Tutorial by Rae: Dragon Slippers

I thought I’d kick off our month of boy with a tutorial for these extracute dragon slippers. Elliot is really into monsters and dragons lately. When he asks me to tell him a story at night, the usual request is for the kind I make up about “Prince Elliot and his friend Drew the Dragon.” Nothing special, just a boy and a dragon and their silly adventures, but he loves it. For awhile I’d even catch him occasionally talking to an imaginary Drew. *cute* So I thought these little dragon (monster? lizard? dinosaur?) slippers would be perfect to keep those little toes warm on our hardwood floors.
The little black button eyes are key to making them look like creatures:

and the little tongues are pretty hilarious.

Elliot got really excited about the first green pair I made him and wore them all over the house right away. They were a little snug so I made the blue pair a little bigger, and now Clementine has started wearing the first pair. Even though they’re way too big for her, they stay on pretty well with the elastic around the ankle. So now I’ve got two kids walking around in these!

Although I designed this slipper especially for Celebrate the Boy Month, I think you’ll find that other members of your family might want a pair as well. The good news is that the pattern for these slippers is made by tracing the wearer’s foot, so this might actually work for any size boy (or girl!)

This tutorial is the intellectual property of Rae Hoekstra. You are more than welcome to use the images above (giving clear and proper photo credit of course), but please do not copy images or text from the tutorial below. Thanks!

Part 1: Make your pattern pieces

Step 1 (left): Trace both feet of the wearer carefully. If you have to let the wearer play Mario Kart or Angry Birds to make this happen, no one here is going to hold that against you.

Step 2 (right): Using a piece of tracing paper or a dryer sheet, superimpose both foot outlines with the heels overlapping. Smooth out any bumps as you trace.

Step 3 (left): Trace an extra 3/8″ to 1/2″ around the entire pair of outlines (shown in red marker), clearing both toes and adding a little length in the front if you want some room to grow. You can see where I did this at the top of the toes. Note: adding 3/8″ will produce an exact-fitting slipper, so I recommend adding some extra for growing children.

Step 4 (right): Now cut this shape out of paper (this will be your final pattern piece for the sole; we don’t want all those lines on the final pattern) and trace a line 1/4″ from the outside edge to mark your seam line.

Step 5 (left): Measure around your seam line carefully with a measuring tape or string. Elliot’s slipper seam line measured 44 cm.

Step 6 (right): Now take half of the seam measurement and write that number down. We will call this number “X” and we need it to make the upper pattern piece for the slipper (see next step). So for Elliot, X=22 cm

Step 7 (above): Draw your pattern piece for the upper part of the slipper upper using the template provided below. The pattern piece will consist of a line across the bottom that is X long, a vertical line on the right side that is 0.75X, a line across the top that is 0.7X, and a line down the center that is 0.35X. Then draw a small line up from the bottom left that is 3/8″ or 1 cm tall, and connect it to the center line with a diagonal line. Remember that those little boxes in the corners indicate right angles. [Little math reminder: To get “0.75X” you’ll have to take X and multiply it by 0.75 to get the number you need]

Note: You can also go ahead and round the corners adjacent to the diagonal line a little if you like.

click to enlarge image

A SEAM ALLOWANCE OF 1/4″ IS INCLUDED IN THIS PATTERN. Although you will lose a little bit of fabric on the upper slipper seams, fleece stretches easily and I think you’ll find that the difference doesn’t really matter unless you are making a very small slipper, for a baby for example. In this case, you may want to add 1/4″ around the slipper.

Step 8: Make a pattern piece for the tongue by drawing a shape like the one in the template provided. I find it easiest to make a 1.25″ by 1.5″ inch rectangle and then trim two of the corners off with curved edges towards the center.
Part 2: Assembling the Slippers
You’ll need the following materials for your slippers:
stretchy fleece for the slipper upper (shown at top, in one or two colors, depending on whether you want a contrasting inside or not)
sherpa-lined fleece for the sole (shown at right, available in the home dec section at most craft sewing superstores. Decent alternatives might include: an old felted sweater, a piece of thick fleece, or even two layers of fleece basted together)
scraps of red fleece or felt for tongue
jumbo ric-rac
1/2″ wide elastic + safety pin
4 small black buttons + needle and thread
Also recommended: a stretch needle for your sewing machine

Step 1 (left): For each slipper, you’ll need to cut out four upper pieces, two tongue pieces and one sole. So for each pair of slippers, cut 8 upper pieces, four tongue pieces, and two soles. The instructions here will be for ONE slipper, so you’ll have to repeat each step to get a pair.

