December 31, 2010

Slippers for a Princess (or a Ballerina)

When Briton opened his slippers on the Solstice, Evelyn immediately looked up and said "Can I have some?" I hadn't really thought much about making slippers for her. While the rest of us seem to spend a lot of time in slippers or thick socks, Evie has always opted for one of her (many) colorful pairs of tights, both during the day and the night. It offers a chance for another wardrobe change when she takes off her "clothes" and puts on "pajamas". The next day she asked if they were done yet, and the next, and the next, until I decided I better get moving.

I'd eventually like to knit her a pair, I have a pattern for something similar to my slippers but need to order some heavy pink felting yarn (our local shop didn't seem to have anything bulky enough) and as the boots took me eons to finish, I wanted something for her in the meantime. This all happened about the same time that I wandered into my favorite local shop and picked up Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing, a book that has been on my list for a while but which I hadn't actually opened. Among other fantastic projects that I'd love to work on (Kimono Dress!) were the Guest Slippers. Just the thing for my ballerina loving girl.

The pattern in the book is for adults so I used a pair of Evie's ballet slippers to gauge the length and then generally followed the directions. The only changes made were to leave off the hanging loops (since there is no chance that they would ever ever be hung up) and to have only a teeny bit of the rick rack peeking through the seam because I worried that she would find it scratchy. In fact, I'll probably leave it out all together next time (and there will be more pairs, I can already tell, we'll need color options after all. I would highly recommend this book, the directions were clear and the projects are all fun and useful, at least from my point of view. As I said, the book contains patterns so if you want to make these then your best chance is to pick up a copy but this was the general gist of construction.
Using the ballet slippers I traced the basic shape of them flattened and cut 4 from each of two pieces of fabric (in the book you cut on a fold but I was using scraps so cut four, adding a little extra for seam allowance). Once the toe and heel seams were sewn together, I layered the pieces together. Inside piece (turned right side out), rick rack, then outside piece (turned wrong side out) and stitched around the inner edge of the slippers. This was a little tricky because they were so small, the didn't fit around my machine, even with the front piece removed, so the pins caught a little in the process and it was a little slip going. But we got there.
That done about an inch of elastic sewn in at the heel, the slippers went right side out and the soles were pinned in and hand stitched on. First the insoles and then the bottom of the shoe, both traced from her foot. I used scrap wool from her coat which I felted in the machine first to make it thicker.
I finished them mid day yesterday and she hasn't taken them off since, although she is supposed to be getting dressed so that we can go out as I type, so at some point they will have to come off. Unless she decides to wear them under her boots, which hey, isn't a bad idea at all.