As I had a pair of shoe lasts in my husband’s size, I thought I would make him a pair of slippers. I followed a tutorial for making slippers that I found on The Felting and Fiber Studio blog. I also combined it with the tutorial for felting slipper boots in a book by Mette Ostman.
The template for felting slippers is slightly unusual, but it does make a great shape for a pair of slippers. I fulled them down to fit the slipper lasts, but when I got the hubs to try them on, they were way too wide and deep. That was exactly the same as the slippers I made for myself. I tried to full down the slippers on my husband’s feet, but they were way too big. I was worried about shrinking them down so much that I would lose the length. So I put it out there to one of my Facebook felting groups and got a lot of very good advice. So I left it for a few days and had another go at it.
You can see how much I had to full down. I had to work really hard on these to shrink them down. At least another hour for each slipper. I worked on them until they wouldn’t shrink anymore. I am not really happy with these. The grey merino inside migrated into the merino black batt I used on the outside. So instead of black slippers, we now have a dark gray. I will most likely have to give them a shave as I lost some of the detail of the decoration from the silk I used.
I calculated my measurements as per the book. I think it was too much for the width, but not on the length. Whenever I read about felting slippers, they always say draw around your feet and add an inch all around for the template. It can be a little bit more if the feet are quite big. For the slippers I made for myself, I didn’t actually measure as everyone had the same size template. It was only marginally longer than my foot. I measured around my husband’s foot and added an extra 1.5 inches around as was recommended in the book for his size. I then followed the procedure for laying out and fulling the slipper. I still had some natural gray merino roving and some black merino batt I wanted to use up. The only thing I did different was to add a little bit extra of the batt on the bottom of the slippers. I sometimes do this for my vessels to weigh them down a bit and I had hoped that this would make the slippers more sturdy with a better sole.
I am convinced that these slipper lasts are pants and do not really work. The person I purchased them from makes slippers on the last in the washing machine. I really don’t see how that would work to make a slipper that fits properly. I did have a go at trying to shrink them down in the tumble dryer, but that didn’t work either. I am going to get rid of these lasts. I ordered some new ones from Germany that look like they would be more narrow. We shall see. If the new ones don’t work, I will have to resort to making lasts from gaffer tape. The reason I ordered lasts from Germany is because another company that had been selling them in the UK is discontinuing this product. It costs 11 euros to buy them from Germany, but the postage is more than that. You can buy shoe lasts on Etsy, but the cost of postage is too much and it actually worked out cheaper to buy them from Germany.
I will not be progressing these slippers any further apart from giving them a shave. I shall felt another pair when I get the new lasts and will make a new template with some adjustments. If that doesn’t work, I shall make gaffer tape lasts. I have already decided that as making slippers is such hard work that I will only be making them for family members. So, if anyone felts you a pair of slippers, it was definitely made with toil, sweat and love.