One of the things I realised when I analysed my wardrobe previously was my greater need for loungewear. You know, stuff to wear around the house, to potter in, to knock about and generally drop food down.
And one of the categories I need is, of course, footwear.
Now, as I’m pretty sure you’ve gleaned if you’ve read this blog for even the briefest of moments, I am a right fussy little bugger. When it comes to slippers, I continue in this vein. Attention, dear store buyers: for God’s sake, I’m a grown woman. I don’t want bows, or sequins, or animal eyes or bunny ears, or vast amounts of frou-frou that make it look like I’m wearing a diamanté chihuahua on each foot. Nor, to the other extreme, do I want to look like I’m wearing something suitable for when the meals-on-wheels lady comes a’knocking.
Slippers that are stylish, that are practical, and that I actually want to wear? The holy grail my friend, I tell you, THE HOLY GRAIL.
The ones I’m wearing now are horrendous; faux-Fair Isle patterned booties with pom-poms on the side, so help me. I’ve worn them for almost a year as I have nothing else to turn to and they possess the only redeeming virtue of keeping my feet warm.
So this summer I turned in desperation to the pattern books and internet in an attempt to find something less .. horrific. And I was sorely disappointed. A wealth of patterns exist .. if you’re sewing for a baby. And frankly, when you’re not even walking yet, what kind of gods-damn variety in footwear do you actually bloomin’ NEED??
But for adults? Not so much. Especially if you’re looking for something that doesn’t look like an up-scaled baby’s bootie.
I wanted something that could be home-sewn .. which didn’t look like it was home sewn. You feel me? And so I turned to the copy of Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross, which a friend gave me a Christmas or two ago;
It’s a cute little book. Ever since I received it there’ve been a couple of things which I’ve hoped to make, including a head band, a wash-bag and a ma-HU-sive tote. But the slippers appealed as they looked like they could be left as plain as both God and I intended;
The construction seemed simple enough. What could go wrong?
Well, as the Amazon reviews and a quick google of the book (and this pattern in particular) have just revealed, quite a lot. Apparently there was a great deal of errata attached to this book’s patterns (which no longer appear on Ross’s site) and seam allowance WASN’T included. Which makes sense now I’ve sewn them (they come up DAMN SMALL; I didn’t bother with the elastic at the heel as there was nothing to ‘elasticate’).
Along with other readers I found the instructions confusing to follow so made some of it up as I went along. In addition to leaving out the elastic, I swapped the felt sole for a faux-suede fabric one to increase the grip on laminate flooring, using the prescribed felt to interline the sole. And finally, rather than hand-casting that faux-suede sole on, I stitched all the seams to lie internally, and slip-stitched the inner sole into the inside of the slipper instead.
And the final result of this vaguely-wearable toile which was a fiddly bugger to sew and involved a fair quantity of hand-sewing?
I mean, they LOOK pretty. They fit like a pair of slipper-socks would, I suppose. But the heel is so low it feels like they’re going to slip right off. The lack of padding in the sole means they make walking on bare floors more uncomfortable than padding around with completely bare feet. And they’re just not ‘right’.
I’m considering trying them again at some time hence (now I know to add sodding seam allowance, DAMN IT), using a thickly-padded inner sole, perhaps quilting them and increasing the heel seam’s height by a good few centimetres (possibly curving it outwards, too, as no-one’s heel goes STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN).
But frankly, this design’s current incarnation is a bit of a loss and unsuitable for an English winter. I’ve now got these M6449 boots by McCall’s on order.
And I’m gonna make sure there’s not a sodding pom-pom in sight.