Make Your Own Baby Shoes

11:40 PM

This is supposed to be a kind of tutorial if you want to learn how to make your own baby shoes. My first attempt was kind of a flop with baby moccasins that didn't turn out the best. I found a different pattern that works better. I practiced on some cheap fleece for the first round and they turned out just great. I found a black leather purse no one wanted and decided to make little leather shoes out of it.

Here are the instructions if you'd like to made some too.
Print your own pattern here.
Or you could email: and I'll email the pattern as a word doc so you can print it out right at home. The pattern is around 12-18 months so you could shrink it or enlarge it as needed. I think it should be comparable to a size 3 to 4 as is, according to my little guy's feet.
Here is another link for directions and a pattern cloth shoes if you prefer. It's similar.
-leather or other durable fabric
-rope elastic

1. Cut out fabric. Remember to make the shoe soles opposite so you don't have two left feet.

2. If you are making them out of leather, zigzag the sole onto scrap fabric matching the upper part of the shoe i.e. black leather, black scrap. Trim about 1/4" around the sole.
The scrap is to make the seam along the edge of the shoe cleaner. You sew the top of the shoe to the scrap so you don't have two layers of leather turning under against one those lumpy moccasins.
I sewed his name on the bottom on a whim, it will probably all fall out...we'll see.
Sew the ribbon on the curve of the toe piece. I iron the ribbon in half and sew along the edge.
You could make your own binding with fabric, but ribbon is cheap and I don't have to worry about raw edges. You could also select a ribbon color that contrasts the rest of the shoe.

Tip for sewing on leather: I find using a longer stitch length, about 3 helps not to distort the shape of the leather.
**I used a very small seam allowance for these, probably 1/8" to reduce wasting leather.

4. Cut about 1" to 1 1/2" of ribbon to make the pull tag to help get the shoes on those little feet.
Fold it in half and sew to the top edge of the heel pieces.

5. Sew a piece of ribbon to the top of the heel piece. If you have a ribbon with different finishes, mine was satin but I chose to use the back side which was more matte. If you have a right and wrong side to your ribbon, make sure you sew the wrong side up.
So I sewed the shiny side up. This makes the right side of the leather touching the right (matte) side of the ribbon.
6. Cut your elastic cording between 2/3 and 3/4 the length of the heel piece.
Attach elastic to both corners of the heel piece, on top of the ribbon. Make sure it is sewn between the stitch and the short edge. I zigzag in place to secure the elastic really well.

8. Make casing around elastic.
With the wrong side of the leather up, you fold the ribbon around, making it swallow the elastic, sewing it in a tube basically. Sew along the length of the heel, concealing the elastic inside.
The elastic is out of focus, sorry, but you can see how it is tucked behind the little lip of leather and the ribbon comes around it.

At this point you are done with the heel piece and now we put the upper of the shoe together.
9. Pin & sew one side of the shoe to the toe piece. The curve of the sides should match up. The corner of the toe piece is where the heel begins out to the edge. I sew two lines, one on each side of the ribbon binding.

10. Sew the other side on.
I flip the shoe inside-out and sew on top, it is easier for me to maneuver this way.

The upper of the shoe is done!

11. Turn the upper inside-out. Pin to the right side of the sole. Make sure all your pins go the same direction, circling around the shoe.
You need to pin the upper part of the shoe about 1/8" beyond the leather bottom. This way, the black leather upper will be sewn to the scrap black, and not the actual tan leather sole.
*If you aren't using leather, and the fabric is all the same, you don't need the scrap fabric and just line up the edges together and pin. Two layers of fabric folding against each other aren't too thick and it will still give you a smooth seam when you're done.
12. Turn the shoe so the scrap fabric is up and all your pins are down. Sew right by the edge of your zigzag on the sole. (the side of the zigzag closest to the edge). Because my pins were to the side of the zigzag, I didn't have to take them out as I went and just sewing carefully between the zigzag on the sole and the pin all the way around. As you sew the heel, you kind of have to shove the fabric under you so it won't bunch.

13. After you take out the pins you can flip it over and see your line. To secure it, I sew another seam just outside the first one, but this time I sew on the leather side, following right beside the first one.
This is also a good idea in case you missed connecting the top to the bottom. This happened to me on one corner. I hadn't pinned close enough in that section so I was able during the second seam to pull the leather and sew it down so there wouldn't be a hole in the shoe.

14. Trim the excess leather and scrap fabric, cutting as close as you can to the seam without snipping stitching. This will help have a smooth final seam.
Turn the shoes right-side-out and YOU ARE DONE!
I hope the instructions are clear and make sense. This may be a total waste of time and effort, quicker and easier to just buy them for some people. But these cost me $1.05 for the ribbon and elastic and I had the chance to recycle the leather purse and not let it go to waste, and I enjoyed it. I guess time I have, money I don't. Plus, cute leather shoes with your name on it. Maybe you could start an etsy store or something too or make a lot at one time and give them away as gifts.

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  1. ahhh i love are so talented I really need to teach myself to make some of those!

  2. Those are really cute Jess! Remember when we made those duct tape shoes? Those were the coolest things ever. I might have to make some.

  3. Thank you for this pattern and tutorial, Today i made this shoes too. Photo is here:


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