Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Iron Craft Challenge 11: Singin' in my Rain Boots -- Boot Liners

Spring is springing in St. Louis and that means rain.  And every time it rains, I inevitably fall in love with the rubber rain boots I see women sporting around town.  Until recently, however, I resisted the temptation to buy a pair for a couple of reasons: 1) Too many colors and designs . . . it's impossible for me to commit to just one; 2) the taller, closer-fitting boots I love can be really expensive and my husband would rather have food and car insurance than a wife in cute boots.  I saw some solid gray, fleece boot liners at Target over the winter, though, and realized that this could provide a variety of colors and patterns without buying multiple pairs of boots.  I purchased some anti-pill fleece and the cheapest, most sensible pair of black boots I could find.  This week's Iron Craft challenge (to make something in green), gave me the perfect opportunity to try out my plan.

Each pair of boot liners took about 1/2 yd. of fleece (I wear a size 6 or 6 1/2 shoe).  I began by making a pattern for the boot liner on a brown paper bag.  I traced around my foot, leaving ample seam allowance (probably about 3/4" all around).  The rest of the pattern explanation might be a little confusing, so please see the picture with the pieces shown in blue.  I cut out the tracing of my foot and folded it in half lengthwise.  With the piece folded in half, I trimmed it to make the foot symmetrical, so I could use the same pattern for both feet.  I wanted to make sure that there was enough space for the arch of my foot, so I added a triangle on each side of the foot pattern (in the photo, the toe end of this piece is at the lower left and the heel is on the upper right).  Using the boots themselves as a guide for the proper height, I cut a slighty trapezoidal piece for the heel/back of the leg of the boot liner (this is the pattern piece on the far left side of the picture).  This piece was wide enough at the base to follow the curve of the heel of the foot.  Then I drew a piece that mirrored the curve of the toe end of the foot pattern (top right of photo), but would be long enough to be sewn along the long side of the triangle and then meet the long side of the heel piece.

First I sewed the toe end of the liner (see photo).  Then I attached the heel piece to the liner.  Where the long side of the heel piece met the back side of the triangle, I stitched it upward.  At the top point of the triangle, I continued stitching the heel piece to the long side of the toe piece.  I turned the top edge of the liner over about 1/2" and stitched around it.  When the liner was stitched together, I zigzag stitched over the seams to reinforce them, especially at the heel.

Keeping the seams to the outside, I slipped my foot into the liner.  I put my foot into the boot and folded the top of the liner over to create a cuff.  Through sheer luck, these liners fit perfectly--they are tight enough to my actual feet that they don't bunch up in my boots, but in the leg they are a little roomier to allow for my skinny jeans.  I'm pretty sure I couldn't manage that again if I tried, but luckily I still have the pattern I made.  These liners have allowed me to add a little sass to my $20 utilitarian barnyard boots.  I have purchased patterned fabric to make cuffs for my next pair.  There are endless varieties for these liners.  They are also super warm.  I hope you'll consider making your own boot liners and add a little life to your rain boots for just a few bucks.  Be creative and enjoy!


  1. This is an awesome idea! I work summers for the Department of Natural Resources in the fisheries department. I bought a pair of utility boots just to clomp around in when it rains, but they're quite clompy and ugly. These liners, done up in various types of fleece will greatly improve the boots and my disposition!!

  2. Do the seams bother your feet? My girls are pretty sensitive to that, so I've been trying to find an opinion on the seams.

    1. The seams don't bother me because the seam allowance stays to the outside. It's almost like you wear them inside out--when you turn the cuff down, they are rightside out. I've never been sensitive to seams against my skin, though, so no promises :)