How many pairs of shoes does a baby need? I set out to make one but ended up with three pairs as they were so quick to make up and just too darn cute. I found a free downloadable pattern at Tacky Living which was exactly the style I was looking for, and I didn’t end up having to resize the pattern for S as it was already a good fit (I would say 12-18mths for a girl and a little younger for boys as they tend to have bigger feet). This soft-sole style is great for crawlers and cruisers as it stops them slipping and because of the elastic at the ankle, they actually stay on so can keep their feet warm when out and about. Once they are walking independently they make great slippers.
I used leather for the shoes as my friend had collected a bag of scraps that were being thrown out at an artist’s studios and lined the soles with fleece to make them cosy. I used a thicker machine needle but ordinary thread. Having always assumed sewing leather would be really difficult I was pleasantly surprised at how easily it sewed (just don’t make mistakes as once you’ve made holes in the leather you can’t unmake them!). I’m sure faux suede/sheepskin or material would work well too.
The pattern turned out to be great, I didn’t follow the instructions on the site but they seem to be clear and comprehensive. There is also a gallery section on the website with images from people who have made shoes using the pattern. It is a good source of inspiration as it is very easy to personalise the pattern.
I made one pair with sheepskin, one with a large flower motif and another with moccasin-style detailing. The pattern pieces for these modifications are below.
In the interests of fairness I also made H a pair of slippers in the same style using a redrafted pattern.
On my search for a pattern I also found this tutorial for DIY baby toms which looks well worth a go, but then again, how many pairs of shoes does a baby actually need?