No-Socks Slipper-Mocs

I am so excited to share with you a tutorial on how to make these simple, cozy, moccasin- style slippers… a perfect gift idea for Christmas for your husbands/ fathers/ sons/ brothers/ friends!  Of course, you can use more feminine fabric and make these for the women in your life too!

The basic slippers are made from just two pattern pieces.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that!  Let’s get started.

Click to download the 4T pattern

Make Your Pattern

I am sharing the pattern I made for my son (approximately size 4T- click the picture above to download), but you’ll have to make your own pattern for any other sizes you might need.  Don’t worry; it isn’t hard- here’s how.

Sole Piece
1. Grab a piece of paper large enough to fit your food and then some.
2. Trace your foot (“your” foot meaning whatever foot you want to make these slippers for!)
3. Round out the toes.
4. Measure and mark 3/4″ to 1.5 inches out from the toes (the smaller measurement for kid sizes, the larger for adult sizes).  Draw a line 1/2″ to 1 inch behind the heel.  Draw a 2″ to 3+” line extending out at about a 170 degree angle (again, depending on if it is child sized, or adult sized).  You may need to experiment a little to get the kind of fit you like.

5. Measure and mark 1″- 1.5″ out from the widest part of the foot, and connect to the 2″ line you just drew.
6. Following the contour of the toe, draw a curve connecting the three measurements you have marked out.

Upper Piece
7. For child sizes, draw a 3.5″ line, with perpendicular lines on the top and bottom- the top line measuring 2.75″, and the bottom line measuring 3″.
8. Connect the lines to make a trapezoid, then round out the corners as shown above.

The picture above shows the abbreviated process for making an adult- sized slipper- for the gals.  The upper piece above includes an option for a longer upper that can be folded up to get the effect shown in the gal’s slipper picture at the top.  For men’s sizes, I would use the upper range of the measurements listed above, and make the sole piece at least 4″ wide depending on the foot measurement.

Gather Materials

Pattern pieces, fabric (I recommend something heavy duty, like an old pair of jeans), scraps of faux- sherpa (or other suitable lining), and fabric of your choice to reinforce the soles (this is optional, but it will really lengthen the life of the slippers.  Alternatively, you can put puffy paint or something on the soles to give it grip and make it last longer), pins, scissors, sewing machine.

I made this pair of slippers for my 2 year old, and I already had this anti- skid gripper fabric, so I went ahead and used it for him.  You could obviously use any other material you wanted, including another layer of denim, perhaps with puff paint on the bottom.

Cut Out Pieces

Cut two each of the sole and the upper in both fabric and lining.  If you are using denim, decide if you like the look of right side in, or right side out better.  Make sure you are cutting out a left and a right foot- flip the pattern or fold the fabric to get two opposite feet.  Also, if you wish, use the tracing of the foot that will be wearing the slippers, and round out the toes a tiny bit to come up with your pattern for the sole reinforcement piece.

Assemble Sole

1. If you are adding a sole reinforcement piece, pin it onto the right side of the fabric, with the heel of the reinforcement piece almost touching the back edge of the fabric.

2. Sew the reinforcement piece down using a wide zig zag stitch.

3. Sew the matching lining fabric onto the sole piece, wrong sides together.  See my skillfully drawn dotted lines on picture 3 above? Sew around the sole piece as shown, from one corner to another, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

4. Sew the back heel seam by matching up the side corners, lining sides facing each other.  Yes, the seam will be “inside out”.

5. Sew the upper of the lining to the upper of the fabric, wrong sides together. (pictured below)

Attach Upper to Sole

First, pin the middle of the top of the upper to the middle of the top of the sole piece, as shown.

1. Working from the middle, make small, even gathers, pinning after each one.

2. Do the same number of gathers on each side.  Try to make sure they are all the same size.

3. This is what the top looks like.  Stop pinning right before the upper piece starts to curve in.

4. Carefully sew the upper to the sole piece, sewing on top of the existing stitching on the upper piece.

Finishing Touches

You could be done now if you want- the raw edge has its own appeal, especially for the grown-up guys; continue if you like the fluffy edge going around the heel.

1. Cut a strip of your lining fabric that extends all the way around the heel from one side of the upper to the other.  Fold it over the raw edge.

