Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Making replacement Fox Head Slippers - Part 2

Goodness me, time is yet again slipping by and it's definitely time for me to carry on telling you how the Kids' Fox Head Slippers are made.

These are one of the completed pair,  but there's still a bit more of the production process to tell you about before the story is completed.
Both the outer and linings have been tacked together at this point, and I've got all the pieces of the Foxes together as well.  The heads have been sewn together, the ears are waiting to be sewn in place, as is the tail  - on each slipper.  Before going any further - because it can be easy to forget - I  put the eyes in.  With these two pairs, I used the last two brown plastic ones (with their plastic safety washers) and then - because I've run out of this particular size - I used a pair of brown glass button eyes, which I sewed in very tightly. (Normally I don't like using glass eyes - because being shinier than the plastic ones, they can prove tempting for little fingers to play with.)  But these were in stock,  and the next time I was likely to be anywhere near my haberdashery supplier in Warminster - Think Outside the Box - was  4 days away, so circumstance dictated this route. ( I think they came as samples from a supplier that I decided not to use after some unnecessary mix-ups and mis-understandings early on in the Coldham Cuddlies saga.)
Once everything has been turned inside out, the heads are stuffed with the polyester fibre  purchased in bulk from my furry plush fabric supplier - Fine Quality Feather Company from Frome, Somerset.  So, too, are the tails.  The outer plush sides of the slippers are then pinned and sewn to the leatherette soles - meeting at the toe end of the slipper.  Then I first sew the lining from the toe towards the top of the foot, with the seams facing upwards (outwards), followed by the plush outer layer.  The lining is sewn up to the ankle edge, but the plush layer is only sewn halfway between the toe and ankle - leaving the seam undone, but facing the lining (so basically you cannot see the seams).
The slippers are now ready for the heads to be sewn on - as shown in the above shot.  The Foxes' neck actually fits snugly between the half-way point and the ankle, so I sew the head onto the lining, with the head seam matching the centre of the upward facing lining seam.  (Again, there are no obvious seams showing). Once the head is fixed in place, I sew up the plush opening and match up the ankle seams behind the Fox Heads.  
Then the ribbon edging is sewn round, lining up with the back seam on the Foxes' heads.  The ribbon can match the plush, or, as in this case, be a contrast.  With children's slippers I think a contrast is more appealing - whereas when making adult versions, it depends on what the buyer wants.  They are given a choice when ordering - although most times they leave it to me to do what I feel like.  In the case of Ladies slippers, the contrast option tends to come to mind:  whereas, with the Mens versions, I tend to be  more conservative in my choice of colours.  The Fox Head Slippers all look like this little fellow at this point:
The ribbon is then hemmed into place, providing a tube through which narrow elastic is then threaded.  Usually this measures about 9" (20.3 cms) long - giving me about half an inch (1.3 cms) overlap to join the elastic ends.   I leave a gap where the ribbon seams join, so that if the elastic needs to be adjusted to fit the eventual wearer, it can be pulled through the ribbon tube and arranged to give a smooth edge to the finished slipper - as shown below.  (So far, there has not been a need, but there's always the possibility). 
The difference in the eyes is not really apparent in this picture - but the glass ones are in the pair on the right, and the left hand pair (shown at the beginning of this post) have the plastic ones.  The right hand pair look like this:
Finally, here is what all four Fox Head slippers look like from the rear, complete with individual tails
They have now been put away in the Slipper sack and await their eventual wearers!  Before they go to their Forever Homes, each slipper is brushed to make the appearance a smooth coated one.
All four of the 2014 Easter Bunnies have been listed and are happily settling in to the Coldham Bunny Warren, and Cy Bear will be posting about them in the next edition.  Meanwhile, I'm doing what was intended to be a replacement Mr. Brown Rabbit - but somehow has become a One of a Kind New Brown Rabbit.   I found some fabric that just begged to be used for this purpose.  I'll do the original replacement one when I've completed this one.  He's got his trousers and waistcoat on, the coat is almost ready to be sewn into place, but I've decided to experiment with his neck wear before completing the coat.  Then, it's forward into the battle of fixing the leather boots in place!
See you all soon.  Isobel
Coldham Cuddlies Clinic