You can get spa-styled comfort at home with homemade terry cloth slippers. Terry cloth slippers are comfortable and great for wearing around the house or gym locker room, absorbent when stepping into after a shower or bath and best of all, are they are washable. With this tutorial, you can make custom-made terry cloth slippers easily and quickly for the whole family or for gifts. You can make them with a covered toe or as a flip-flop style, perfect for a pedicure.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Sewing machine
- Heavy-duty sewing machine needles for thick fabric
- 0.454kg. bag cotton batting
- 1/2-yard yard washable faux leather or suede
- Heavy-duty cotton or poly-blend thread for main thread and bobbin thread
- Old, thick towel or 1 1/2 yards new, thick terry cloth fabric
- 4 pieces paper or cardboard, 8 1/2- x 11-inch
- Dressmakers' / tailors' chalk or disappearing ink pen
- Ribbons, flowers, gems or other embellishments and sewing decorations
- Tape measure
Stand on a piece of paper or cardboard or use a pair of rounded-toe shoes. Trace the shape of each foot or shoe. Mark left "L bottom" and the right "R bottom" inside the shape.
Draw an outline around the foot shapes one-quarter inch from your initial tracing, rounding out the toe area.
Pin a blank sheet of paper or tape a blank sheet of cardboard to each of your marked sheets. Cut out the pattern on the outside of your outer line.
Separate the blank sheets from the marked pattern and mark "L" and "R" on the corresponding blank templates. Set aside---these will become the working pattern for your tops.
Bottom and Sole Template
Measure your left foot from your longest toe to your arch. Make note of the length.
Working with the left top template, mark the length just taken onto the template. Draw a line across the width of the template.
Cut the template at the line, so that you have a piece that resembles a semicircle.
Repeat section 2, steps 1-3 for the right side.
Round-Toe Top Template
Fold the fabric (or towel, if you're using one) in half, right sides together and lay flat. (Note: For terry cloth, the right and wrong sides may look exactly the same. If the loops are higher on one side than the other, the side with the higher loops is the "right" side.) Pin the top templates to the fabric with the horizontal line on the fold. Arrange the other templates on the rest of the fabric. Leave a few inches of space between each template.
With the chalk, trace around the bottom templates. Leave a 1/2-inch seam allowance all the way around. Trace around the tops about one-half an inch away from the template.
Cut out the fabric on the outsides of the chalk lines. Remove each template and mark the corresponding fabric "L" or "R" according to the templates. Place the tops on each of the bottoms. Mark where the top edge (horizontal line) stops on the wrong sides of the bottom fabric.
Place the bottoms on the faux leather or suede and pin. Cut the leather/suede around the templates. Set aside.
Cutting the Fabric
Decide how thick you want the bottom to be. Fold the cotton batting to the desired thickness.
Pin bottom template onto batting. Cut around template through all thicknesses of batting. Set aside.
Repeat section 3, steps 1 and 2 for the right side.
Cutting the Batting
Take the left side of the faux leather/suede. With wrong sides together, centre the faux leather/suede on one of the terry cloth left bottoms. Make sure that there is equal fabric all the way around the faux leather/suede. Pin faux leather/suede to terry cloth.
With the faux leather/suede facing up, machine sew to the terry cloth near the edge. This is the sole piece.
Place sole piece with sole facing up. Take stack of left batting and place on top, centring the batting. (It should align with the sole.)
Take the remaining bottom left terry cloth and place wrong side up on top of the batting. Pin the two pieces of terry cloth together. (Be careful not to pin the batting.) Baste around the heel from chalk line to chalk line leaving a three-inch length of thread on both ends of the opening. Remove pins from the basted area and machine sew. Remove basting.
Remove remaining pins. Turn right side out so that the faux leather/suede is visible on the bottom. Insert cotton batting and set aside.
Take left top still folded and with right sides out, insert left top batting to folded edge and baste opening closed.
Place left top on left bottom with sole facing in. Align toe tops and pin. Make sure that all four pieces of terry cloth are pinned together and baste. Turn right side out so that sole is on the outside. Insert foot to ensure proper measurement, adjust basting if necessary. If fit is good, turn wrong side out and machine sew. Turn right side out.
Repeat section 4, steps 1-7 for the right slipper. Add optional ribbons or other embellishments.
Sewing the slippers
Tips and warnings
- For a thicker bottom, increase the seam allowance to accommodate an inch or more of cotton batting.
- Arrange the templates so that the nap follows the same direction on each foot.
- The thickness of the tops and bottoms do not have to be the same. It may be more comfortable to have the top thickness less than the bottom thickness.
- Wash and dry fabric before sewing to allow for potential shrinkage.
- Follow the directions on the batting for washing and shrinking issues before working with it.
- Experiment---use a different colour for the bottoms than for the tops.
- Be sure to have enough seam allowance to accommodate your cotton batting.
- Make sure that you use the appropriate gauge for tight enough stitches. Test with scraps of your fabric between cutting and sewing to determine the appropriate gauge and tension for your machine and needles.
- Purchase enough needles in the event that they break when sewing the faux leather or faux suede to the bottom.
- Be sure to use the same thread for your bobbin as for your main thread to avoid thread breaking and tension problems.