My first bit of personal sewing during the pandemic was a pair of slippers. It seemed as different to a face mask as I could imagine. I reluctantly made a one-person production line of masks for ‘out there’, and slippers were as much of an ‘in here’ project as I could hope for. I really love sewing bags, but who needs bags at the moment with nowhere to go?
So it followed (as I am struggling for imagination or inspiration at the moment) that my second selfish sew was another pair of slippers. Because I really dislike making the same thing numerous times I made a different pair of slippers. Variety is the spice of lockdown life.
I have owned the pattern for these Olivia Slippers for seven years. I bought it at the same time as I bought the Kimono slipper pattern, and though I have made the Kimono Slippers a couple of times, this is my first outing with this pattern.
I made the same size as I made the kimono slipper because those fit very well, but goodness these do have quite the different fit to them. Whereas the Kimono slipper has a very relaxed fit and may be suited to a wider foot, the top band on the Olivia pattern means that it tends to suit a more elongated, narrow foot.
Both pairs of slippers fit me, though I think if my feet had been even a fraction of a centimetre bigger the Olivia slippers would not have got over my feet at all. However, the feel of the slippers is completely different. Though they are not tight or restrictive as such, on my foot shape they are not relaxed, and goodness me that is really all I want from my indoor footwear. If I were to make these again, and maybe I will, I would make that top band a centimetre wider.
Overall the pattern is quite fun to make, though as with the Kimono slippers the instruction is a bit lacking. With the Kimono Slipper pattern, no indication is given as to which side should overlap the other to create the crossover for the left/right shoe (which would probably be fine for someone with good 3D spatial sense – the kind I do not have), but this pattern omitted to mention which of the lining/outer layers you were sewing, and the pictures contradicted the written instructions. My best guess was right, but I should not have had to result to guessing.
Though these slippers are constructed from a greater number of pieces than the previous pair, they are still incredibly simple to make. A simple drawn-thread gather forms the texture on the top of the slipper, and unlike the Kimono Slippers, the inner sole lining is integral to the slipper (rather than a padded insert), so the whole slipper is bagged out at the penultimate step. This is the only slightly fiddly step, and I think made somewhat more difficult by the incredibly thick non-slip canvas sole fabric I was using.
I do honestly love these slippers and would probably wear these as my preferred pair if it were not for that band across the top of the foot. I have the short, wide feet of a toddler, and as such this pattern will need a touch of tweaking to make them perfect for me. But I don’t want to consign these to the shelves of things I won’t use but cant bear to throw away, so if you are a UK 6.5-7 (or equivalent) with a narrow to average width foot and would like a light pair of slippers in 100% cotton fabrics with a non slip heel, please do drop me a line here or on Instagram as I’d love to send them to a new home. They’ll fold down flat for postbox posting and I’m sure my neighbour or friend would be happy to pop them into the letterbox for me.