Tie Back Boots - Materials List

Boot Size Guide 

Click here for the printable Twig + Tale Boot Size Chart for measuring your child's foot.

 

Suggested fabrics

Exterior:  I like to use wool cut from recycled felted sweaters (one which has shrunk after going through a hot wash for example) or soft woolen blankets.   If the sweater is not felted, you may find the wool stretches as you sew it, which makes it tricky -  especially when sewing it onto the sole.  Felted sweaters can be thick, so you may need to go up a size.  Instructions on how to felt sweaters are below.

You could also use a wool fabric, wool blends, denim, cord or other fabric with reasonable structure.  A softer fabric such as fleece will create a more slouchy boot.  

Lining: Cotton, linen, flannel or other breathable fabric.  
Insoles:  Wool from a felted woolen sweater or blanket.
Soles: Leather or suede - I use an old skirt or jacket from the thrift store.  You could use corduroy or denim for non-walkers.

 

Fabric yardage requirements

One sweater is generally enough to make a pair of boots in the baby or child sizes.   You may need to mix and match two sweaters if making the youth sizes.  If purchasing fabric, you will need a 1/4 yard (or metre) of fabric for both the exterior and the lining. 

 

Other supplies & notions

  • Spool of coordinating thread
  • 4-6 Binder clips (approx 1” or 2.5cm),  as pins will leave holes in your suede/leather.  You could use small pegs or magic clips.
  • Approx 10-15” (25-40 cm) of elastic for ties.  I like cord elastic or even lace elastic if you are going for a more feminine look.
  • Scrap of ribbon or twill tape for loops
  • Leather sewing machine needle if using medium weight or heavyweight leather for soles.
  • If using a heavyweight wool, you might benefit from using a walking foot.

How to felt a sweater

To start with, you need to source a sweater made from natural animal fibres, such as wool, mohair, cashmere, angora, or merino wool.  Check that the percentage of natural fibres is at least 80% - otherwise it will not felt.  “Superwash” or "machine-washable wool" will not felt.

Wash your sweater on a HOT wash using a regular laundry powder.  You do not want to use a gentle wool cycle or wool detergent as they are designed NOT to felt your wool!  You may need to put it through a hot wash twice.  If you have a dryer, that will also help felt your sweater.  Use the hottest setting.