Friday, January 22, 2010

cozy slipper tutorial-- part 1: making your pattern

Okay folks, I took a stab at a slipper tutorial, and here it goes. Please be patient with me-- I'm a first-time tutorial writer. If you need a little clarification, let me know.

I'm going to show you how to make your very own custom slipper pattern. Are you excited? Well, I'm excited for you.

Here's what you'll need:
*paper for your pattern (the white side of wrapping paper works well)
*3 markers in different colors
*a measuring tape
*washable marker or eye or lip liner (confused? read on.)

Step 1: Trace an outline of your foot. Hold your marker at an angle so that you're slightly tracing under the foot. When you get to your arch, make sure you slide the marker under your foot so that you're tracing against the part of your arch that is touching the ground.

Step 2: Use another color of marker to trace around the original marking (I used orange here). The point here is to smooth out the original tracing and clean it up. You want a nice smooth line all the way around.

Step 3: Stand your tape measure up on it's side and measure all the way around the outline. This is measurement "A". (mine was 23.5") Use a seam gauge or your tape measure to add a 4/8" seam allowance. Trace it on a contrasting color (I used blue-- not pictured above)

Congratulations! You've got the first half of your pattern!

Step 4: Use something washable to mark where you want the upper edge of your slipper to lay on your foot. I used a washable kids' marker, but I just realized that some old eye or lip liner would be much easier to wash off. (or maybe masking tape? I'm thinking now that the marker wasn't such a good idea...)

Step 5: Standing your tape measure on it's side again, measure all the way around the mark you just made on your foot. This is measurement "B". (mine was 16")

Step 6: Measure 1 1/2" down from the top of the arc on your foot. Now, measure the width of the arc opening at this point. This is measurement "C". Now, make a dot on your paper, and make another dot 1 1/2" directly above your first dot. Draw a straight line between these dots. Center measurement "C" over your first dot, perpendicular to the line. Make a mark on each end of measurement "C". Draw a smooth arc between those two marks and your top dot. (in the photo, my arc is just above my big toe.)

Step 7: Find measurement "B" on your tape measure. Then fold the measuring tape in half. Center the fold over the dot at the top of the arc you just drew. For example, my measurement "B" is 16". I'd fold it in half at 8" and center the 8" mark on my tape measure over the top dot. Stand the tape measure on it's side again and shape it to the curve of the arch you just drew, making marks at each end of measurement "B". (at O and at 16" for me). Connect these marks to the arc. you should now have a long "U" shape. This will be the inside curve on your pattern.

Step 8: Measure from the top of the arch on your foot graffiti, over your longest toe (not always the big toe, but it is in my case), to the floor. This is measurement "D". Measure this amount from the top of the arc you made in step 6. Make a corresponding dot on the paper.

Step 9: Go back to the point on your foot where you got measurement "C". At that point, measure from your foot graffiti to the floor on both sides of the foot. These are measurements "E" and "F", respectively. Transfer these measurements to the corresponding points on your pattern. Connect your dot from measurement "D" to these, making a smooth arc. Mark those measurements against your inside arc, all the way down to the ends. You should now have a big upside down "U". Measure around the outside of the biggest arc-- it should be exactly the same as measurement "A". THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. If it's not, shorten or lengthen the length of your arc until it's right.

Add a 4/8" seam allowance all the way around your "U". Again, use a contrasting color for the seam allowance-- I used blue.

Clear as mud? This is what your pattern should look like

Next up: assembling your slippers!
Thanks for bearing with me people. I hope that wasn't too confusing!


Erin said...

thank you, thank you, thank you! i am so excited to try this and i am so excited that you did all the hard work perfecting your pattern so people like me can easily whip up a cute pair of slippers. you're awesome!

Maggie's Raggedy Inn said...

Thank you so much... I am anxious to try and make a pair for my daughter from one of her old wool sweaters that is too small but does not want to throw out.

gioella said...

wow! beautifulllllll!!!

Meredith Hundert said...

Thanks so much I now have the best b-day present from my bff

bigfoot said...

Thank you so much for the pattern. unfortunately I can't find the assembly instructions. Have i missed something? I am not very smart with navigating computers. Joan, Australia

Steph said...

Hi Joan. Sorry it's taken me 2 weeks to reply to you-- I don't keep an eye on this blog very much anymore. I hope you were able to find part 2 of the instructions. If not, here's the link: