Make Do and Mend: Slippers Edition

There is so much going on in the world these days, and almost all of it seems out of my control. I find it easy to get sucked into a quagmire of negative thoughts and fear, so when I feel like this I try to find something I can do with my hands. My sewing or knitting or gardening is something I can control, and that helps me to feel a little better.

A year and a half ago I made myself some slippers. They were cozy and kept my feet warm. I wore them all that winter, and all this winter.

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And then a few weeks ago I realized both slippers were developing holes on the outside/bottom of the foot.

So I mended them.

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I started off with some non-superwash wool, some snips, and a darning needle.

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I cut a length of yarn, and sewed it in a regtangle-ish shape that went a little past the edges of the hole on all sides.

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Then I turned the whole thing 90 degrees and needle-wove the patch – over, under, over under. While doing this, I made sure to catch a stitch in the slipper at the end of every row so the patch would be firmly attached to the slipper on all sides.

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I followed the same steps on the 2nd slipper. This closed the holes on both slippers, but the yarn I used for the repair was very softly spun, and I knew I would have another hole soon if I didn’t put a tougher material on the outside.

I still had some of the leather I used when I originally made the slippers, so I made a template for a piece that would fit over the holes on both slippers, and cut the pieces out. When I made the slippers a year and a half ago I cut the leather with scissors and an X-acto knife. It was a PAIN! This time borrowed a chisel and mallet from my husband. What a difference! This was quick and easy and painless. Anytime I work with leather in the future, I will absolutely use a chisel and mallet!

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After cutting the pieces out I stabbed some sewing holes into them at regular intervals. Most people would use a proper awl for this. I don’t have one, so I appropriated another one of my husband’s tools for this purpose (I think this is some sort of electrical tool?). Pro tip: it helps to have a spouse that is handy! (Also, if you are borrowing tools, make sure you ask first!)

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With my pieces cut out and holes stabbed, I sewed the leather pieces into place. When I made the slippers I sewed the leather on with nylon cord, which was a royal pain. This time I used a doubled strand of upholstery thread. Much easier to work with, and almost as durable.

And here the slippers are, good as new, and ready for another winter.

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Published by

Dramatic Lyric

I am a musician, a teacher, and a life-long crafter. I love to read and write, and my favourite book is Jane Eyre.

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