17 April 2012

Thrifty sewing - slippers, mittens and hats for baby

I loved all the birthday messages you sent yesterday. Thank you all so much. The comments you send me, even after all this time, really make my day. They remind me that you are out there and the numbers of us living as we do are increasing. Happy birthday to all the other April babies.  I hope you have a joyous birthday too.

I found the most charming and cuddly pattern for baby slippers at The Purl Bee the other day. The link is here. The Purl Bee suggested making them using woollen felt and when I was at our Crafternoon, I made a couple of pairs of felt slippers but then started wondering about the practicalities - keeping them clean. You could wash the felt shoes but they'd take a long time to dry. So I went on to version 2 - fleece slippers. 

They're easy to make, look really cozy and three pairs of slippers can be made from a 35cm/14 inch square of thick fleece. I bought a half a metre of different colours of fleece recently and each half metre cost me less than four dollars. Making three pairs of slippers cost me about 50 cents. Best of all, they can be thrown in with the normal wash and be dry in a couple of hours. I guess they'd be fine in the dryer as well, if you use one.

These are an easy to make, simple baby gift for the little loves in your life. If you have a few different fleece colours you could make a selection of different colours slippers for a newborn, or make different colours for different ages. They make a delightful and very useful little gift.

To make the slippers you'll need thick fleece, a sewing needle, embroidery thread, a few pins and a pair of scissors.

The slippers are cut out according to the template here  and then sewn together using a simple blanket stitch. If you don't know how to do that, look at this  You Tube blanket stitch video. Try it, it's very easy, even for beginners. Fleece is very forgiving. It's easy to cut and the cut edges seal themselves and don't need any hemming of edging.

I'm going to make a thread at the forum later today so we can share photos of our fleece slippers. So even if you're new to sewing, dive into this great beginners project and see how well they come up. If you're really keen you do make up matching mittens and warm hats. I'll be doing them as soon as I have a bit of share time. Don't forget to show and tell on the forum thread. I'd love to see what you do.

I'll be at the Permaculture Noosa meeting this Thursday, 19 April. They have a small market, speakers and supper from 7pm till 9pm. If you're nearby, come along and introduce yourself. I'd love to meet you. If you've bought a book, bring it along and I'll sign it for you. The following day, on Friday, 20 April, I'll be at Dymocks in Brisbane to sign books. If you've been reading here for a while, come in and say hello, I'd love to meet you.  Some readers have asked when I'll be signing books near them but the only places I'll be in the near future will be close to my home - Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba (in June) and Brisbane.



  1. "Happy birthday to all the other April babies. I hope you have a birthday too."

    Well, obviously they all DO have birthdays!


  2. HaPpY BeLaTeD BiRtHdAy Rhonda!!!
    Sounds like a lovely day!!

    The fleece shoes are adorable and I may have to give them a try! :)

    central Illinois

  3. Gosh, I could use some of them in my size!

    Do you embroider them before or after you sew them together?

  4. These are adorable! I had never thought of making them in fleece. If anyone wanted an adult size, Martha Stewart has a couple of similar patterns.

  5. Which Dymmocks store in Brisbane Rhonda? and what time will you be there? A friend witnessed me jump for joy when your book arrived yesterday :) Happy Days

  6. Hi Rhonda,

    Those fleece baby booties are just too CUTE :) :) What a nice gift that would make for parents with a newborn :) :) Thanks for posting the link to The Purl Bee, too :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California,Heather :) :) :)

  7. Oh no, now I read you will be visiting Toowoomba. We moved from there to Darwin in January and I would so have loved to go along and meet you, and of course have my book signed:) I think a drive to Darwin will be a bit far even for you two adventurous souls.

    Happy birthday for yesterday, enjoy a fabulous 65th year.

  8. What a good post! I have a friend whose son and daughter-in-law are expecting their first baby. Can't wait to make a few things from your information for the sweet little girl they're expecting in July.

