Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hand Embroidered Matryoshka Booties and a Floor Cushion

Yippee!  It's a happy day when you finish a project you've been working on for awhile.  Yesterday, I finished the hand-embroidered felt baby booties I've been working on.  Wanted to post the finished product and put a general how-to.

Finished matryoshka baby booties:

Hand-embroidered felt matryoshka baby booties




    I got the idea for these booties when I was flipping through a few of my books.  The first book, Scandinavian Needlecraft had the pattern for the structure of the booties, and looking through my Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection, I saw an embroidered matryoshka and fell in LOVE.  Always liked matryoshkas... not sure why, but they hold a special place in my heart.  I wanted to combine the two ideas and embellished from there.

First Step- Cut the pattern, two uppers and liners, and two soles and liners.  Liners were cut from fleece.  Soles and uppers from wool blend felt.  (Eco felt or acrylic felt won't hold up long, so use 100% wool or wool blend.)

Second Step- Embroider any design that you want on your booties and add embellishments.  Remember that the top part of the uppers will be bent down, so adjust your design accordingly.  You can also leave the uppers unbent if you'd like a more "boot-like" appearance.

 Step Three- Turn the booties inside-out with right sides together, liner on the outside (make sure that the "wrong side" of the fleece is on the wrong side of the felt (the part of the felt without the embellishments).  The fuzzy part of the fleece, or "right side" should be facing out right now.  Pin the back seam together.  Make sure everything lines up and is even.  It doesn't have to be pinned tight, in fact, I just pin it enough to line it up and leave it like that before sewing it together.

Step Four- Sew the back seam of the bootie, starting down by the sole, up to the top part of the uppers.  When sewing the back seam, you should be sewing through four layers.  Two layers of fleece lining and two layers of felt.  When you get to the top, start sewing the sides of the uppers... two layers... one fleece, one felt.  When you start sewing the top part of the uppers (the 2 layers), it may be easier after a few stitches to flip them right-side out.  When/if you flip them right-side out, I like to pin the tongue in place for stability.

Right-side out with tongue pinned.
Step Five- Once you've sewn all the way around the top and are on your last stitch, push the needle through the fleece into the space inbetween the felt and the fleece.
Then, flip the bootie over and stitch your knot in the space between the fleece and the felt.  If you knot on the felt, make sure that your knot does not go all the way through... that way, it won't be seen on the "right" side of the bootie.

Step Six- Pin the sole with its liner (wrong sides together so fluffy side will be to the inside of the bootie) to the upper.  Once pinned, stitch all the way around the edges, (starting at the middle of the heel) to the very last stitch...

 Step 7- On the last stitch, insert the needle through to the inside at the base of the back seam.  Place your knot as far down the seam as possible so it will be hidden.

And then you're done!

     Since I finished these booties yesterday, I needed something to keep me busy today.  I decided to start on the floor cushions I wanted to make using the tutorial from the blog, Living With Punks.  I cut the fabric for all of the kids' floor cushions, but only had enough time to finish Cam's today.  I figured I'd work on his first, since the little guys usually get catered to first.

Cutouts for all the floor cushions.
And the finished floor cushion:
     Now, it's just a matter of finishing the other two cushions before the small guys implode! 

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