Upcycled Sweater Slippers: Sewing Tips & Tricks

For all my upcycling friends, it’s time to get busy in Santa’s workshop. If you are still contemplating what to make for your loved ones for Christmas, why don’t you sew up a pair of upcycled sweater slippers?

Some of you may have already purchased one of my upcycled sweater patterns and have experience sewing with felted wool sweaters. Others of you may not even know what I am talking about. Making something out of a recycled sweater is so fun and rewarding. There are so many things you can create with this yummy fabric once it is felted. If you want more information about how to felt wool sweaters, you can check out the tutorial HERE.

Today I want to give you some tips and tricks to use while making up a pair of upcycled sweater slippers.

I am going to cover:

  • sole fabric options

  • cutting out tips

  • binding tips

  • hidden seam lining

Sweater slippers SOLE FABRIC OPTIONS

Depending on your needs, there are several options of fabric to use for the bottoms of your slippers. You can use

  • A regular weight felted wool sweater 

Using a regular sweater as the sole, is softer and a bit more cozy. However, if you have hard wood floors or tile in your home, they can be a little slippery.

  • Thick, dense felted wool sweater

Sometimes when you shrink down a sweater it can get really dense and thick. These sweaters are more difficult to use on other craft projects, but work well for the soles of slippers.  The only drawback here is that they can be a little more challenging to sew with because they are so thick.

  • Anti-slip fabric

These fabrics can be really nice to sew into the soles of sweater slippers for LITTLE PEOPLES feet.  Most likely you have seen the fabric on the bottoms of children’s one piece pajamas. You can find this fabric on the bolt in most fabric stores, or in pre-cut packages. It is also available online.

Another thing to do to prevent slipping and works better for adult slippers, is simply using rubber shelf liner. It is inexpensive and easy to work with. You can get it at most stores and online here.

*When using either of these two fabrics, you will be cutting out a regular sole piece with a regular weight sweater AND the anti-slip fabric. You will stack those two pieces together and treat them as the sole piece.

  • Leather  or suede

Sewing in a leather or suede sole can be really nice. It will make the slippers much more durable and can be less slippery. Working with leather can be a little more challenging, as it does not have any give to it, but not too big of a deal. I love sewing on leather. The only thing is that you will want to make sure it is a nice soft piece and not too thick.

CUTTING OUT

When cutting out pattern pieces with felted wool sweaters, you want to maximize the fabric. (It’s crafting gold) Place the pattern as close to the edge as possible. Arrange the pattern to use up the best space possible.

Felted sweaters will not fray. So don’t worry about that. If the sweater has a print, stripe or design, you will have to take that into consideration the placement of the pattern piece.

Play Video

Since you are making a pair of slippers, and there is a LEFT and RIGHT side, after cutting out one piece you will need to flip the pattern over and then place it back on the fabric. (Very Important)

Another tip I give in the pattern tutorial, is to USE SAFETY PINS to help mark the RIGHT SIDES of the fabric. Applying a safety pin to each pattern piece will help keep things straight when putting everything together!

Don’t forget to SAVE YOUR SCRAPS!  There are so many fun things to make with all your scraps.
Sweater balls, hearts, dryer balls, etc. can all be made with small pieces of sweater fabric.

BINDING

I came up with this technique that saves time and is much easier when sewing binding on something. However, this technique can only be used if you are using fleece or a stretchy piece of felted wool. The reason is, is that fleece and felted sweaters DO NOT FRAY! I Love applying fleece binding.  You can read more about how to do it here.

You can also access my FREE online binding course HERE.

HIDDEN SEAM LINING

This is such a cool way to apply the lining to a pair of sweater slippers without all the bulk and having a seam showing. Using this technique can be a little difficult to wrap your head around, so I thought I would clarify the process and show you a little clip of my online class on how to do it.

Play Video

If you are like me, a visual learner, being able to watch someone do something is so much easier to learn from than just reading the instructions.

Crossover Slipper Online Course

I have created an in depth sewing course showing how to make the CROSSOVER SLIPPERS. The course includes the step by step process and the printable PDF pattern. You can get the scoop HERE.

****If you have a SKILLSHARE membership, you can access the crossover slipper course HERE.

I hope this was helpful, and I hope you take some time this season to create something fabulous using an upcycled sweater.

Please send me a note if you have any questions.

jan

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