Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cloth Baby Shoe Tutorial

It was just about a year ago that my maternity leave with GiGi was coming to a close and I decided to take a few delicious days to myself as GiGi started daycare and I prepared to return to work. In those three days, I bought a new sewing machine to replace the $100 Walmart Singer machine that finally gave in and I determined that I would start a blog to help give me the motivation to use it.


What an awesome year it's been. We expanded our family and welcomed GiGi and family life could not be better with her in it. Having two babies in less than two years has certainly been a challenge but a wonderful one! 

...and I started a blog! My sewing has gone from a minor activity I did every now and then to something that has become a part of my identity. I am by NO means an expert and it still makes me laugh a little inside when people come to me for sewing advice because I see myself as a beginner. However, I've been able to challenge myself in some new ways and completed projects I don't think I would have attempted without my blog to motivate me.

But enough musing, let's get to the good stuff!

I started my blog with three posts dedicated to three of my very favorite projects, what I call my "Favorite DIY Baby Gift". To this day, those are still my top posts and one in particularly, my cloth baby shoes, has shot to the moon with nearly 10,000 page views. It wasn't really my favorite post because it was just pictures of cute shoes I made without a real tutorial so it's nagged me all year that I should honor the post by creating a real tutorial. Here it is! 

thatssewnina's cloth baby shoe tutorial & free pattern
Click above for a link to my google docs

Supplies Needed:

  • A scrap of a sturdy fabric--an 8x10ish scrap is about all you need (I like to use coordinating flannel if I'm making a full baby gift. I've also used home dec fabric. Cotton quilting fabric is okay too but not as thick and sturdy.)
  • A scrap of fabric for the interior lining of the shoe. (you could just use your same flannel here)
  • Fusible web (e.g. wonder under)
  • Two 8" lengths of 1/8" elastic
  • Matching thread
  • A sewing machine

Here's how I created my own pattern--and how you can too! 

 I started with a pair of cloth shoes I wanted to copy.

 I turned the shoe inside out and ripped the seams apart. 

Here were the three pieces that made the shoe. 
That's not so intimidating, right?  

I traced the pieces on paper. 

Using a see-thru ruler, I traced a 1/4" gap around the outside of each piece to account for seam allowances.

Here they are! Ready to be cut out.

Pattern, check! Now ready to create my tutorial.

Check out my google doc for the details but here's a little preview of some of the steps. It's easier than it looks--especially if an addiction is born and you find yourself making shoes with every spare scrap of fabric you have. 

Post update: I've received a few questions about sizing. My pattern will result in a shoe with a 4" sole. To adjust it, just photo copy the pattern and increase it by 10% for each size up you want to go (or adjust settings on your printer to print larger). There are a lot of sizing charts out there but adjusting the sole by 1/2 inch seems to be pretty standard:

0-3 months = 3.5" sole
3-6 months = 4" sole
6-9 months = 4.5" sole
9-12 months =5" sole
12-18 months = 5.5" sole

Happy sewing!