Friday, 21 March 2014

How the replacement Fox Head Slippers are made

Good evening everyone:  sorry to have been absent for so long, but really I seem to spend so much time everywhere else on Etsy, Facebook (not as much as I should - because I've still not got it completely sorted), Twitter and the like, that alas, the blog is not getting as much attention as heretofore  The problem is not aided by the rate at which time seems to be passing either - I mean, here we are - the middle of March! Where on earth did January and February go?
Anyway, I did promise several posts ago to let you into the "secret" of how I make my slippers, so here we go.
The pattern I use was provided for me by the wonderful Laura Curtin who was the original inspiration for all the 2013 Cuddlies Novelty Slippers.  She found the kids slippers pattern - and ones for men - while she scoured the internet for patterns to get me going, and while I was making the first paid - our Yellow Rabbit Head Plush Slippers.  The ladies ones I worked out for myself, and am still amending as I go. 
The Kids' slippers come in Small (which tend to fit children who are just moving into the Children's shoe sizes - from those that they wear as babies and toddlers.  Here in the UK, that tends to be at aged 3.  The medium ones fit 4-5 year olds
The Leopard Head Slipper is our Medium Size
 and the Large ones probably 6-7 year olds, who by then are likely to be searching for small adult sizes.
Our current Tiger Head or Large Kid's Slippers
The Fox Novelty slippers are presently made for the first, small size - although, as with all the animal toys in the shop at they can be swopped for whatever size and animal may be required (whether kids, men or ladies - or they can come without a head on if folks don't feel that adventurous!)

Every pattern piece is cut out twice - once for the lining (which is shown here) and once for the animal plush fabric being used at the time.  I join the back of the slipper, so I've got the whole slipper shape, and sew in the ColdhamCuddlies label in the middle (when I remember, that is!).  (If this stage is omitted, I sew in the label later on in the process, when the slipper is almost made.  It's a more fiddly job at that stage, so it's better I remember at this point.)
This picture shows the patterns for the soles, and there are four of them on this occasion, because I decided that in future I will make two pairs each time I replace a slipper model, so that I'm not constantly "selling out" an item when an order comes in.  In the picture the sole linings had been inadvertently tacked to the faux leather sole.  Because when making them, the outside of the slipper is tacked and sewn round - meeting at the toe end of each slipper.  Then I sew in the lining piece, using ladder stitch all round - and creating a reasonably invisible seam all round the side of the foot.
This picture is what looks like a left foot slipper - although in the end, they really do tend to look much the same, and it just depends on how the individual wearer feels most comfortable at the end of the day.
Here are all the outside pieces for each slipper - heads, ears and their linings, and tails for each slipper, two to each pair of slippers.  It's quite a complicated and time-consuming process, even when one does only one pair at a time.
Then it's a question of sewing each head, fitting the eyes into each head, sewing the ears to their linings and the tails together, leaving the straight end open for stuffing.  Once all of them have been done, the eyes are fitted in, everything  turned inside out and each head is stuffed.  The ears are then attached and the nose and mouth embroidered, using black double knitting yarn, on each Fox Head.

Then it's a question of sewing everything to make up a slipper.  That process will be covered  next time - which gives me some time to finish listing all our new Easter Bunny Rabbit Parade.  Three are now in our shop, and there's just one more to go.  That will be done tomorrow, but meanwhile, I have got to sit down and make a replacement Brown Dressed Gentleman Rabbit - the head, ears, eyes and white bobtail are all ready for stuffing and having their facial features sewn on.  Last evening was spent cutting out the clothing pieces. 
Everything is tacked ready for the machine stage.  But, I'm operating at a little under 100% capacity today, as I'm labouring under an attack of spring hay fever, but hope to pick up speed again soon.
Meanwhile, I'll close for this session.  Goodnight and God Bless!  Isobel
Coldham Cuddlies Clinic