Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tutorial: St. Nicholas Shoes

In my family, the feast of St. Nicholas (December 6th) is an important part of Advent.  On December 5, Black Peter, St. Nicholas' helper, sneaks into the house and distributes packages of cookies and such in random places for the children to find.  Then, the next day everyone wakes up and rushes downstairs to find the books and candy and small trinkets left by St. Nicholas in their little felt shoes.  I shall now proceed to enlighten my dear readers on the manner of constructing these shoes.

Unfortunately I don't have the pattern to give's quite simple, though, and since my mom originally got it off the internet somewhere, I'm sure you could find it if you searched.

So, first you draw the sole shape onto your first piece of felt.  If you have sharp scissors to cut it with, I recommend that you fold your felt in half, thereby cutting two soles at once

The cut soles:

Now cut the uppers.  I pinned the pattern to the felt for this part.

Yes, the pieces are sitting on top of my laptop. :p

Here I just put the felt pieces together so you can see how they go, though I think it's pretty self-explanatory:

Now comes the harder part: sewing them together.  In the past we've tried to glue them, but it's pretty difficult to get it to stick correctly, so this time we sewed them.  It took a while, seeing as only my mom and sister and I can sew, and there were seven pairs of shoes.

Here's a closeup showing how I sewed the back and the bottoms.  If you can't tell what's going on in the picture, the black part that looks like it's just empty space is actually the sole, and the stitches are holding it to the upper.  I used some sort of whipstitch/basting method.

All hail my epic hand-sewing skills!

The shoe all sewn together:

And, for your entertainment, a picture of my dad's glasses (his extra pair)  which I was wearing during the process.  My mom said I looked like a diligent Puritan-ish girl, bending over my sewing with my hair pulled into a severe bun and my dorky glasses perched on the edge of my nose.  And she put a (rather unflattering) picture of me wearing them on her blog.  Love ya, Mom.

Ahem.  As I was saying....

At this point, your shoes are basically finished.  If you're feeling simplistic (read: lazy), you can technically leave them like this.  But decorations are the spice of life, so go ahead and decorate!  Glitter glue is the medium of choice in my family, but you could also use those little plastic gems, or, if you really want your shoes to look just knockout lovely, you could embroider them.  Just make sure that you have enough time to finish before the feast day, if you choose that route.

I used glitter glue, and I'm actually fairly happy with the way my shoes came out.

Happy crafting!


  1. Well, I shall try to comment yet again :p I'm not quite sure why I haven't been able so far...hopefully this time it shall work so I shall be able to comment quite frequently!

    Oh Victoria that sounds like a lovely project! We normally set out our real shoes but the felt ones are such a lovely idea! I shall have to tell my Mom about them so that we can perhaps do it next year! *bounces*

    and oh! *giggles* those glasses! However I beg to differ in your statment that the picture was unflattering, you look quite pretty, like a sweet merry girl who could be found in some medieval castle stitching away! I should come visit you and stitch away myself in our corner of the castle (why is it that the idea sounds like so very much fun?)

  2. It worked! It worked! *prances around in excitment*

  3. Oh, my dear lovely Emily, I'm so glad the comments FINALLY worked for you. :p I hope it doesn't mess up again.

    Haha, I think that it would be quite a hassle for us to set out our real shoes...nobody ever seems to know where they've put their shoes in this house. *sigh*

    Aww.... "like a sweet merry girl who could be found in some medieval castle stitching away" do have a way with descriptions, m'dear. Gracious, that idea DOES sound like an awful lot of fun! It would be so perfectly wonderful if you could visit me, and stitching away in a corner of the castle would be just SO lovely, 'specially with a good friend. :)

    Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Emily. It made my day - er, night - even more than comments usually do! *hug*


Your comments make my day! I read every single one of them, and I'll usually check out my commenters' blogs, if I don't follow them already. I try to reply to my comments, but please don't be offended if I don't make it to yours. Procrastination habits do extend to comment replies, unfortunately.

Of course, courtesy is necessary. I will delete any comments which do not meet my requirements.

Thanks for making the effort to tell me your thoughts!

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