Sunday, September 6, 2009

Soft Baby Saddle Shoes

Hurray! Success! I finished Monkey Two's saddle shoes.

Yes, you saw right. They are light green on brown. Fun! I snapped these pictures after church today, where the little squirt wore them for the first time.

For inspiration I looked at some older leather and vinyl baby shoes we have and, of course, classic saddle shoes. Usually the "saddle" part of the shoe is darker, but I wanted the toes to be dark, since that part gets the most dirty and scuffed. I loosely used this pattern, but I had to resize it, with many attempts in paper and scrap fabric. The shoes are perhaps too wide in the toes, so I might take them in a bit. But better to have them too roomy than unbearably tight!

I made the shoes with some of the leather scraps I was telling you about before (purchased here). You can see I haven't trimmed the elastic on the inside yet. I want to make sure it's the right length first.

The next pair of shoes I make will be play shoes. I'd like to keep this somewhat nice for church.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Saddle Shoes, Take One

These shoes are made from soft vinyl, with cotton fabric lining (the banana fabric you saw a few posts ago) and leather soles.

Adorable, right? I intended to had some faux laces to the top, but I never got that far. Here's why: They are too small! I made a cloth sample one first that seemed to fit, but in the end it just didn't work out. Monkey Two wore them once, to church. They only fit on his cute chubby feet with a lot of trouble and without socks. Afterwards his poor little feet had such deep dents from the shoes that I knew they needed some serious reconstruction.

I added a little wedge to one, thinking that would do the trick. It helped some with the width/girth of his feet, but it was still a little too short. And his feet are only going to get bigger. So I think I'll just have to add the wedge to the other one too make them match, then pass them along to some other lucky little boy (who's a little younger). Monkey Three, perhaps? (No, I'm not making any announcements)

For the next pair I'm going to go all leather. I have mixed feelings about buying dead animals skins, but the leather came from remnant scraps so I somehow feel justified. The leather is more breathable and pliable than the vinyl. I think will be more comfortable for my guy's little feet.

"Why are you making shoes?" you may wonder. Monkey One had a couple pairs of leather Robeez that I LOVED. I like how the soft shoes let my kids feel their own feet as they walk, instead of trapping them into some stiff, bulky boxes. They are so simple, I always thought I could make my own (I've actually made more difficult shoes--two different pairs of vinyl baby/toddler cowboy boots--somewhat successfully). I like the challenge of figuring out how to make something and customizing it to the way I want it. Plus, I got enough leather scraps to make several pairs of shoes, all for 1/3 of the price of one pair of Robeez!

Today I traced a larger pattern piece and cut out another cloth sample. So look forward to a (hopefully more successfully-fitting) new pair of adorable saddle shoes in the next week or two.
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