Hint: Cut the fleece for the upper parts of the slippers with the stretchiest direction of the fleece running parallel to the bottom of the foot. If you look carefully at the diagram above, you’ll also see that I curved the front edge of the slipper when I cut the pieces out.

Step 2 (right): Sew ric-rac along the front edge of a slipper upper piece, with the edge of the ricrac lined up with the front edge of the fleece. Try to stitch along the middle of the ricrac as close to the front edge of the ric-rac as possible without going off the ricrac at all, if that makes sense. If that doesn’t make sense to you, just stitch down the center of the ric-rac.

Step 3 (left): Pin another slipper upper to the one you just stitched the ric-rac to, and stitch along your ric rac stitch line to sew together with a 1/4″ seam.

Step 4 (right): Sew the back side of the slipper; repeat steps 3 and 4 for the lining of the slipper.

Step 5 (left): Turn lining inside out and place outside of slipper over it (so their right sides are facing). Sew together around the top edge with a 1/4″ seam.

Step 6 (right): Turn both right side out. Now push the lining back inside slipper (not shown)

Steps 7-9 are optional but HIGHLY recommended for babies/toddlers.
Also note: I did sew the tongue to the top part of the slipper at this point when I made the green slippers, but I’d recommend waiting until Step 11 instead.

Step 7 (left): Sew two lines around the outside of the slipper for the elastic casing, one roughly halfway up the slipper, and the next about 3/4″ above that. I usually try to line up the stitching with valleys in the ric rac, and I backstitch before and after the ric rac instead of sewing over it, which can flatten it.

(right) Remember to leave a hole in the lower line of stitching to allow for the elastic to go in.

Step 8 (left): Cut elastic roughly the length of the slipper and put a safety pin at the end. I find I actually need about an inch less than this, but it’s always good to have a little extra.

Step 9 (right): Thread elastic through casing. Pin ends and try on your child if possible, adjust elastic length if necessary, then zigzag stitch back and forth through both layers of elastic to secure.

Step 10 (left): Sew two of the tongue pieces together with a 1/4″ seam along the curved edges.

Step 11 (right): Attach tongue to the center front of the outside of the sole by sewing across the short side of the tongue.

(left) The upper part of your slipper should now look something like this photo, minus the tongue. Now turn it inside out (not shown).

Step 11 (right): Take a look at the front center seam of your slipper. If it’s a little bit pointy, trim it slightly at the center seam so that it’s a more curved. This step is optional but I find it makes it easier to sew the upper part of the slipper to the sole. I did this with the blue slippers (but not the green ones because I had curved their pieces a little more when I cut them out) and found it helps make a nicer looking slipper.

Step 12 (left): Pin center front and center back of slipper to sole with outsides facing (the inside of the sole and the inside of the upper part of the slipper should be facing out). Pin around entire slipper, carefully lining up all three edges as you pin. You may need to stretch the fleece a little to fit around the sole, that’s just fine.

Step 13 (right above and left below): Sew together using a stretch needle and a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Step 14 (right): Zigzag stitch along seam allowance to finish inner edge.

Step 15 (above): Turn slipper right-side out. You can see that the blue slippers don’t have the elastic; but they get tighter at the ankle when folded over though. Full disclosure: they don’t stay on as well as the green ones!

Step 16: Sew buttons on either side of ric rac to resemble eyes. Safety reminder: please embroider the eyes using just thread rather than using buttons for very young children or babies!

Try slippers on toddler and watch as excitement unfold!

If you make a pair of these slippers, please put your pictures in the Celebrate the Boy photo pool so we can all enjoy them! And as is often the case, I haven’t tried scaling this pattern down/up for babies or adults, but if you try it, let us know how it works!

This entire month of THE BOY is a collaboration between myself and Dana of MADE. Dana’s kicking off our Boy Month with a fantastic tutorial/pattern for Kids Pants today! Head on over to check it out:

We’ll also have our first boy giveaway here on Made By Rae tomorrow, as well as a fantastic guest post. Don’t miss it!

