Monday, February 18, 2008

Do You Need a New Sole? A Slipper Refurbishing Tutorial

Kids are hard on clothing but my boys beat their clothes to death. I never knew how destructive kids could be until these boys became mobile. Knees on jeans, sleeves on shirts, you name it, its all fair game. They play hard. They even wear out the bottoms of their slippers! What good are slippers when the bottoms are a holey mess??

I just got through making new bottoms for Rob's Scooby Doo slippers but sadly I didn't document my work. Too bad because it would have made a great tutorial. I'll try to do this without benefit of pictures.

I started by gathering raw materials. To rescue a pair of character slippers, or any kids soft bottomed slipper, you'll need:

an outgrown winter jacket
a worn out pair of jeans
some worn out sweatpants or similar fabric (I had worn out fleece sweatpants)

The jacket I was using was fairly small, so I started by cutting off the sleeves. I then cut the sleeves down the side seam to give me a flat piece of material. Since the jacket had an inner layer, middle layer and outer layer, I pinned then together to prevent shifting.

Next, I traced each slipper twice, two were on the two sleeves and the other two were on the body of the jacket. Before cutting, move your pins inside the lines you've traced. Cut all four out and set aside.

Now, you're going to trace each slipper on the jeans. Instead of tracing right against the slipper add about an inch all around.

Now its time to put together the new bottom. Take two of the jacket cut outs and one of the denim cut outs. Place the jacket cutouts on top of each other. Center them on the denim cutout and fold the edges of the denim cutout over and pin to create a finished edge. Repeat with the remaining pieces. You should have two new soles for your slipper. Sew the layers of each of these together.

You have created the bottom (denim) and the cushion (old jacket) but you need something soft and warm to have against your foot. This is where the old sweatpants comes in. I pinned my sole to the sweatpants and cut out the inner sole. You could also just trace and cut if you prefer. I sewed this inner sole in place on both soles. Now you are ready to attach your new sole to the slipper itself.

I cut the ripped portion of the slipper bottom off leaving about a half inch all around the edge. I pinned the sole, which was slightly bigger than the original one, in place and sewed it in place. You need to use a longer, heavier gauge needle. I find a hand quilitng needle works very well for this.

The end result is no money spent and a happy 8 year old! I used this method on a pair of my daughters slippers 5 years ago and they lasted several years, long enough for her to outgrow them.


Anonymous said...

Wow, you are so good about reusing and reducing. I'm always impressed by your efforts.

Katie said...

Stop, I'm blushing! But seriously, I really believe every little bit helps. Thanks!