SOLES with an EDGE - OUTDOOR SOLING for FIBER FOOTWEAR
SOLES with an EDGE and FINISHING KIT for KNITTED and FELTED or CROCHETED and FELTED BOOTS
STACEY TROCK'S PATTERNS AT -
There are all kinds of knit, crochet, fabric and felt boots and clogs available in stores. As a craftsperson, do you ever look at them and think, "I could make those boots, or much more beautiful ones, if only I knew how to attach soles to them"? Soles with an Edge solve that problem - they are outdoor soles with a suede or non-leather strip standing up around the edge. There are perforations along the top of the strip, so you can place your handmade boot or clog inside the suede edge, stitch your footwear to the soling - then go for a walk outside!
NOTE: The "bellows-tongue" boot to the right was made from handmade felt by Jill Lynn. I assembled the boot, using my industrial serger for making the seams. This is one of my favorite patterns for the uppers of boots, because it draws in close to the leg, so the boots don't get loose with wear. I recommend starting with a wool coat from a thrift shop, that you felt by washing in the washer with hot water and a little detergent.
Customize the pattern to fit your foot using the coat before cutting into your precious hand-made felt. Or use a couple of layers of cheap felt from the fabric store, laminated together with Sulky KK 2000 temporary spray adhesive.
Your footwear can be made of handmade felt, knit/felt, crochet/felt, felted recycled wool coats,
hooked material and heavy-duty fabric. And who knows, perhaps of multi-media
collage, needlepoint, and of whatever other brilliant material you have created! Basically, you can use any material that a hand-sewing needle can puncture.
FOLLOWING ARE THE PROCESSES FOR MAKING BOOTS or CLOGS FROM VARIOUS MATERIALS:
HAND-MADE FELT - Hand-made felt boots can be made in two ways - either by creating the whole boot using one's foot as the mold, called the "resist" method, or by making flat felt, cutting it into the components of the boot according to patterns offered below, then stitching these pieces together.
RESIST-MADE FELT BOOTS: To order custom soling for your resist-made boots, put your boots on your feet, and stand with each boot on a piece of paper. Have someone, with a pencil held straight up and down, trace around your boots - pressing fiber in close to your foot while doing so, so the soles won't be unnecessarily large. Send those drawings to me, and I will make your soles using a composite pattern of those two tracings. If you fax the patterns, please indicate heel to toe measurement in case there is any distortion en route. When planning your resist-made boots, I suggest that you make some sort of opening in them, so they can be form-fitting. From my experience, felt boots that you just slip into soon become very loose on the foot. The resist-made boots at the right were made in Jennifer Hoag's class offered several times a year in Vermont. Information is available at www.northeastfiberarts.com.
PATTERN-MADE FELT BOOTS: Boots made with the bellows tongue pattern offered
on the "Patterns" page use a standard-shaped sole that you can order in your length and width. Download the sole pattern and alter the length on a photocopy machine until it has the same length as your foot when measured with you standing against a wall on paper; have someone make a mark at the end of your longest toe. Classes are offered by myself and Chris White in making felt boots at her business in Massachusetts. Information is available at www.feltingsupply.com.
RECYCLED AND FELTED WOOL COATS AND BLANKETS: Skip the knitting, crocheting, and hand felt-making, and
make your boots from feltable material that already exists! Use the bellows
tongue, center-seam or "snuggs" patterns to make your boots.
I made the boot on the right from an old wool coat, using a center-seam pattern, available on the Patterns page.
THE LATEST KNIT and FELT PATTERN (2/1/10) is from Jennifer Hoag of
www.northeastfiberarts.com, called "Felt Boot Pattern". You can see some of
the colorful boots her students have made, with decorations made by
needle-felting and applique. They have a separate tongue that is attached to
a gusset in the boot. Jennifer's patterns describe how to needle felt and
applique your boots, making each pair unique and wonderful.
If you are making a boot using the pattern above, I offer my ideas for assembling these boots on the "Soles" page.
Please check them out before deciding which techniques work best for you.
OUTDOOR SOLING and FINISHING KIT FOR CALLI CROCHETED and FELTED BOOT
Today (12/14/09), I received the crocheted boot that Stacey made from her new pattern - and I am delighted with it! The oversized crochet boot felted down into a dense and rugged material, and I can imagine it in stripes or "crazy crochet" - or maybe in black with white soling - and red appliques! That's why I love making my soling - I so enjoy creating an opportunity for creativity and self reliance. I made this boot with a heel cover, I think it will make the boot provide support for the foot better.
OUTDOOR SOLING and FINISHING KIT FOR YUKI - KNITTED and FELTED BOOT!