2. Pin the strip at intervals and sew in place.

3. Trim the raw edges so they are even- the strip you just sewed and also the gathered area around the toes.

And, repeat from the beginning for the other slipper!

Now you’ve got some pretty dude-ly moccasin slippers (or sweet, if you made ’em for a gal).  Either way, they are sure to keep toes toasty and happy!  Happy slipper sewing! If you make some No-Socks Slipper-Mocs, I would love to have you share them on our facebook page!

Baby Girl Refashions

Here’s a quick share of some baby girl refashion ideas…

This set is made of an old maternity shirt (pink stripes) and a bit of an old white Tshirt. (Pardon the phone pictures.)

I made the onesie using an old onesie that I cut apart as my pattern.  The scratch mitts were made from my Infant Scratch Mitt Pattern and Tutorial here, and the tie-top hat was made from Tie Dye Diva’s pattern found on Sew Mama Sew.

Don’t forget the ruffles!  Lots and lots of ruffles.

Flannel burp cloths- yeah, these are not refashions, although some are made from scraps of fabric used to make jammies, but I am including them anyway, because they are a great way to use up small pieces of fabric, and you can make them out of old flannel shirts, pants, even jersey Tshirts.  They can have batting in the middle or not.  I made my own pattern for these, but there are several free versions on blogs- just Google it or check Pinterest!  These tend to be more absorbent than the ones you can buy from the store, so these make nice gifts.

Baby leg warmers made from Dollar Tree socks.  Again, there are several free tutorials out there to make these.

This is a peasant skirt that I tried so hard to like, but it was just too generous in adding bulk around my hips, and… I just don’t need any extra volume in that general area.  So, my hip- fluffing skirt became a sweet little summer dress for my niece who should be arriving in the next few weeks!

The extra material made a nice diaper cover- tutorial found on MADE.

Can’t wait to meet my niece in the very near future!  😀  Think happy, positive childbirth thoughts for Marissa if you will- good karma, right?  Maybe soon I can post pictures of the little miss wearing some of these outfits!

Ugly Duckling T-shirt Transformations

Is it just me, or does everyone have a basket/pile/box/bin of clothes that are technically unwearable as-is, but have tons of potential if reinvented?  (I guess I shouldn’t admit that I actually have three bins full of such articles…)  These four unlovely and unloved shirts came from one of my bins.  Two of them were previously- loved shirts of mine (from an earlier fashion- phase), and two were pre- loved shirts from D.I ($1 each).

I drafted a little pattern for baby leggings and transformed this shirt into a cute pair of lace-bottomed, ruffle-bummed girl leggings (for Marissa’s baby, of course)!

With plenty of leftover fabric, I created this flower headband to match!

Using the same leggings pattern I drafted earlier, I transformed this stretched out sequin trim shirt from “Closet Disco Wannabe” to “Subtle Sparkling Diva”!  Both pairs of leggings were soooo easy to make, since I didn’t have to hem the legs- I just used the fun trims. 

I believe this shirt was previously a men’s size large which had shrunk in the dryer.  I used a T-shirt that I like the size of as a pattern to cut this shirt down to size.  Of the plentiful fabric scraps left over, I made  the flower, stem, and leaves, which I pinned down and sewed over with contrasting thread.

This pink shirt was a women’s size XL which had also shrunk in the washer (I’m assuming, since it fit me just fine when I bought it at D.I.)  I used more of the scraps from the white shirt (which I cut into long strips) to make the swirly designs- you can see how I pinned them onto the shirt on the top right of the picture below.  I also added a little modesty panel because I really hate layering shirts.  I didn’t bother trying to keep the white strips straight; I figured it would have more character if I twisted, and turned the fabric.  I sewed with white thread down the middle of each strip.  This one took a little more time than the rest, but still probably close to an hour, so not too bad!  Since I have worn and washed it a couple times now, I like how the swirls look even more than that “brand new” look.

Want to see some of my other women’s shirt transformations?
Check out this flutter sleeve refashion, this quick modesty refashion, the stripey shirt refashion, this awesome spring shirt refashion, and, should you be interested, a regular T-shirt turned nursing shirt.

Do you have any go-to refashion techniques for shirts?!

