Many experts recommend soft shoes as opposed to shoes with hard soles for infants. Soft shoes offer protection to kids' feet while allowing freedom of movement. Many parents find that there's also great financial benefit to swaddling a baby's feet in soft shoes: these tiny shoes can be made at home on your sewing machine. With some basic sewing knowledge, a few materials and a bit of time, you'll soon be slipping handmade shoes onto your baby's feet.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Sewing machine
- Fusible interfacing
- 18 inches of elastic, cut in half
Print a pattern for soft sole shoes (see Resources) and cut out the pattern pieces. A seam allowance of 1/4 inch is included in each pattern piece. You should sew each seam so the distance from the edge to the sewn seam is 1/4 inch.
Arrange each pattern piece on your fabric and cut it out. Also cut fusible interfacing in the same manner for all pattern pieces except the sole. The sole of the shoe can either be made from bonded fleece, regular fleece, felt or leather, for example. In the case of less durable fabrics such as fleece or felt, cut two sole pieces.
Attach fusible interfacing to the required pattern pieces by following the directions on the interfacing packaging.
Place the cut fabric pieces for the top and the top lining together with right sides facing. Sew a seam across the straight edge. Press the seam open with an iron. Fold pieces at the seam so the wrong sides face, then press. Top stitch the straight edge. Transfer the lines for the elastic from the pattern piece onto the lining fabric. Use a small pair of scissors to carefully cut the lines.
Place the cut fabric pieces for the heal and the heal lining together with right sides facing. Sew a seam across the straight edge. Press the seam open with an iron. From the wrong side, press each side seam allowance in ¼ inch. Fold pieces at the seam so the wrong sides face, then press. Top stitch all straight edges, including the sides where you just turned in the seams allowances. Fold the long, straight edge of the heal down ½ inch toward the lining and press. Lay a piece of 9 inch elastic in the casing close to the fold. Create the casing by sewing a seam close to the edge of the folded fabric.
Mark the centre points from the pattern pieces onto the sole, heel and top. Place the sole and the top right sides together, matching the centre points, and join them by sewing around the top piece. Place the heel and the sole right sides together, matching the centre points, and join them by sewing around the heel piece. The heel piece will overlap the top slightly on each side.
Pull both ends of the elastic through the slits in the top lining. Overlap the elastic about 2 inches, then sew several times across the length of the overlap to secure the ends of the elastic together. Push the overlapped part of the elastic into the slits so they're concealed within the top of the shoe.
Trim the seam allowances around the perimeter of the shoe with scissors to neaten the edge. Turn the soft shoe right side out and press the outer seam.
Make a second shoe in the same manner as the first.
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