Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zakka house shoes

For a long time now, making a pair of slippers or 'house shoes' has been on my mental list of crafts to try. I've had my eye on this lovely pattern and was hoping to get around to it, but then I recently found another pattern and thought I'd try it.

I've noticed over the years that people have very different habits regarding footwear at home. Purely through observing friends and family (so this may be totally wrong!), I've noticed that people with origins in Europe seem to wear shoes all the time, inside and out, whereas Asian people kick their shoes off at the door and go bare footed. I guess this is partly cultural, perhaps due to climate, habit, and what is considered polite. Australians are notoriously casual in our dress generally and this also includes footwear (some people even wear thongs to work).

My habit at home is generally bare feet in summer and slippers or thick socks in winter. And considering that I am at home a lot these days, that's mostly what I'm in. So I thought it would be nice to try for something a little more stylish and civilised than the fluffy socks or bare feet ;-)

From the book I found in the library "Zakka Sewing" (love that cute squirrel tea cosy on the front!) I read that Japanese people take their shoes off at the door and slip on some house shoes.

As in the project in the book, I used linen for the uppers, gingham inside (leftover from my shirt) and some upcycled leather for the soles (also used on these baby slippers). Though instead of embroidering the little blueberry motif on each I just did a row of red stitches with embroidery thread all around the upper edge.

The book provides a pattern and details each step with diagrams and explanations. Despite the project being described in the book as "a challenging project", I thought it was pretty easy to follow if you have basic sewing skills, and would definitely recommend it.

For my first attempt at footwear I'm pretty happy with these. They're really comfortable and easy to wear. Though for how long they'll be pretty and clean I don't know - I'm sure the first drink or pasta sauce slopped on them will annoy me, and resisting wearing them outside (or to the corner shop ;-) will only be possibly for a short time, I'm thinking. What do you like to wear on your feet at home?

Pop on over here for more creative spaces.


  1. Love them!!! I'm the same as you... slippers & socks in winter, bare feet in summer and in between, I wear socks (but I always feel like a bit of a dag) House shoes sounds like a good idea :)

  2. They're great! You've inspired me to pull out the patterns (and entire book!!) I have on them. I also bought some special glue to paint dots onto the bottom of your fabric slippers so you don't slip on tiles / wooden floors, but have since learnt that puffy paint will do the same trick :)

    After living in Japan for 6 years, we're in the habit of taking off our shoes and either go barefoot in summer or wear slippers in winter. In the schools in Japan, you even have your "indoor shoes" there, I could never get used to the school Head Master wearing an expensive suit with a pair of slippers :)

  3. Fantastic! I spotted those house-slippers in Zakka sewing too... haven't made them yet though... the 'to-do' list is always so long.

    Yours are so sweet - full of whimsy. Lovely dovely indeedy.

  4. Very cute. I'm a shoe/slipper wearer myself. I thought you got in early with the link to creative space. It took me a bit to realize it is Thursday already. Yikes!

  5. Your shoes are very sweet. I've wondered about making house shoes too and I'm that much closer to doing it thanks to your assurances that it's not too hard.

  6. Ooo, such lovely shoes! Very pretty :)

  7. Jo, they are super duper cute. I love the red stitching. xx


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