I finally cracked open some old patterns I’d purchased. Ethan is now 10 months old, PERFECT time to start making baby stuff for him! Not… I should have started on these things when I was pregnant, not after he’s walking. I’m so bad with being productive, and now with a 10-month-old who’s incredibly active, it’s become much harder.
The pattern I chose to work with is the Kath baby shoe. The pictures the seller posts are adorable! I started digging through my fabric for the perfect combinations. I have so much vinyl and can’t see myself making too many bags that use it. So, I decided to use it for classing up some baby shoes. Then, I realized that I had the colors to make Mickey and that’s how today’s inspiration came about. That and my husband started planning our 2017 trip to Disney. Between these and the cookies, I’ve got Mickey on the brain.
Gather your supplies. I used eyelet pliers. Couldn’t be simpler. Those red clips can be found in the quilting section of your fabric store. They are necessary for sewing with vinyl, leather, suede, or any fabric you don’t want to leave holes in from pinning.
I still am considering myself new, in the world of sewing. I read a lot, but I don’t put it into practice. Since starting the blog, I have finished far more projects than I had collectively over a span of months. That’s great news for my stash and even better news for my O.C.D! So, my issues with this pattern may stem from inexperience. Take my words with a grain of salt…
The pattern overall is simple. I did find it to be lacking in some areas. I like a lot of hand-holding when I read a pattern. Seriously, I want the designer to spell it out like I’m feeble-minded. My first issue was that the cut lines for the upper didn’t specify that you would need to cut up to the sew line to mark… Typically, in a pattern, I see the sew line which is just showing that the SA is already included. On the upper, I’d recommend printing the page with your size upper twice. This way, you can cut one out at full size to get your pieces and another where you can cut up to the sew line to trace.
I also noticed that it didn’t state when interfacing should be cut and/or applied to the soles. I cut and fused all of my interfacing at the beginning. I also marked my interfacing and my sole pieces with an L and R. My first pair, I ended up making 2 left shoes. And I thought I was being careful!! That’ll teach me. I wasn’t going to make that mistake again… You’ll notice topstitching on the second image of the first pair. This is also a BIG issue for me. If you use a heavy fabric, like suede, leather, or vinyl, as recommended, there’s NO way to close the turning hole except for machine stitching. This leaves an unsightly stitch line.
**When I closed the hole on the second shoe, I used a ladder stitch. This looked so much better. The problem is, I needed to leave a much smaller opening to avoid having to stitch over the vinyl. It also posed the problem of leaving an opening on a curve, which NEVER stitches up straight for me.
When sewing on the tongue, I stitched along my previous topstitching line. This is just a preference, but you will see the seam from the inside. So, doing it this way, I avoided having two lines, which makes for a neater, overall finish.
Adding the eyelets was something I thought I would fail at. After reading the instructions on the package a few times, I felt I could handle it. The process was incredibly easy. I marked my placement using a marking pencil, used an awl to poke a hole, used a small pair of scissors to open the hole enough to get the eyelets in, popped it in from FRONT to BACK, then placed my pliers over it and snapped. I skipped step 10 as I planned to topstitch around the entire shoe. I did my topstitching before adding the upper, but after adding the eyelets. With the upper top, if using vinyl, you do not need the seam allowance. Be sure to cut this piece out at the sew line.
After you’ve sewn your upper top on, grab your buttons, heavy-duty thread, hand needle and glue. The buttons I used are shank buttons, and I love that you won’t see the thread! But, I need to fire one of my design assistants (she knows who she is!)… Someone suggested placing the buttons wider. She even came over and moved MY buttons over. After sewing, I decided that I liked the placement how I had them before. If I ever make these again, I’ll re-do this pair and make the buttons closer, lining them up under the eyelets.
Just About Finished
The last few steps to any project are always the most exciting. Seeing all of your time and hard work come together is a great feeling. When I finished with these, I was lukewarm. The buttons still bother me, and I hate that I had to nix the idea of hand stitching the opening. So, I still have an ugly outside seam on these. Using a smaller opening would have worked if not for the buttons. Trying to push them through was a nightmare and I ended up having to rip the seam out to make the opening larger.
Finishing up, pin or clip your inner sole and the completed top shoe. Be sure to keep your markings on until you completely finish one shoe! After you’ve basted your sole on, clip your bottom sole on with the wrong side facing up. Sew around, leaving an opening and clip your seams. Then turn the whole thing out and ladder stitch your opening (recommended if you’ve used all cotton) or machine stitch.
**I am going to try adding my soles with the shoe inside out. This would mean the sole that was sewn on last would now be basted in place and the second sole would be sewn and an opening left. This would make the opening on the inside ( I think…) and therefore easier to close.
All told, I would probably make the shoes again. I’m not 100% in love with them or the pattern, but they make a quick shoe that would pull together some outfits. And PLEASE if anyone knows of a way to close these without machine stitching (or if my above plan will work), share!