I'm so excited! I figured out how to make leather baby shoes! I adore soft leather baby shoes: they are easy to put on, stay put, don't require socks, and are the next best thing to barefoot for new walkers. Ronan has several pairs of Robeez*, but with my new sewing machine* begging me to try my hand at sewing leather, I decided to DIY a pair. And, boy oh boy, am I glad I did!
This will not be the last pair of these I sew, in fact I've got plans for some moccasins next. I started with the free soft baby shoe pattern from If Only They Would Nap and from there I made a few adaptations. To make them more like Robeez I didn't attach the sides to the front piece; I added a little loop for the elastic to run through the front instead. Also, instead of folding over the back piece to create a channel for the elastic I trimmed down the rectangle slightly and sewed a strip of leather on top, tucking the elastic inside.
These little shoes were the last thing I made as part of kids clothes week challenge and they were one heck of an upcycle. The black leather came from a long black coat that had been hanging in my closet for at least ten years. Even though I knew I'd never wear it again I was hesitant to cut into. That is until I realized I could use it to make a bunch of cute things and I really didn't have any desire to look like an extra from the Matrix.
Perhaps the coolest change I made was to add some flair in the form of sparkly vinyl lightening bolts. I had the vinyl in my stash after making a booster seat and iPad case. I used a bit of double sided tape to hold them in place while I stitched them to the front panels before I made the shoes.
A few notes about sewing soft leather baby shoes: A walking foot and leather needle are your friends. Go slow, there's not a ton to stitch so take your time. Make sure you face the suede side of the sole out so that your finished product isn't slippery. The instructions for the pattern weren't super specific but I used a 1/4" seam allowance and I think the size is great. Next time I might make them a bit narrower, but overall they are a great fit.
Right after I made these Ronan started taking steps. Coincidence? I'd like to think not.
I'm so happy I made shoes for my little thunder bolt!
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