Inspired by this tutorial on Carolineinkle’s blog, I decided to try a new method for making smaller booties. Though this method works well for larger sizes, it is difficult when you want something truly petite.
Before beginning, I needed to make a mold. I followed the instructions described by Mark Jenkins on TapeSculpture using a pair of size US2 (UK1/EU 17) saddle shoes. Take some time to explore his sculptures; you’ll impress everyone at the next dinner party when you describe how to make sculpture with plastic wrap and packing tape.
Once my mold was sliced open and I had extracted the tiny baby shoes, I stuffed it with felt scraps and taped it back together. Next time around, I would add a few extra layers of tape to prevent water penetrating the inner core (the little bubbles on the inside make me think this set will start sprouting a microculture soon).
Carolineinkle drafts small pieces of roving around her form, but I found it was hard to get the roving to stay in place, especially on a slick surface, so I drafted long pieces of roving which I wrapped around my form, much as I do for felted soaps. When the roving was fully felted, I marked my opening with tailor’s chalk and snipped an opening.
I felted the cut edges by hand for a few minutes; following their rinse, I dunked the slippers in a vinegar bath for a few minutes and then rinsed again.
Once they were dry, I needlefelted a motif on the toe. The mittens were my first attempt at creating a bootie using the Pat Sparks 2D resist method; they felted very quickly, leaving me with something too small to work as a bootie. The finished booties measure 4″ in length, equivalent to a size US 2 1/2 shoe (UK 1 1/2/EU 18).
These two cuties are now available in my etsy shop.