OLD SWEATER SLIPPERS WITH FLIP-FLOP SOLES

In my previous post, I gave links to the sites where I had gotten my patterns for several of the slippers that I had made. I did not include a site for the slip-on sweater slippers because they were my own design. This post is to share those instructions with you.

There are several different kinds of flip-flop soles on the market, some of them stiffer and others more spongy. For this project, the stiffer soles may prove to be a little better, but use what you have on hand. The first thing that I did was to remove the upper portion of the flip-flops. I cut the straps from the top as close to the sole as I could get. This left small pegs in the bottom of the sole. I removed these to further trim the post because I did not want any portion of it to come up above the surface of the sole. Then I used hot glue to glue the pegs into place  in the soles.

To make a pattern for the upper portion of the slipper, I used some scrap fabric which I pinned to the sides of the sole. I had my husband stand on the sole and pinned the fabric up over the top of his foot so that it came together in a line down the center from his arch to his toe.  I allowed for the fabric to fold over on itself at the leg end for about an inch. This allowed for there to be a finished edge along the opening on the completed slippers.  I trimmed off all the excess fabric.

The sweater that I used in this project was a nice gray wool with a sedate stripe -perfect for the understated style of my husband. The sweater had developed a hole somewhere along the way, so I felted it and prepared to make the slippers. The hole was in an unfortunate location being very near the stripe on the sweater which I wanted to include in the slippers. I had to carefully place my pattern pieces to allow for the hole to be positioned on the underside of the one inch seam I had allowed for. (I will show this in another photo later in this post.)

After I had cut the upper portions of the slippers, I had to cut some sweater pieces to be a padding for the top of the soles. I cut these as exact copies of the soles so I did not have to have any other pattern. I was planning to use hot glue around the edges of my slippers to attach the sweater pieces to the soles, but since I did not believe that hot glue would be very comfortable to step on all the time, I used double-sided duct tape to adhere the wool padding to the center section of each sole and used hot glue only along the edges where the foot would not press on it.

To cover the padding layer and the outside edge of the sole, I cut another section of wool sweater that had enough overlap to extend to the bottom of theto fit sides. This was glued in place using hot glue. I had to cut small wedges out along the curves at each end in order to make the edges fit flush with the sides, but the color of the wool made the cuts nearly invisible. I stitched the cut edges together and then glued them down.  After I had glued everything down, I trimmed the wool even with the bottom of the sole. To further reinforce the front sections, I used a staple gun to shoot staples directly through the wool and into the foam soles. I did not do this in the back of the slipper because I did not want the staples to show and I knew the back would not be receiving as much stress as the sides and toe sections.

Now I had to make the top. I took the pieces I had cut from my pattern and sewed them together. I chose to top stitch both sides of the seam to reduce the bulk and to keep the seam flat against the foot. I also turned under the inch along the back of the upper section to be a finished edge. In this photo, you can see the top-stitched center seam and how the hole that was in the sweater has been hidden in the hem that I turned under. If I should have done anything different in the construction of these slippers, it would probably be that I should have lined this section of the slipper with a sturdy, non-stretchy fabric. The wool fabric has a tendency to want to stretch as the slippers are being worn which makes them a little more difficult to walk around in. Since this became evident in the finished project, I combated this by running a length of ribbon through the casing formed by my back hem and stitching it all together at the edge.

The final step was to glue the upper section to the sides of the sole with hot-glue. I also further reinforced the sections that would take the stress of walking by hand-stitching along the edge.

The finished slippers have been a huge success! My husband has been using them and finds them both warm and comfortable. Since my son has feet about the same size as his father, I have caught him on more than one occasion with his dad’s slippers on his feet! He has declared that he wants me to make him a pair of his own. Now all I need is another pair of cheap flip-flops!

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