    Diane in North Carolina

  9. Now, there is a cute idea! And, a Happy Birthday to you, too.

    Speaking of sewing, I received my beautiful apron from Margaret, my apron buddy - http://searchingforabalance.blogspot.com/2012/04/apron-from-margaret.html

    I'm almost finished with her apron. It's been a lot of fun participating in the apron swap.

  10. Those look really cute - I love working with fleece.

  11. These are just lovely Rhonda!I might try to mak them a little bigger for the twins and add some non slip soles to the bottom by dotting on some fabric puffy paint. Of course you don't need to worry about this for bubs, but active toddlers on wooden floors need them! I wonder if they will slip off their feet if i make a bigger size? I guess i can but try, shall keep an eye on the forum thread for inspiration!!Enjoy your signing!

  12. Hi Rhonda
    Firstly let me say congratulations on your birthday! I too often say the only alternative to growing old is death and Im no where near ready for that yet! Too much to see and do!
    Thank you again for sharing your ideas and simple money saving ideas with us. You post about the baby slippers couldn't have come at a better time for me as I have a baby shower to attend on the weekend and was after a unique gift to give - preferably something handmade, and the baby blanket I am crocheting for this person isn't complete yet, so that will be given after the birth. I also have a lovely friend that has just found out she is expecting and would love to give something small as a congratulations gift - she has been trying for over two years - so this would be perfect! Thank you again you truely are an inspiration and I would love to meet you in person one day.
    Andrea Saunders

  13. These slippers look delightful and easy Rhonda. I shall have to try them when I get back from Thailand.
    I am just wondering where to buy the fleece.

  14. Rhonda, I look forward to having a go at making those cute slippers. I am pleased to see you are coming to Toowoomba. Do you know the date yet as I hope it won't be when we are going to the Sunshine Coast for a week? When your book first came out I asked our local library to order it but they said they already had and were also hoping to get you to visit there. Thanks for your very helpful blog.

  15. Great idea, and I think the fleecy ones look cosier than the felt ones. Think how many pairs you could make out of an old dressing gown ;)

  16. Oh I love those little shoes - sewing with fleece is such fun too! the embroidery is pretty too - did you do the embroidery before completing the shoe?

  17. Hi Rhonda and a belated Happy Birthday to you. You are my hero and make me know at age 56 that I will be "ok" in my 60's. I so enjoy your blog and your sunny attitude. Today I was feeling crabby towards my husband, who was complaining because I left the garage door open and the bugs came in....and I thought, "I'll bet Rhonda never gets cross with HER husband!"

  18. I've just put them on my list of gifts for littlies. They are adorable and simple.Gotta love that. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Thanks for the lovely idea Rhonda. I have a new neice due to arrive early May, so I will make these with some fabric from my stash.
    I'll add some knitted booties and a handmade card. A lovely present without spending a cent!


  20. Happy Birthday Rhonda,it looked like it was a lovely day.

  21. I hope you had a very Happy Birthday Rhonda.

    I'm an April baby too, also living the simple life here in England, my birthday is on the 19th and my present this year off my Lovely Hubby....a copy of your book. It arrived yesterday all the way from sunny Australia, but I'nm being a very good girl and not starting the reading of it until my birthday....but I did have a sneaky peek!! :-)

    Gorgeous little felt slippers, unfortunately I've no-one small enough in the family to need them.

  22. Such a gorgeous gift to give and I love your needlework on them :) Happy birthday for yesterday and many blessings for the year ahead! Yay, you are coming to Toowoomba! Look forward to meeting you in June :)

  23. What a lovely pair of babyslippers! I think it might also fit for my little girl, just stepping around.. I think I have to try this one at home! ;o)

    Love from Holland

  24. I've two daughters both born in April. The perfect month for a little new person! Have a great year.

  25. Oh I wish I had this pattern when my babies were small, they are lovely. Will just have to wait for my grandchildren in a few years time!

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