89 thoughts on “Tutorial by Rae: Dragon Slippers

  1. Ok my boys are really into "how to train your dragon" so these are perfect for them. Thanks so much for sharing. Can not wait to make these.

  2. Super cute Rae! I actually call Vince my Little Monster! He has a dinosaur head & mittens he dresses up in but NO SHOES… UNTIL NOW!

    Going to make some in the morning for him!

    And also for his dad

    And for me

  3. This is just a great tutorial Rae! Thank you. Even though you are concentrating on boys, I might girl them up for my granddaughter!

  4. these are brilliant! love the idea and I'm going to have to make them for a little boy I know! thanks so much for the tutorial.

  5. Ferociously precious!!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Sure to be some dragon stompers around here soon too!
    Love the "Celebrate The Boy" fun too, always inspiring!

  6. These are wonderful, my son (okay, his parents) have an obsession with monsters and dragons – he'll (we'll) love these!

  7. Oh, love it! I squee'ed when I opened my reader and saw the picture of these. Would it to be too much to make a pair for every member of my family?

  8. These are so cute. I've added it to your growing collection of patterns at mysewingcircle.com (linking back to your site). Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. This is perfect!!!! both of my boys would love these! Thank you for taking the time and making the tutorial.

  10. Crazy cute!! Now I'm going to have to make a foot eating baby proof (aka no buttons) pair for my Rockstar. Yay for Celebrate the Boy!! Can't wait to see what else you have in store for us.

  11. Thanks for sharing Rae! Having done your tutorials before, I know these will be fun to do. I can't wait to make my own version!

  12. If the next baby is a boy ( due July) I am so making these, I will know next month!!!!

    Thanks for doing BOY month it is a great idea!!!

  13. I want some for me! That's acceptable, right? I suppose I might have to make the Boy Child some as well…

  14. we watched How to tame a Dragon yesterday so all my boy has talked about since is dragons, I am sure he would love a pair of these.

  15. Loving this month of boy! It's so hard to find good patterns and fabrics. Although, am I allowed to make a girl dragon pair for myself!?! Just linked over to this from plaidcupcake.typepad.com so everyone can share the boy love!

  16. Love these. How cute. I bet I could even make some my daughter would love. She loves dragons! Thanks for the tute!

  17. Love the slippers! My son loves dragons!! I have a tutorial for dragon wings that I'll have to add to the flickr pool. I'm really excited about CTB!

  18. I love these tutorial. its wonderful,
    These are adorable! I will be coming back in a bit, thanks for the great blog.

  19. I Love this tutotial plus the exciting promise of a whole month of boy things. I have a little girl but always strugle finding gifts for boys. I've added your site onto my list of inspiring blogs on my first ever blog as a crafting mummy from the UK

  20. How many boys are you giving away, I'll have one please. (he he he)
    But seriously, I do love these Dragon Slippers and thank you for the tutorial.

  21. Even though it the middle of a very hot summer here in Perth, Australia I made my 2 year old son his very own pair. I used pleated jumbo ribbon instead of ric rac and as soon as he saw them he said "Dino-raa shoes". You've made our day with your fantastic tutorial!

  22. These are too cute! I HAVE to make these for my 2-1/2 year old nephew, they will go perfectly with his favorite PJs which are covered in "dino-horses" as he calls them.

  23. These are just adorable! Ahhh, I love them! We are featuring fabric crafts over at the M&T Spotlight this week and would love for you to submit this (and any of your other favorite projects!) –http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

  24. These are awesome! Your directions look great as well. I love that you help us to get a custom fit (so that maybe after I make some for my boys, I can make some for me!). 🙂 Thanks for the tutorial!

  25. I am inspired.. think these will be the first things I dare make – am very basic sewing skills but I get the instructions and my boy would love them. Thanks

  26. I know they are "for boys" but my daughter is begging me for a pair of these. I can't wait to get started on them!

  27. I just finished making Vince a racy red pair Rae! They are beyond cute! I took some pics and will blog about them later today but it was hard to make him stand still! He wanted to dance and tap and jump and leap over things in them. hah

  28. I made an adult-sized pair for my sister-in-law for Christmas… they are SO CUTE. The only difference I did was make the toe height clearance 3/4 instead of 3/8; they are fabulous, I’m going to have to make myself a pair now!

