Friday, 16 May 2014

Happy Feet!

The keenly awaited and much requested (in my dreams!) PDF pattern for sewing your own lycra cycling booties is on hold until I buy some more clear elastic tape. Has anyone else sewn with that stuff? It was my first time, and while I worked out that the pattern will eventually use 26" of 1/4" clear elastic to make one pair of booties, I chewed through almost 3 yards of the stuff in my trial and error sewing!

I think I've worked out the pitfalls and have tips on how to use just enough elastic tape and retain circulation below your ankles. Aren't you glad I went there first?!

Meanwhile, I made some little slippers...

These are the Mary Jane version of the Favourite Things Happy Feet slippers. I've made the clog style slippers twice before, but chose the strap style to girly them up a bit this time around.

The outer fabric is a fat quarter of some quilting cotton, the bias binding some leftovers from my Travel Quilt and the lining is some crazy, fluffy synthetic stuff from an old change table cover.

The lining fabric is incredibly cuddly and here's a tip for new mums; do not cover your change table mat in some really snuggly, soft fabric unless you want your kid, mid nappy change, to be trying to roll over and snuggle into the cover. My kids were "blessed" with phenomenal core strength as babies and I would be holding their legs up in the air, fumbling for the wipes, as they were twisting themselves like an angry snake trying to get onto their tummies and rub their faces on this fabric.

Cover your change mat with some rough, furnishing fabric or cold, crisp cotton and save the fluffy stuff for lining their slippers when they get older!

I added some rubbery, non slip stuff underneath to try and reduce the chance of my morning coffee being interrupted by sliding torpedo kids. Although, I clearly recall the delights of galloping down the hallway then flying across the kitchen floor in my bedsocks, so perhaps the next pair will be a recklessly unsafe pair of slippers. (they ain't called slippers for nothing!).

The pattern is nicely laid out with good instructions but the challenge lies in sewing so many thick layers around some tight curves. There is a layer of quilt batting between the lining and outer fabric on the sides and two layers of quilt batting (the pattern calls for three) in the sole. That adds up to seven layers plus the bias binding to stitch, and, while I made my first two pairs with the regular sewing foot, this pattern really suits a walking foot. Oh, and a thimble, but no, I still don't own one!

If you weren't convinced you needed to sew cuddly slippers, here's the proof; when their feet are happy, they exude cuddliness and for just a moment, peace reigns in the household.


  1. They look so warm and cuddly and cute!!!

    I'm impressed you are still using a change table, I'm changing bubba on the floor now, if she is going to thrash about at least there won't be any falling grrr.

    1. Thank you!
      The change table went a long time ago, around the time that the elastic in the nappies was getting to need replacing (again!) and so toilet training was vital. I kept the fluffy covers thinking they'd be useful for something one day.

  2. You made those? Wow. They do look very cuddly. When I was little we always used to have those Chinese 'happy shoes' but I never see them around now.

    1. Thanks, apart from the thickness issues they're not that tricky, and yes I remember Happy Shoes. We wore those things every summer and gee they got stinky! I'm sure they'd be available at Footscray market!

  3. Ooh, I could do with a bit more peace reigning in my house!! Seriously, these look so cozy and nice. I wish I were wearing them right now, in my over air conditioned office!


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