Booties Xmas!

It’s beginning to look a lot like a “booties” Christmas! I’m making a gaggle of booties as presents this year, eight pairs in all. (Last year it was home-made scarves and spiced rum fruitcake.) I’m using McCall’s M6449 booties/slippers pattern.

The pattern is fairly straightforward. However, one of the pattern pieces has a bit of a gotcha:
The seam between piece #4 (top of foot) and piece #5 (front of shin, views BCD; or piece #6 for views EF) does not make sense. The distance between the large dots on piece #4 is fixed, yet the distance between the large dots on piece #5/#6 varies with size.



This is probably OK for one of the available sizes (XS – L); some people simply ease in any differences in length between the two pieces, easing/stretching one piece and/or gathering the other piece so the seam lengths would match.

For sizes larger than L (I needed to make a couple of pairs in XL and one each in XXL and XXXL), I made a new #4 pattern piece for sizes XL and up, with additional width:

I used an upholstery synthetic suede for the outer layers (on sale 50% off at Jo-Ann’s), polyester fleece for the lining and cuff contrast, and red denim bias binding on the outseam of the shaft and around the sole.
To stiffen the sole, I used a plastic grid (used for tapestry I think, also from Jo-Ann’s):

I find that the ones with larger grid is a little stiffer than the ones with a finer grid.

I used a #16 needle and normal cotton-wrapped polyester thread. I put two layers of fleece in the insole. I did not use any padding, though I like the idea of sandwiching foam/insole material into the sole. For the bottom of the sole, I used a “grip dots” material. It’s by a rubberized fabric with tiny rubber dots, available by the yard at Jo-Ann.

After making a couple of pairs, I realized that they run a bit small, so I ended up having to make more than eight pairs. OTOH, the extra ones will make unexpected Xmas gifts for some others!

Here are pics of a bootie’s construction steps:

Lining: stitch foot piece to front shaft; stitch back shaft to front shaft.
Lining: stitch foot piece to front shaft; stitch back shaft to front shaft.

Outer shell: stitch foot piece to front shaft; stitch back shaft to front shaft, adding piping.
Outer shell: stitch foot piece to front shaft; stitch back shaft to front shaft, adding piping.

Stitch outer shell to lining; understitch outershell.
Stitch outer shell to lining; understitch outershell.

Stitch the whole thing into a “tube”…
Stitch the whole thing into a

…turn “tube”, …
...turn

…baste edge of lining and outer shell together.
...baste edge of lining and outer shell together.

Baste all layers of sole together: “grippy dots” bottom, stiff plastic tapestry grid, two layers of fleece as insole.
Baste all layers of sole together:

Attach upper to sole.
Attach upper to sole.

Apply bias binding to perimeter of foot, turn under and zig zag into place.
Apply bias binding to perimeter of foot, turn under and zig zag into place.

Another view of applying side piping to a black pair.
Another view of applying side piping to a black pair.

PC043651_b

Another view of applying bias binding to perimeter of foot.
Another view of applying bias binding to perimeter of foot.

The finished booties:
PC053661_b PC053663_b PC113665_b

And while I was at it, I made a few pairs of slippers as well, from the same pattern.
PC183671_b

Tips:

  • Baste, baste, baste! Every chance you have, baste, especially if you have multiple layers of a fluffy material such as fleece. In my case, for example, the perimeter of the finished foot has three layers of fleece, one layer of outer fabric, one layer of sole material and one layer of “grippy dots” material. Basting the four sole layers together (“grippy dots” material, sole material, two fleece layers) and the upper’s two layers (outer fabric and fleece lining) makde things much easier to deal with when attaching the upper to the sole.

  • Sizing appears to be accurate, but in my case, since I used fleece for lining, which is a bit bulky, the sizing ends up a little smaller than indicated. Size L turns out to be more like size 8 women (about size 6 men) than size 10-11! You may want to make adjustments for that.