of Hubby’s pair. Sad, isn’t it? I had used spray on Plasti-Dip to coat the bottom but he wore that off in no time. So he needed a new pair. And I decided to buy some leather soles for them this time.
He chose green for his slippers. I used the lighter green for the inner layers and the batts for the outer layers. The white is cheese cloth that I add in the middle layers for strength and the lower right blob of fabric is dyed cheese cloth to put on the outside.
Here are the resists partially covered with the lighter green wool.
And then I added the cheese cloth after two layers of light green.
I just cut a rectangle and then fold the edges over.
And I put it on both sides of the inner two layers of wool.
Then I added the darker green wool. I did a total of 6 layers with the last layer on the sole made extra thick.
And then I added the dyed cheese cloth over the toes. This resist is easy to use because you can really tell which side is up or down and which is the right and left one. I then felted, fulled and shaped the slippers.
Then I ordered the leather slipper soles. These are Somerset Designs. The first pair I ordered were too small. He wears size 11 so I thought 11″ would work. So I had to order another pair in the largest size which is 12″. Luckily, the 11″ pair fit my slippers and now I’m sure my pair will last a really long time. Hubby was unhappy that his slippers had to wait and I had new soles on mine first.
Here’s what the inside looks like. I’m sure this part is supposed to be against your foot but it really makes these slippers really cushy!
These already have holes punched for stitching to the slipper.
I used small safety pins to hold the sole in place while I was stitching. I then used a tapestry needle (blunt end) and #5 perle cotton in brown to attach the soles.
And here is the result. I think the soles will really last much longer and hopefully, I won’t be making another pair next year but these will last several years instead.
And he had to put them on immediately. He’s very pleased. So if you have considered using the leather slipper soles, give them a try. They are easy to attach. Just remember to get them a bit bigger than you think you need.
I’m involved with a group locally that meets once a month and works on a variety of surface design techniques. We decided that this year, each of us would pick an artist and then the group would each do some sort of project inspired by the artist. We didn’t set any specific guidelines as to what the project had to be as we all do different types of work. The first artist that was picked was Hans Hoffman. I took a look online to find a bit more about him and to find some photos that would inspire me. He worked with color and did mostly abstract paintings. I like the painting above so I decided I would make something with this photo in mind. I needed a new pair of slippers so what could be better than Hans Hoffman inspired slippers? 🙂
I made a few batts on my new drum carder from wool that I had previously dyed. Two of the batts were just plain wool (mixed 56’s) and the third batt was several different shades of wool and a few different colors of silk noil for the tops of the slippers. That gave me a nice mottled background and I then added different sized rectangles of pre felt to give the look that many of Hans Hoffman’s paintings include.
When I’ve made slippers in the past, I always used one resist for both slippers and then the slippers have a cuff. I wanted this pair to be more like clogs. So I used two separate resists and then cut out the opening on top. The last pair of slippers I made was too small for me as they somehow shrunk more than expected. These fit like a charm and even though my last pair of slippers was grey, I love the bright colors.
I enjoyed learning a bit more about Hans Hoffman and I certainly wouldn’t have come up with this design on my own as it isn’t really my style. Challenges are always fun and push you to try things that are new. Have you tried anything out of your comfort zone lately?