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Van’s Style Crocheted Slippers

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas is fast approaching which, in my case, means any handmade gifts I have planned need to be either made by now or, at the very least, be quick and easy projects to be squeezed in on the odd evening.

This is a quick and easy project.

And cheap – which is a bonus at this time of year!

May I present to you the Van’s Style Crocheted Slippers by Shush Lander for Craftsy.

Shush LanderI reckon these are as cool as it gets for the inherently un-cool footwear that is a slipper, so I thought I’d make a couple of pairs for The Boys for Christmas.

The digital pattern can be bought on Craftsy for the extremely reasonable price of £2.97 but it gets better – the three balls of yarn I bought from Minerva makes two pairs of slippers (with loads left over) at a cost of £1.79 per ball. Add it all together and divide by two (c’mon, keep up!) and it works out at a VERY cheap £4.08 per pair, a bargain by anyone’s standards, I would say!

This is the bundle that arrived from Minerva Crafts – three balls of Stylecraft acrylic yarn and a packet of round hat elastic.

IMG_2606So, how did they work up?

Well, the pattern is extensive and pretty easy to follow, so no problems there, and the Stylecraft Special DK promises to wash like a dream as it’s good, hardwearing yarn, perfect for slippers.

There are instructions for eight different sizes from toddler through to adult. Hmmm, I wonder if all the difficult-to-buy-for males in the family would like a pair? Except my sixteen year old nephew – he asked his mother to tell me never to crochet anything for him again after the Bob Marley Rasta hat I made for him last Christmas!

The soles are worked with two strands of yarn at a time to make a sturdy, cushioned base for the slipper.

Vans style crocheted slippers2The body of the slipper is crocheted with just one strand of yarn into the back of each stitch which results in a rather lovely ribbed pattern.

Vans style crocheted slippers1You crochet over a circle of hat elastic at the ankle edge to give a more snug and secure fit.

Vans style crocheted slippersYou can just see the elastic if I stretch the top edge open wide.

Vans style crocheted slippers3Bottom edge before: –

Vans style crocheted slippers4 Bottom edge after: –

Vans style crocheted slippers5 A row of slip stitches cleverly cover up the change of yarn colour as demonstrated in this photo: –

Vans style crocheted slippers6Next are the laces which are just for show – two very long rows of simple chain stitches.Vans style crocheted slippers8I made 150 chains instead of the stated 110 as I didn’t feel they were long enough.

lacesThe ‘laces’ are just threaded through with a darning needle and tied in a bow to give the trainer look.

Vans style crocheted slippers9And there you are – a pair of Van’s style slippers whipped up in an evening!

Red vans crocheted slippersThe following evening I made a second pair in blue.

They look a bit like babies’ booties lined up like this!

Vans slippersSize wise, I found that they crocheted up small so would suggest going up a size, but they are stretchy so will still be fine for The Boys.

Blue vans crocheted slippers

Blue vans crocheted slippers2

Blue vans crocheted slippers1I ended up giving these to The Boys after they were finished because the photos look better while they are being worn and a little bit odd without a foot inside.

Blue vans crocheted slippers3No.3 Son in particular is chuffed with them, but No.2 Son says they’re a bit tight…..guess what I’ll be making out of the leftover yarn tonight?


A Glimpse Into Sewing Classes For Kids

Being a (very) new venture, my sewing school has started with a definite ‘bang’. Classes officially start next Thursday but I have already been teaching private 1:1 sessions on a weekly basis and, whilst not full, the half-term sewing camps have been popular too. I though you might be interested to see what we get up to in these lessons so, with permission, I took some photos throughout the day of the students at work.

Today I had the pleasure to teach two friends (kids prefer to come with a friend) aged 9 and 10, both of whom own their own sewing machines and dabble at home quite happily.


This little girl brought her machine along as she felt comfortable using it and it soon became apparent that she was familiar with machine sewing, already able to thread it (almost) correctly and wind the bobbin.


My job was to teach the finer points, good practice and safety, so we went back to basics and practiced running and zigzag stitching in a straight line, circles (harder than they thought), corners and the concept of back-stitching to prevent unravelling. Appropriate stitch lengths and seam allowances were discussed as well – all the kind of things you don’t bother with when you’re a 9 year old desperate to just get on and make something!

Practice sheet

Within half an hour both girls were ready to start a project.

They each chose some fabric from my stash and decided, from the options given, that they would like to make a simple, elasticated skirt.


Using the lines marked on the machine bed, they learned how to keep a consistent seam allowance.

They also learned the best way to put a pin in – all simple things that needed to be taught that they wouldn’t otherwise know.


The importance of pressing at every stage was also new to them, the bonus being that there’s no excuse not to do their own ironing at home now that they know how to use it safely!


The girls finished their skirts right on the virtual bell denoting lunchtime. A good morning’s work by anyone’s standard.

Here they are modelling said skirts, customised at the last minute by their request to add a coordinating pocket in which to keep their toy mice.


After a 35 minute break for lunch both girls were keen to begin another project, this time a messenger-style bag that is worn across the body.

Concentration was back on track again after a break – 3 hours is a long time to expect full attention from the younger students.

Can you see the student wearing her newly made skirt that she begged me to allow her to keep on for the rest of the day?


One look at those beaming faces is enough to tell you how much fun they are having!


Tadah! Messenger bags completed with 20 minutes to spare.

P1060842 P1060845

With two projects completed I let the girls rummage through my stash and allowed them to make anything they wanted in the time left. They decided to each make a small drawstring bag.


Both girls are desperate to attend the regular weekly classes that start after half term and signed up immediately – that’s the sign of a job well done I think, don’t you?

I thoroughly enjoy spreading the sewing love and it’s wonderful to see another generation being bitten by the sewing bug, a skill that will serve them well in the future and give them endless hours of pleasure no doubt.

What are you doing to encourage kids to make things for themselves?


Sunday Sevens #59

A day late with my #sundaysevens this week due to a full-to-bursting weekend that ended at 11pm last night!

Hop over to Nat at Threads & Bobbins to find out how you can join in with seven photos of your own providing a little glimpse into the person behind the blog – a great way to keep blogging even when you haven’t got enough to make a full blog post.

1. I made a jar of lemon curd and some shortbread to take to an aunt who had invited us for supper, as well as a couple of bottles of wine, of course.


2. Although we haven’t switched on the central heating yet, the fire has been blazing away this week since the weather changed. Who doesn’t love an open fire?


3. A two and a half hour sewing camp with two little girls went extremely well considering this was their first time using a sewing machine.


4. After practicing on paper first, they soon moved onto fabric.


5. Two very happy girls, both rightly proud of the beautiful cushion covers they completed!


6. This is the pattern that I’ve chosen for the work’s ‘do’ that Mr H-L’s company puts on every Christmas. Turquoise taffeta maybe….


7. My first cuddle with baby Lilah, our first grandchild!


….and a couple of extra photos just because she’s so gorgeous!





10. Sunday night oysters and prosecco with good friends was the perfect end to a lovely week. Oops, forgot to take a photo before we ate them all…..


Don’t forget – the deadline to sign up to our Christmas Gift Swap is this Saturday, 31st October. Check out the #stitchingsanta blog post to find out more.