Today (November 6, 2009), I received the completed Yuki pattern from Stacey Trock, boot-pattern-maker extraordinaire! It's the boot pattern I have been seeking for a long time, because it has a tie that draws it in close to the leg, so the boots don't get loose with wear - especially when a boot has the added weight of outdoor soling. I look forward to offering a gallery of knitted/felted boots that our customers are making, being worn out on the streets or in the fields - high boots, patterned boots, boots with folded-over cuff, boots knit with "eyelash" yarn at the top - so many ways our creativity can be expressed! (I just can't stop with the exclamation points today!!)
You can find Stacey's Knitted and Felted boot at:
Her Crocheted and Felted boot is at:
The finishing kit consists of: 1/4" thick 100% wool felt soles, a glover's needle, thread, 16 "eyelets", heel support piece, and directions for all the finishing steps. $15.00plus $3.00 shipping
small jar of non-toxic contact cement - can be used in place of spray adhesive = $3.00
100% wool felt soles - $5.00
To order Soles with an Edge to complete your boot, please see the "Soles" page.
OTHER KNIT/FELT and CROCHET/FELT PATTERNS:
See the amazing group of boots above on the right?! - they are hand-made of felt - but Jennifer Hoag of www.northeastfiberarts.com, who taught the felting workshop, has translated the boot into one that can be knit, then felted. She sells the pattern, or a kit with the pattern, yarn, felting needle and some accent-color yarns. There's a www.ravelry.com group for knitters working their way through the pattern together, which you can access any time.
This boot is from The It Girl Knits, by Phoenix Bess
Another amazing knit/felt pattern! This boot was knitted and felted by Ann Murray of Minnetonka, MN. The pattern was designed by Anne Burgeson, and is available by emailing her at
AFTER THE KNITTING OR CROCHETING AND FELTING, HOW TO PREPARE THE YUKI, CALLI, BOOT FROM NORTHEAST
FIBER ARTS, OR ANY BOOT THAT DOESN'T HAVE A SOLE, BEFORE ADHERING AND STITCHING IT TO SOLES WITH AN EDGE
Boots knit or crocheted then felted without a sole need a sole for the wearer to stand on, and a wool felt sole is the best underfoot, I think - it's warm, absorbs perspiration, and is available above. When the felt sole is attached to your boot, you will have made something that looks like a felt boot-liner; it is then ready to be adhered to, then stitched to, the Sole with an Edge.
Before stitching a felt sole to your boot, measure to see if the bottom edge of your knitted or crocheted boot has about the same distance around it as does the felt sole. Approximate distances around the felt soles are:
size 6 – 22 inches
size 7 – 22 ¾”
size 8 – 23 ¼”
size 9 – 24”
size 10 – 24 ¾”
The above information doesn't apply exactly to patterns other than the Yuki and Calli; Yuki and Calli patterns have a 1:1 ratio between upper and sole because of their built-in raised toe area. Other patterns may not have that, so there has to be some gathering in the toe area to make it "pop" up and make ample room for your toes. The bottom edge of these boots should be an inch or so longer than the distance around the sole, so they can be gathered in the toe area. You can weave a thread along the toe area with a running stitch, about 2 inches on each side of center would usually be adequate, then pull and knot it to gather the toe and make it fit the sole. Use some alligator clips (available at Radio Shack) or other clips to hold the boot to the sole in several places.
There are marks on the felt sole ordered above indicating the center of the toe and center of the heel. If you are making your own sole, download the sole pattern at the bottom of the Soles with an Edge page and use it to find the center points on your sole. Take a sturdy piece of thread and a needle, and line the center of the heel of your boot up with the center of heel mark on the sole. Clip the two pieces together. Do the same at the center of toe mark. Note if there is about the same distance along the side of the insole and the boot; if there is a little extra in the upper, that should work, just wait to gather it in a bit more in the toe area.
Use a whip-stitch for the stitching, each stitch about ¼” apart, starting at the center of the heel. After you stitch to the center of the toe, I recommend that you knot your thread and start stitching again back at the heel, so if there is gathering to do, it will again be done in the toe area.
If your upper is quite a bit bigger than your sole, since the material is felted you can cut off the excess. Here's one way to do this: Put the boot on your leg and lace it. Stand on your felt sole, and any insole you may plan to put in the boot. Put some padding under your toes, to make sure that there will be ample toe-room. Smooth the boot down over your foot and against the sides of the felt sole. Use a permanent marker to mark all along where the boot meets the side of the sole. Clip the boot and sole together at center of toe and heel, and a few locations along the side. When this is completed, take the boot off and cut off material at the marker line. Now stitch the sole and boot together, as described above. When you are done, you are ready to cement, then stitch your boot to the outdoor sole.