Monday, January 2, 2012

Make it Monday: Soft Baby Slippers

I have a 6 months old granddaughter whom I watch while her mom works. That's one of the pleasures of being "retired." (I have five kids and their spouses and ten grandkids and one energizer-bunny husband. Retired? What's that?) Although I sometimes call her Pooka-Dooka, her actual name is Remy, and we have so much fun together! Of course, it means that I sew and do other crafts in fits and starts, but it's more than worth it.

At the sewing machine today, I was listening to her "jump-jump-jump" in her Jenny Jump-Up as she giggled and squealed. Suddenly I became aware that it was very quiet. My heart skipped a beat. How long had it been that quiet? But when I got to her, she was just sitting there with her thumb in her mouth and half-open eyes. Poor little Pooka-Dooka. Now that she's down for her nap, I can write today's tutorial for you. Today we're going to make soft baby slippers, also called ballet shoes.

Let's get started!

First, the pattern. In order not to violate the licenses of the many baby-shoes patterns I use, I decided to demonstrate this one with a Simplicity pattern. Because I make so many baby shoes, I trace all my patterns onto card stock. So that's where we'll start.
 Trace around your pattern and then cut it out. (Don't use your good sewing scissors for that! Card stock can dull a pair of scissors pretty fast!)

 Now that I have my pattern, I need my fabric. I've chosen to use lime-green fleece and turquoise and white jersey knit (an old t-shirt, actually).
 Turning the t-shirt inside out and placing it on the folded fleece will give me four layers to cut through. Pin them together so that they don't shift while you cut.
 I use both a rotary cutter and a pair of scissors, so which one you use on this project is up to you. I cut my straight lines with the rotary cutter and the curved lines with the scissors.
 Once you have them cut out, here's what you have. Separate the pieces. You should have eight.
 Line the edges of the heels up on one shoe upper and using a 1/4" seam, sew them together. Don't forget to reverse your stitching at the beginning and end of all seams to "lock" them. Otherwise, they might become loose or even fall apart as you manipulate the shoe. Repeat with the other three uppers.
 Now take that upper and putting right sides together, pin the sole to the upper from the sole side. Then using a 1/4" seam, stitch all the way around the soul.
The next two pictures show you what it should look like from each side.

 On the fabric you have chosen for the lining, leave a 2" gap so you can turn the shoe right wide out once they are sewn together.
Here you can see both pieces turned right side out. Can you see the gap in the side seam of the lining where I've left the opening?

 Turn the outside shoe inside out and fit into the lining. (Sorry I don't have a picture of that step. Husband is home and son—Remy's daddy—is here, too, and they keep distracting me.)
 Using a 1/4" seam, sew all around the part where your little one will slide her foot into the slipper.
 Using a ladder-stitch, hand-sew the opening in the lining. Then push the lining into the outer shoe, and there you are!
 Easy-peasy, huh? Reversible, soft baby slippers!
 One last note. These will fit a toddler. If you are making them for an infant, you'll definitely want a strap, ribbon, or elastic to make sure they stay on. We'll tackle making reversible Mary Janes next week!

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