Steps to a Wearable Wardrobe: When Your Flutter Sleeves Are Flying Away

How was that for a ridiculously long post title?  It was almost as ridiculous as I feel wearing flutter sleeves.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind them on other people, but it is the wrong sleeve for my arm, and it makes the difference between a cute shirt that gets worn and a mostly- cute shirt that takes up space in my already- full- closet, making my husband raise his eyebrows when I state that I have nothing to wear.

Take this shirt for example.  Cute detail on the neckline, good length, generally flattering- oh wait- those sleeves are going to get me airborne if there is a breeze.  See what I mean?!  Truthfully, it is just a personal preference, but if you have the same quandary as I do, maybe I can help you.

In this refashion, we’ll be transforming a flutter sleeve to a gathered cap sleeve by threading a piece of elastic through the casing of the sleeve hem.

First, inspect your armpit.  No, not yours, your shirt’s!  You’re going to use your seam ripper to cut two tiny slits to thread the elastic through, so you’ll want to determine the placement for those.

You don’t have to mark where you’re going to cut the slits; I just did so you can see where I put them.

Attach a piece of elastic to a safety pin and insert it through the tiny slit you just cut with your seamripper.  If your shirt is made of a stretchy knit fabric, this will be easier.  [I suggest measuring around your upper arm and cutting that exact length on the elastic.  When you sew it together, it will be snug around your arm.  Or just make it whatever length you want.  I’m not here to micromanage you.  :) ]

Thread the elastic all the way through the casing.

Sew the ends of the elastic together any way you can.  It doesn’t have to be pretty.  Clearly.

Slide the ends up into one side of the casing so it doesn’t show.  If you want to be finished with this project already, you can stop here.  Well, after you do the other side of course.

Otherwise, you can take a needle and thread and sew up the slits you made and keep the elastic concealed.

Ta-Da!

Repeat for the other side, and here’s what we’re looking at:

I like it and it only took about 15 minutes!  So what do you think about flutter sleeves?  Love ’em?  Hate ’em?  Let me know in the comments.  (Hopefully I didn’t alienate anyone with my feelings about flutter sleeves- haha.)

A Quick Modesty Refashion

Just a quick post to show one of my more recent refashions; alas, I took no “before” pictures, but just imagine this shirt without any of the white fabric, and with a neckline that goes halfway down to my belly button (well, don’t imagine me wearing it that way, just imagine how sad it was in my closet, never being chosen because of its refusal to comply with my decency standards).

Those who know me well know that I have little patience for shirts that require tank tops or camisoles underneath.  Hence why I stopped wearing this shirt.  Adding in a faux tank top modesty panel helped with that, but didn’t fix the issue completely, so I inserted a far-from-professional-looking single box pleat in the back of the neckline.  I also added the sleeve “extensions” because the sleeves were so wide that they didn’t help me much.

Now this shirt is much more comfortable to wear!  Oh, and I forgot to mention that all the white fabric came from a camisole I found at D.I. for about $3 last summer for such a purpose as this!

Stripey Shirt Refashion

Here’s another spring shirt refashion- from a shirt I wore once or twice circa 2004, and found recently in the camping supplies bin (?!).

Above is the original shirt: nothing special… thin stretchy knit material, semi-mismatched stripes (nothing I can do there), way too long sleeves, torso too short.

First step: Cutting!  I cut the sleeves shorter (in retrospect, I wish I’d made them cap sleeves- maybe if I get super motivated I ‘ll do that eventually).  The white binding around the neckline got chopped too.

I just happened to have some maroon-ish knit fabric lying around which worked perfectly for me to bind the neckline and sleeves, and create a gathered button- flower (man, I love those).

At this point, I figured I was done, but when I tried it on, I really felt like it was too short to be at all flattering.  So, after stewing a bit, I grabbed the sleeves I had just cut off, evened them out so there was no taper, and I sewed them to the bottom of the shirt (after first sewing their ends together to make a circular band).

Kind of funky, but I think I like it.

All this took maybe an hour max.  My point is that with most refashions, there is really nothing to lose!  I wasn’t wearing this shirt and would probably have thrown it out, and everything I used to embellish it was free- just scraps of this and that.  It only cost me an hour of my time, and that’s not bad-  you can do it!

