Saturday, 15 February 2014

crocodile shoes

crocodile style down slippers
I anticipate that one look at these elegant beasts will leave people with a desire or longing to create 'the look', so being a generous crafter I will outline the process.

1. Start with a pair of really stinky down boots destined for bin (3 years or so of foot pong and worn down soles optional). Wash slippers.
much loved worn stinky down bootles
2. One can cut the slippers up at this point and remove the down for later use but be prepared to find down in extraordinary places for weeks (such as in the DVD player and up your nose).
down trying not to stay in box
3. Look for a down boot or slipper pattern on internet (I really like these ones based on this pattern but my plates of meat are a bit too big). Failing that if you are impatient to crack on just make it up as you go along - get a pair of pre-existing slippers and cut out fabric pieces of approximately the same shape, but bigger, as these are giant slippers.

4. You need inner lining fabric (leftover from the patch jacket), stretch fleecy outer fabric (I got my scales fabric from Just Sew and had a hard time choosing which animal print to choose), some kind of hard-wearing fabric for the soles (I wanted the sticky slipper fabric or faux leather but could only find boiled wool felt locally so went for that) and ... by far the most important thing to remember when making a down-filled project is DOWN-PROOF FABRIC.  
pattern pieces based on pre-existing slipper design
5. Down-proof fabric: this has to be tightly woven with a high thread count. Without this the slippers would go from plump to flaccid in a few weeks, shedding feathers like a moulting duck. I was thrilled to learn that the stuff I needed was called 'cambric ticking'. This is such a lovely old-fashioned combination of words, conjuring images of The House of Elliott (I loved that series). I was even happier when I went into Just Sew and the lady immediately knew what this was and had it in stock (I love that shop). Of course you need to cut double pieces for the cambric ticking to line the lining and the outer.

If you don't live near any helpful shoe-making elves, continue as follows.

6. Sew the ticking to the lining pieces. Sew the front and back pieces to the 2 side pieces so the cambric is uppermost. Leave enough room to get your foot into the slipper but not too much room or the slippers will fall off (though there is a work-around with elastic).
cambric-lined lining
7. In the same way, sew the ticking to the outer (crocodile skin) fabric, this time ticking innermost. Attach the outer to the inner at the foot-hole opening (obviously turn the fabrics right side together to do this). 
body of slipper without sole
8. At this point the slippers have no sole/soul. I decided to sew an extra piece of quilt wadding to the ticking lined sole.
lining with wadding and boiled wool felt outer sole
9. Sew the sole lining to the slipper lining, right sides together. This is the shell of the slipper with the ticking-lined outer and lining facing each other:
completed slipper lining turned inside out (right)
10. Sew elastic to the foot-hole opening at the sides and back to ensure a snug fit. 
attaching sole and elastic
11. Sew felt sole to outer - remember to LEAVE A HOLE FOR STUFFING WITH THE DOWN.

12. Add down - this bit is very messy. Do outdoors unless you live in a county where it rains for about 200 days a year.
stuffing the slippers with down

 12. Trim excess fabric after ensuring correct fit (most important that the sole is the right size for your foot). Finish edging with suitable bias binding - I used skull ribbon.
skull ribbon
  13. Prance about daintily
Slippers lined with skull ribbon
14. Debate whether slippers look more like dinosaur eggs, crocodile shoes or a snake distended with mammal.
dragon eggs
crocodile shoe
snake eating a sheep
15. Gaze at new down slippers with pride, even if they are a bit lumpy looking.  Like the handspun Herdwicks , it isn't about perfection.
dinosaur egg slippers?

16. Don't bother buying Sock stop paint from Fun to Do. It might be solidified and unusable due to having been on the shelf for far to long and will only lead to disappointment.


Josie said...

That's too funny! Also loving your patchwork pants. Thanks for sharing.

Thimble said...

Thanks. Owner of patch pants hasn't summoned courage to wear them yet. Love your tea cosies.