Okay, let’s be honest. There’s no such thing as “too many” baby shoes, right?! So, let’s make our own and warm those darling little tootsies with delightful, handmade adorableness. You’ll find five designs below as well as general tips at the end. I must warn you, though – Handmade Baby Shoes are addictive!
Basic Mary Janes
Blogger Lindsey of The Cottage Mama used quilting cotton for these simple, yet charming Basic Mary Janes. You’ll need an outer fabric and lining, fusible fleece and a few other supplies along with thread and your sewing machine. Lindsey gives wonderful instructions for reducing the size of her Handmade Baby Shoes. Just do the opposite, if you’d like to size them up instead. Her instructions are excellent and, if you haven’t made baby shoes, this is a great place to start! Click here for the tutorial.
Mila Baby Shoes
Mila is sort of a “Beyond the Basic Mary Jane” style of Handmade Baby Shoes. Laura of the Fleeting Thing blog styled these to replicate a favorite purchased pair of shoes she had for her daughter. The ruffles make these real stand-outs and Laura wrote great instructions on how to handle the wee little pieces to make them. She shows an option for a bow instead and ribbon roses would be adorable, too! If you’re making these for a baby boy, just leave the ruffles off and look for a cute applique to adorn the toes. Click here for the tutorial.
Baby Boy Sandals
Oh, my, aren’t these incredible! Ashley of the Make It & Love It blog used faux leather to create these marvelous, Summer-style, Handmade Baby Shoes. Real leather or faux suede would be perfect, too. For sizing, Ashley suggests tracing around a shoe that fits but, if baby’s not close by, just use a purchased pair in the size you need. The sole is layered with felt for sturdiness and you’ll use fusible web for some of the assembly. Ashley provides really detailed instructions that are nicely illustrated with photographs, so you’ll feel confident making the Sandals. Despite their “might be complicated” appearance, these are really a simple make and you’ll have a pair done in no time. Click here for the tutorial.
Toms Inspired Baby Shoes
Do you recognize this style? The popular Toms shoes were the inspiration for these wonderful baby shoes designed by Leisha of the Homemade Toast blog. And, they’re not just adorable, they’re also comfortable and stay on! Leisha offers free downloadable patterns for a general baby shoe and a general toddler shoe. If you’d like more specific sizing, you can purchase either a baby or toddler pattern with multiple sizes for a reasonable price. Leisha’s tips for making sturdy soles and stay-in-shape uppers are terrific and would be helpful for all your Handmade Baby Shoes making. If you don’t have cute tags like Leisha used, contrasting grosgrain ribbon would work just as well. These shoes have a very professionally-made look to them, due in part to the lovely top-stitching. Choose contrast or matching Coats Top-Stitching Thread to re-create this fabulous look! Click here for the tutorial.
Fringed Baby Boots
And, now for the piece de resistance – Fringed Boots! Shauna, one of the sisters from the Shwin & Shwin blog has a passion for sewing with leather and designed these stunning little boots for her daughter. You can easily make them with faux leather or suede or a nice denim, too. I love the floral lining on Shauna’s boots! For a baby boy, you may want to choose a stripe or plaid. These are actually a toddler size, but I’m sure you could downsize the pattern pieces if you want to make these for a pre-walker. You’ll be making two outer boots and two inner boots, so the sewing could be assembly line and will probably go quickly. If you don’t like fringe, leave it off, but if you use the fringe, you’ll love Shauna’s fringe guide! Click here for the tutorial.
Handmade Baby Shoes Tips & Hints
- Any of these designs would be perfect for a boy or a girl. It just depends on the colors, prints and embellishments you choose.
- Don’t feel like you have to stick with “baby scale” prints and colors. The trendy, modern look of some of the Free Spirit fabric collections would be so awesome for these shoes!
- Have fun making shoes to match or coordinate with a particular outfit or go generic so they can be used for multiple occasions.
- Handmade Baby Shoes are inexpensive and fairly quick to make. Do be patient, though. Working with itty-bitty pieces should be done carefully!
- Follow the instructions! It’s easy to get little pieces in the wrong spot, so each of these designers provided carefully written steps for you.
- Serge, zigzag or pink the inside edges for durability and think about when to hand stitch and when to machine stitch the tiny pieces.
- Each designer has their own favorite way to create sturdy soles and uppers. Pick the one you like best and buy a yard of the stabilizer(s) you’ve chosen.
And there you go! Everything you need to know to become an Adorable Handmade Baby Shoes factory!
About the Author
Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community. Follow Annette and more of her sewing adventures on her own blog, www.sewfullife.com.