3 November 2014
There is nothing more snug than slippers tailor-made for your own feet. These are so warm you won't want to take them off. We've designed this simple pattern to work with either thick wool felt, or our extra special organically tanned shearling sheepskin from Nicki Port in Hereford, UK - the only registered organic sheepskin tannery in the British Isles.
- Bull dog clips can be useful to hold your pieces in place whilst sewing. Just clip them on, keeping the edges neatly together
- If it's your first time using a Speedy Stitcher, have a little practice on one of your sheepskin/felt off cuts at Step Six
- The Speedy Stitcher comes with enough waxed thread to stitch a pair of slippers, but if you'd like to experiment with different colors, Maine Co.'s waxed threads will also work
- If you find your slippers too slick, you can apply a non-stick pad to the soles
- Shearling or Felt (1/2 a shearling skin will make one pair of slippers)
- Paper scissors
- Strong scissors for leather / felt
- Silver pen
- Speedy stitcher
- Waxed thread
- Natural wax
- Bulldog clips
Place your left foot on the template to see which colour line will fit you best.
Cut out the 3 pieces of the template in that colour, along the dashed line.
On the large and medium parts, also snip the small dashed lines at the side and the bottom.
Take your speedy stitcher and shearling/felt. Using the shearling/felt as a soft underlay and the speedy stitcher as an awl, carefully prick holes through the circles in the paper pattern - don't pierce the shearling/felt just yet! Your pattern is now ready to be traced on the sheepskin.
Before starting, look at your patterns and the shape of the sheepskin and decide how to lay it out. Coloured lines facing up will make the right foot and coloured lines facing down will make the left foot, so leave space to do both. (The felt is usable from both sides, so it's only something to think about when using sheepskin)
Neatly trace all your parts onto the bare leather side of the sheepskin (or felt) using a silver pen. Make sure you mark all the holes and the little 7 mm markings. When all your parts are marked, cut them out using strong sharp scissors, not forgetting the little snips.
Step Seven ( for shearling only)
All the edges with marked holes need to have the wool trimmed away to roughly 7 mm (1/4 ") from the edge. Holding a pair of scissors as flat as possible along the leather, trim the wool as short as you can.
Place the heel rectangle on the large piece, fleece side meeting fleece side, so the long edge aligns with the bottom left corner. Thread your speedy stitcher according to the pack instructions and pull out roughly 30 cm of thread. Pierce the first hole marking on the heel rectangle, then slowly and accurately through the corresponding mark on the large piece. With the needle through both layers, pull the 30 cm of thread through the hole and withdraw the needle.
Now sew the entire heel outline to the big pattern by carefully piercing through the next hole markings and pulling the needle back a little, creating a loop. Pull the 30 cm thread through the loop and withdraw the needle again, pulling both stitches tight. Tie off at the last stitch with a neat and tight knot.
Lastly, sew the upper to the large piece. Lay the upper on to the large piece, fleece side meeting fleece side, with all the bare leather facing out. Pull out more than enough thread to go around the all hole markings and pierce the stitcher through the first mark.
Sew along the entire nose. The tricky thing is that there's more leather between the stitches on the lower than on the upper. This is what will give it the wrinkly effect. To make them neat, pull your stitches properly tight at every stitch. When you reach the last stitch again tie it off with a strong and neat knot.
Your first home slipper is done! Repeat step 6 - 11 to make the other foot. If you are using shearling don't forget to trace the second pattern with the coloured side facing down. If you are using felt make sure that when sewing the parts together, they are flipped to mirror each other, creating left and right.
Step Thirteen ( for shearling only)
When the slippers are all sewn give them a good rub with natural balm. This will keep the leather soft and will protect it from wear and tear.