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Baby Shoe DIY – An Awesome Pattern

December 9, 2015

Like every other human on earth blessed with ovaries, I’m a big fat sucker for baby shoes. I love supporting small businesses, especially handmade, so I’ve bought a few when affordable.

Lately, I’ve been really loving the ones with a combination of leather and other fabrics. Or just unique looking materials in general. Look at these beautiful examples I’ve been eyeballing.

Seriously, those boots. Oh my gosh.

I was about two clicks away from buying these the other day, but had to stop myself when I realized I had a whole buckskin in the cupboard above my desk and fabric coming out of my ears. And then I almost bought them anyway. 

Baby Shoes are Easy to Make, Right? HAH.

You see, about two years ago, when I was pregnant with Vi, I bought the cutest baby shoe sewing pattern. I had found it on Etsy, it was a great deal, and I was on a sewing spree. Basically, I was unstoppable. 

Let me tell you, that is still to this day, the most frustrating thing I have ever tried to sew. I’m a pretty determined person, especially with sewing and I’m well acquainted with my seam ripper. We’re buds, me and the little blue stabby thinger. But these baby shoes. Well, they pushed me over the edge. I almost threw my sewing machine across the room and started crying.


Instead, I just vowed that booties, especially the tiny newborn variety, was not something I was into.  

Round Two

Then about a year later, I decided I was definitely too frugal to pay $35+ for shoes for any of my kids. But I wanted some of those dang moccasins for Parley. They looked comfy. And cute. So I drove down the street and picked up a deerskin while they were on sale at Tandy Leather. I had found yet another pattern on Etsy for moccasins which was easily modified to look just how I wanted them. 

Again, I was pretty pumped and knew I couldn’t fail. The good news is, I didn’t exactly. The moccs came together, but not before I had to try it more than once on more than one sewing machine. Leather is NOT easy to work with. You can’t use pins. You need a sharper needle. The stuff stretches and sticks worse than any knit I’ve ever sewn up. And there’s no guarantee your dumb sewing machine can handle it in the first place.

The moccasins were cute and Parley really enjoyed them, but they were not worth the time OR the money. 

Which, as you can imagine, is why I was super hesitant to try again with the whole baby shoe conquest.

But I had all the stuff to make these shoes I had in my head that weren’t quite all leather. The question was, Am I up for trying to sew tiny shoes again? It was iffy, but I decided to give it one more shot. 

I’m so glad I did. Those two years of sewing practice definitely contributed to the success of this project. They didn’t turn out 100% perfect (nothing ever does), but they did come right together. I think I made them in under an hour and look at how cute they are. I’ve been showing them to everyone I can since I made them Sunday evening. And Parley’s been toting them around the house like an excited big brother.

diy baby booties

I’ve Conquered the Baby Shoe

Here is the pattern I used: Baby Shoe Pattern – Slipper by Petitboo

And the most exciting part for me: This pattern goes all the way up to size 13 for kids. (There is a version for babies which is $4.50 and a version for bigger toddlers/kids which is $5.50.) Parley is currently in an 11, I think. You mean, I can make these for all of my kids? SOLD. 

That’s exactly what my thought process was. So, I bought both sizes and prayed I could pull it off this time. 

It was a lot of fun and I’m definitely going to be making these for all my babies for Christmas. I’ll probably put the leather on the soles for the two bigger kids. These being fully lined means you can totally add leather without the headache of the leather actually touching the plate on your sewing machine, which in my experience was the most annoying part because it sticks so bad. It just requires a little planning. 

Anyway, this pattern totally gets five thousand stars ★ from me.

Now, I’ve just got to figure out how to make the boots. (And I definitely want to place a Spoonflower order, now! I’ve got to get my art on some of these tiny slippers!)

Have you ever been so stumped by a sewing/crafting/any kid of project that I promised yourself I wouldn’t do it again? What was it? Did you end up trying again?

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