It’s that time of year when I’ve received some absolutely lush new slippers for Christmas and have to part with my favourite but definitely worn out pair from last year. But I do absolutely hate to throw them away, even when I know they cannot be worn anymore.
Here are my old, sad pair in their full on, gaffa-taped glory (I tried stitching them back together – it didn’t last):
I held on to them too long. I’ve recently had wet socks from going to put something in the bin outside and forgetting about the holes. They no longer really did the job they were supposed to.
The thing is I really, really do hate throwing fabric away. I know the bottoms of these slippers are wrecked, but it seems such a shame to completely discard these super cute penguins that I’ve been plodding around in. A while ago I had a random thought that they would make really cool door stops and today I set about converting one of them.
Happily it was a job that was as straightforward as I’d hoped!
First I did some dismantling. I love seeing how things are made….think I must have inherited that from my engineer dad.
I cut off the soles and then unpicked the bottom lining too.
Fully separated and kinda floppy. I took out the stuffing from the sides too as I needed to change the shape a bit. This was stuffed in two sections so it needed quite a bit of unpicking.
Happily I had quite a big piece from the top of the foot section.
From this piece I cut a circle to form the new base of the door stop.
This is, admittedly, an oval. But it got cut down to a circle!
The now circular base pinned to the body ready for sewing.
I also realised I was going to need to reduce the width of the opening at the top, so I pinned the fabric ready to put in a large dart too. This meant the top was much more proportioned. Seems you don’t need so much girth there if it’s not fitting around a calf anymore.
All stitched up at the bottom.
With the dart at the top now complete, the size is much better.
Now, in terms of filling a door stop needs to be heavy, and I happened to have a load of plastic pellets that I accidentally over-ordered for a project I can’t even remember. There are kilos of these under my desk! You could totally use all sorts to add the weight you need – rice, beans, pulses, gravel, whatever you have to hand.
I decided to put my filling in a separate inner pouch for added security and strength and found a natty scrap that was in a sturdy fabric and I used the penguin to make a rough pattern to keep the inside pouch similar in dimensions.
Not the tidiest bit of sewing I’ve ever done, but absolutely fine for this job as that wonky top seam will not be visible!
Once inside the body of the penguin I could see it was going to be filled enough to keep the little fella standing and I just had the opening at the top to finish off.
I sewed up the opening by hand using ladder stitch.
He’s now in residence and much adored by his new owner. I can’t help feeling really pleased to have saved the cuteness and made something useful. The question now, of course, is whether to door stop the other boot or think of something completely different…..
If you’ve got any ideas for the other slipper, let me know, I’m up for a challenge!