I have been learning to use my sewing machine, focusing on picking out projects that are both easy for a novice and practical at the same time (potholders are great but how many do you really need?). These fleece booties were a Christmas present for a friend and a big hit. They are soft, warm, comfortable, and a perfect fit. Learn how to make a pair for yourself and your feet will thank you all winter long.
To start with, I made a practice pair for myself but I didn’t think to double up my fleece until after the fact. The project I describe here is the updated version that produces a warmer pair of slippers that can be worn both long as a boot liner and folded over to make short sock-like booties to wear around the house.
When I was searching for an example to follow as a guideline, I came across a lot of tutorials like this one for fleece socks that consisted of 3 pieces of fabric: the sole, a shorter rounded rectangle piece for the back, and a longer rounded rectangle piece for the upper and front. They looked very easy but I felt it would produce bunching and/or pulling at the ankle, so I kept looking until I found this simple tutorial for making shoes and creating templates. It made perfect sense to me, so that’s the one I used as the base for this project. The instructions are in Russian but all you really need is the graphic, which is self-explanatory.
For this project, you will need:
- 0.5 meter of fleece (I bought 1 meter and it was enough for two pairs of booties and some fabric left over)
- sewing machine
- scrap paper to make your pattern
- measuring tape
Making the template:
Follow the graphic on this page to make a template for your sole and your upper. Trace the outline of your foot on paper and add a margin for a seam allowance. If your feet are very different, you will want to make one for each foot, as this template will produce a right and a left sock with proper fit instead of a generic one that has extra fabric at the toes.
Next, measure the width of your foot (going across the top of your foot) at the toe, instep, and ankle) to determine the width of your upper. Map these on a piece of paper and connect the dots to draw an arch. Draw the inner arch to just below the ankle (this is where the seam for the cuff will sit). Either add a margin for your seaming allowance or keep it in mind when cutting the fabric out.
The templates will look something like this:
Notice that the curve of my upper follows the curve at the top of my sole. It should be taller where your big toe is and follow the shape of your toes.
Making the booties:
Arrange your fabric face up, then fold one edge over to the width of your sole cutout. Line up the pattern if your fabric has any. Pin the template to the fabric and cut it out. You will have two pieces of identical fabric. Set these aside. Now flip the template over (remember, you’re making a left and a right sock), pin it in place, and cut it out.
Repeat these steps with the upper, folding the fabric over to the correct width and flipping the template before cutting out the second set. You will have 4 sets of cutouts, each consisting of two layers of fleece.
Take your upper (one set at a time) and sew the short edges together. These will form the back side of your heel. You will end up with an oval Match each upper to its corresponding sole and pin in place over the sole: the seam your just made on the upper should be pinned to the bottom of the sole and the highest point of the curve at the front should match the highest point of the curve on the sole. Sew around the edge to attach the upper to the sole, making sure you stitch through all four layers of fabric. I first secured it in place with the regular stitch, then went over the seam again with a zigzag stitch to make the seam nice and tidy.
Turn the sock inside out and try it on for size, as now would be the time to make any adjustments to the fit. Repeat with the other foot.
Once you’re happy with the fit, turn the socks inside out (so the seams are showing) and cut out your cuffs. For this, fold the fabric over to the width of the opening in your sock. Make sure it is wide enough to go around your calf. If it is not, cut the fabric to the width of your calf, fold in half to bring the top part down, and trim at one end to match the width of the sock. The height can be as long as you want it to be but don’t go taller than just below your knee. I simply cut it to the height of my fabric and it worked out perfectly.
Sew the long edge together, then fold the tube you just made over on itself with the long seam on the inside (imagine you are turning it inside out but stop halfway through so your fabric is doubled up). Pin the raw-edge opening of the cuff to the opening of your sock, lining up the back seams. Sew in place. Repeat with the other sock.
Guess what? You’re done! That’s all there is to it. Turn the socks out and enjoy!