Keep your feet warm and toasty!

Samantha women's shoesAlmost a year ago I made myself a pair of Samantha women’s shoes from ithinksew. To say that those are my most worn self-mades is probably an understatement. I’ve worn them every single day when I was at home, except when I was in the shower or in bed. They’re not the most elegant footwear but they are comfortable and warm and that’s exactly what I want when I’m at home.

Samantha women's shoes

Not so surprisingly, the lining of that pair is wearing out and they’ve gotten a little dirty. Time for a new pair! I made exactly the same size as last time. This time I used the quilt as you go method to make the outside using Hobbs 80/20 batting, denim scraps (from old pairs of jeans, yay for recycling!) and Güttermann Sulky variegated thread. For the lining I used a thick polar fleece. The sole is again made from slipper gripper fabric. I can highly recommend this product. I haven’t slipped once wearing my old pair.

Quilt as you go

When I was quilting the outside I wasn’t so sure I would like the final product but I’m quite pleased with how the patchwork and variegated thread looks on these shoes. I’m sure they’ll get worn just as much as the old pair.

My boyfriend took a picture of me as I was quilting the fabric for these shoes. As you can see it’s not just my feet that I like to keep warm and toasty… Quilting

Completed: I Think Sew Samantha Women’s Shoes

Ithinksew Samantha shoesNo UFO this time, but some house shoes that I really needed because I could see my right foot through the sole of my old pair. I used the Samantha Women’s shoes pattern from ithinksew. I think they turned out very nice and I’ve already put my old pair in the bin.

Instead of interfacing the outside layer I chose to quilt the lining, because I figured “if you want warm feet why not wrap them in a quilt?”. I think this worked out fine and makes the inside look pretty as well. I simply basted a layer of cotton (you might recognize it as a remnant from this blouse) and a piece of Hobbs Heirloom wool batting and quilted a 1’’ grid. Then cut out the pattern pieces for the lining from the quilted fabric and followed the construction instructions. The outside was made from a remnant of home decor fabric from IKEA.

ithinksew Samantha shoes

I think it would also be great to quilt the outside upper pieces with the quilt as you go method to create a scrappy look. If I make them again I think I’ll give that a try.

For the outside sole piece I decided to use slipper grippers. This is a sturdy fabric that has little feet of non-skid material printed on it. The feet come in different colours, but sadly the fabric is always the same unbleached cotton colour. Using non-skid materials for the outside sole is recommended in the instructions but in my opinion this is non-negotiable. I don’t like slipping and sliding down the stairs and if you only use fabric for the sole the risk of slipping is huge.

Things I liked about this pattern:

  • The instructions are very clear and the pictures are very informative.
  • The construction method is clever; the inside of the shoe looks just as clean as the outside.
  • It is an easy to make pattern with only 2 different pattern pieces and, especially if you don’t add quilting like I did, it can be a very quick make.

ithinksew Samantha shoesThings I didn’t like about this pattern:

  • The instructions recommend that you interface the exterior fabric with fusible fleece, which I find a very good idea since I think most people would make these shoes in order to have warm feet. The samples that they show of the pattern are, however, not interfaced. I felt a bit cheated when I read this in the instructions. Interfacing, and especially a thick one like fusible fleece, is going to affect the look of the finished product. If you compare my shoes to the ones that are shown on the pattern you’ll notice that mine look much bulkier.
  • The straight of grain line on the pattern pieces is only ½’’, which I think is too short. This is only a minor annoyance because I can easily extend the line myself but I don’t think I should have to.

Things I would do different next time:

  • I think I’ll make a size in between 8 and 9, to give my toes a little bit more room.
  • Make the sole a bit thicker, for example by using fusible fleece for the sole instead of batting.
  • Perhaps use a different kind of batting or 2 layers to make them even warmer.

Things to keep in mind:

  • US shoe sizes are very different from European sizes which I discovered when I printed size 5, held the sole piece up against my foot and realised that it was much too short. Eventually I ended up making size 8. This pattern only goes up to size 10, some of the other ithinksew shoe patterns go up to size 12. If you have large feet I think it is advisable to check your US shoe size before buying a pattern. I used this conversion chart.
  • The pattern is made for Letter sized paper. A small corner of the upper piece for size 9 wasn’t printed (but could easily be fixed by extending the lines) when I used A4 paper. For size 10 I suppose more of the pattern might end up unprinted.

ithinksew Samantha shoes