I've been meaning to make myself a pair of new ballet flats, and I was inspired by papilionette's lovely tutorial (found here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=323205.0
) to finally get my feet in gear!
I thought I'd put together a tutorial, so that everybody can have a pair of warm, fleece-y shoes of their very own. Let me know if you have any questions! Here they are finished:
To make them, start with a pair of "real" shoes. I'd recommend the cheap-y ones you can get at Wal-Mart. You're basically going to use the insoles and rubber sole, so it doesn't matter what the outside looks like. Just make sure they fit! Here are the shoes I used, I made them in 2008, they've seen better days.
For this project, I also used 3 sheets of felt, and a quarter yard of fleece. You can use any sturdy fabric you like, but the fleece/felt combo is soft, warm, and has a little "give" to it.
First, disassemble your shoes.
Then fold one sheet of your felt length-wise, and trace the sole. Leave enough for seam allowance!
And then cut them out!
Take your best upper from your pile, and trace it out to the other two sheets of felt. Again, don't forget seam allowances.
And cut those out, too.
From the U-shaped scrap of felt from the middle, cut out two pieces for the strap.
Using the felt upper you just cut out, cut out two from your fleece.
Again using the U-shaped middle piece scrap of fleece, cut out two straps. Make sure to cut the fleece a little bit wider, if you don't want the lining color showing on your straps.
So finally! Here are all the pieces you should have cut out:
Layer one felt (lining) piece on top of one fleece (outer) piece. Sew along the INSIDE U-shape.
Make a double seam along the top. Apparently this should make it stronger, but I've never noticed a difference. But I do it anyway.
So this is what you should have:
Open it up...
... and line up the heel parts. Pay attention of where your colors line up, or else it will come out a little crooked. Sew up this hem.
Take one of the felt sole pieces, and prepare to pin it to the felt upper. The trick to doing this, is to find the middle of the sole piece by folding it in half, and lining it up with the heel seam you just put in.
Begin pinning from the heel, toward the toe, on both sides:
Your sole and upper may not match up perfectly. Mine never do. But don't worry! Just try to center it...
... and pin it down. Sew around the edge, and trim to about 1/8" all around.
Repeat with the other shoe. When you get to the part where you're pinning down your sole, make doubly-triply sure that you have a RIGHT shoe and a LEFT shoe!
Okay, on to the straps... line up one edge of the fleece and felt pieces, and sew.
Then line up the other edges and sew. Because the pieces are two different widths, it'll be a little bumpy.
Try on your shoe and pin the strap where you want it to be.
And sew it on!
When you measure where you want your strap to be, make sure the lining and the outer piece are in line:
Repeat with the other side of the strap, and with the other shoe.
Hooray! Almost done!
Take the insole from your disassembled pair of shoes (remember those?), and glue it to the bottom of the sole. You could alternatively glue it to inside of the shoe, but I found mine to become sticky when my feet sweat...
And yes, you do need it, because just walking on the rubber sole isn't very comfortable (at least with the shoes I have). I used good ol' super glue. Works pretty well.
You might have a little bit of the toe part sticking out. That's okay, just glue the insole as it lays.
Begin gluing down the outer fleece part. Start at the heel.
It may be easier to "shape" the toe area if your foot is in the shoe. Some of the fleece near your toes will have to be folded over... don't worry about this, it (mostly) won't show when you're done.
Then (finally!) take your rubber sole, and glue it on. Make sure to catch all your fleece under the sole, so everything is neat.
Repeat with the other shoe.
Whew! And then you are DONE!
Look at that toe cleavage! Hawt!
You can put a cute little button on your straps, or something, if you want. The straps can also be fastened with velcro or a snap. I've found that since the fleece "gives" a little, I didn't end up using the velco/snaps anyway.
Let me know what you think! If you make some, post them -- I want to see!