Play outfit refashion from men’s clothing

Actually, I’m going to give you two for the price of one!  That is, I will share two separate play outfit refashions from the same two shirts.  One a sweater of my husband’s, and the other a polo shirt of my brother in law’s.

This was one of my first refashions I attempted, and it really got me started on the idea that I could totally transform clothing and give it new life. This sweater was one my husband wore for many years, and being sentimentally attached to it, he had a hard time with me telling him that it really wasn’t the right size for him.  He didn’t want to get rid of it and think of some stranger wearing this shirt he still loved!  He suggested that he might be ok with parting with it if it “stayed in the family”.  I took that as permission at immediately started sweater surgery, knowing that it could make an adorable play outfit for my son.

I used another pair of pants that fit my then-nine-month-old baby as a pattern, and got to work.

I am fearless when it comes to cutting right into fabric with a nice, sharp pair of scissors.  I love that feeling!   (Although I do remember how terrifying it was when I was first learning to sew, convinced that I was ruining a lovely piece of fabric.)

I really only intended to make the pants; as I said this was one of the first refashions I ever tried, and I was tickled to have made pants that turned out decently well out of a sweater.  However, the portion of the sweater that was left over continued to nag at me until I decided that I had plenty of fabric to make a matching sweater, and that it was just scraps anyway, so if I botched it, it was no big deal.  So I went ahead and performed another life-saving procedure on the sweater (sorry for all the medical puns; I am a nurse after all!) and this adorable sweater was born!

The sweater wasn’t perfect; I sewed one cuff onto the sleeve turned inside- out, and decided not to fix it.  (In addition to being a fearless cutter, I also have the superpower of turning my perfectionism on and off; this time I turned it off and was very happy to do so.)

As I had predicted, my sweet boy was absolutely precious in the outfit.  It was soft, comfortable, and durable!  After my son grew out of it, it was still in good enough shape for my next son to wear it, and he was just as cute in it!

Let’s fast-forward about three years to this past March, when I was going through all my fabric, scraps and all.  I found the remains of my husband’s sweater (really all that was left were the sleeves) and I remembered what great pants the sweater had made, and I decided to make another pair that would fit my now-nearly-four-year-old son.  There was just enough fabric to do so, and it was so easy because there was no hemming involved!  I just kept the original sleeve cuffs as the pant cuffs, and the whole thing took about 20 minutes at most.

Because I didn’t have any more sweater fabric to make a top for my son, I pulled out an old polo shirt I swiped from Marissa’s donate pile (I’m a scavenger, what can I say?) and determined to make a shirt that would be just as soft and cuddly as the pants.

I actually used an old pattern for this shirt (one from a large set my mom gave me that she used to sew for us from when I was a little girl), but I have also made raglan shirts for my boys using their old pajama shirts as patterns. 

I did my best to match up the stripes, but again, it wasn’t perfect, and I’m ok with that.  After all, my son is ok with it too!

Do you ever sentimentally hold on to items of clothing hoping to give them new life in one way or another?

Spring Shirt Refashion

A couple weeks ago I was asked to put together a display of refashioned clothing as a part of a bigger display of homemaking skills at a local women’s workshop/ conference organized by my church.  The conference itself was great, and I was excited to be a part of it.  I ended up mostly using refashions I had already made, but I came up with a few new things to add to the display, and I am excited to share them with you! 

In its previous life, this fun spring shirt was dull and wintery, with too-long sleeves, and a weird floppy neckband that forced me to always wear a tank top underneath, or expose myself…. consequently, it had a sad, neglected life.

Having a makeover really gave this shirt new life, and it was fairly simple.  First, I gave the neckline three darts to get rid of the floppy/ flabby neckline and instead add some cute contour.

Second, I chopped the sleeves off right above the elbow.  With the extra material from the sleeves, I cut three bands of differing widths and layered them over the newly- short sleeves into a cascade- raw edges and all (that’s the beauty of knits, no?).

Once everything was pinned to my satisfaction, I (carefully) tried the shirt on and was delighted to discover that I loved it so much more than before, and I recommitted to giving it the attention it deserved.

I sewed the darts in place, and did a double line around the sleeves for stability.  I still had some scraps left over from the sleeves I chopped, so naturally I made a button poppy for embellishment!

I’m loving the finished product!

(Look for more cute shirt refashions in the near future!)