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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