  29. i think there is a need for my 13 year old self to have a pair of these (altered to monkey of course) great tute THANKS! 😀

  30. Love these! Thanks for posting them. I’m making a pair for my three-year-old and another for my friend’s one-year-old… but I have a question: what kind of stitch should I use? Straight or zigzag, and should I stretch the fabric slightly as I go?

    • Hi Rebecca,
      I usually use a straight stitch for sewing these — fleece isn’t as stretchy as other knits, so I find it doesn’t usually give me a problem. I also don’t stretch the fabric while I sew, just sew it as “normally” as you can. Hope that helps!

  31. My grandson’s home has hardwood floors, as are the winding stairs … so plan to use some suede on the outside soles .. to prevent any accidental slips.
    This Nanny intends to make herself a pair as well …. LOL

  32. Just wanted to thank you. We just came back to make a second pair. The pair we made a year ago got too small and my little guy requested these again. Thanks for the pattern! I found some non-skid dot fabric at JoAnn’s and bought a 1/4th of a yard-oodles for these slippers and some footie pj’s as well.

  33. What a fantastic pair of slippers! I just made 2 pairs – purple ones for my girl, red for my boy – as secret Valentine presents. They loved them! Didn’t have any non-skid fabric on hand so just used felt.

  34. Your dragon slippers are very cute. My son used to love fighting dragons when he was little. Now he draws and illustrates them. You can see his work at http://www.beanleafpress.com. He likes to draw about living in your imagination. I hope you enjoy it…..
    Now I am off to make some slippers. :o) thanks for sharing them.

  35. Thank you thank you….can’t wait to get started making this for my grandson. Can this be “Pinned” to pinterest?

  36. My creations, 3 children’s dragons and Adult Princess and knight, the beginnings of many role plays for my nice and family. Unfortunately unable to post photos but contact me and I can send direct.

  37. Wow, great tutorial! Very easy to follow! Made a starry one for my babyson and working on a real dragon for my toddlerson! Nice to keep those feet warm in winter!

  38. im going to make a pair of wolf ones with faux fur do you think it will work? Luv this tutorial thanks for posting it

  39. These are SO DARLING. Seriously considering making a pair of these for my toddler for Christmas this year. (If I have time after making several pairs of pajama pants!) Thank you for putting together this great tutorial!

  40. Hello Rae, I’m from Italy. This tuto is really well explained (I started sewing last year but I love it so much!). I’ve just finished one splipper and I’m starting the other one for my friend’s one year old boy, for Christmas they will be a wonderful surprise (especially for my friend!!!) – have a nice time. Marina

  41. I really like this and plan to make a pair each for my daughters. Only part I’m a little unsure about is the casing for the elastic. ..where is the opening?

  42. Love these. Christmas pressures for sure. I have an old pair of uggs I think I might try to use them for the soles. I wonder if it would work. I will post a pic if it does

  43. My 6 year old son saw these on Pinterest so now I have Christmas slippers to make! Thanks for a fab tutorial, I had everything on hand but the ricrac. My older boy wants a dragon so he can be a dragon rider.( same as a lizard I think lol) Yay! Thanks so much, this is very clearly written.

  44. Thanks so much for this pattern. I used it to make Mickey Mouse shoes for my little one for Halloween. This was my first attempt at sewing and the instructions were super easy to follow. I think they turned out great, even though my seams weren’t entirely perfect. I feel inspired to find new projects that require sewing. Thanks again!!

  45. Hi Rae! I love how cute these slippers are I have a question though. You give the step for the elastic casing towards the end after the front top and back side are sewn up. How do I sew this without closing the slipper too shut after the top part of the casing…. I’m new to using a machine

  46. Hi – thanks so much for these. I have spent all day looking for a quick and easy pattern for boys’ slippers. I simplified the elastic step though, and sewed the elastic directly onto the lining piece before stitching the top and lining together. Thanks again

  47. for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to sew the casing for the elastic..by the time the slipper seams are sewn, it’s way to small (diameter) to fit properly under the foot…help!!!

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