There was no way I was going to let Madeline step out in plain ol' BORING shoes, so I decided to try making my own. Why not, right?
Well, I turned to my trusty old friend, the internets, for some guidance and there was.....pretty much none to be found. Why is everyone so hush hush about making shoes? Free patterns? Yeah, right.
This made me a little annoyed, because, ya know, I'm cheap. And lazy. And I don't know nothin' 'bout makin' no patterns.
But.....I decided to give it a shot anyway.
So I traced my daughter's feet on a sheet of paper and then prettied them up a bit so they actually looked like, ya know, FEET (if you've ever tried tracing a three year old's anything - hands, feet, whatever - you know it's no easy task). I knew I wanted them to be pointy so I took the basic foot outline and made it pointy from the proximal phalanges (i.e. the widest part of the foot) forward. Then I added a 1/4" seam allowance to the whole thing. By the way, I just made one pattern (for the right side) and just flipped it over for the left foot (for the sole and top both).
My method for the shoe top was to fake it 'til I made it. My first attempt wasn't successful - it wasn't a complete failure, but it wasn't completely right either. However, my second attempt was perfect! How did I know it was going to work? Why, I made a paper shoe of course!
I thought the paper shoe turned out pretty snazzy!
Anyway, once I had my pattern worked out, I had to cut out my fabric. I decided to go with satin, pink broadcloth for the liner and this shiny mesh-like fabric - I *think* it might be tulle but I'm not sure (all three of these came from my late Grandmother's vast fabric hoard so forgive my ignorance).
I cut out two top pieces from each fabric. For the soles, I cut four of satin and four of broadcloth (two right and two left) because I was going to do a sole and an insole.
To make the sole, I sandwiched some stuffing between a satin piece (which is the bottom of the shoe) and a broadcloth piece, sewed a straight stitch around the whole thing, sewed a zig-zag stitch around the outside edge, and then did some patterned stitches in the middle to keep the stuffing in place and provide some (minimal) traction.
For the insole, I put a satin and broadcloth piece right sides together and sewed a straight stitch around the edge leaving a hole to turn it inside out. I turned it, stuffed it and did another straight stitch around the edge and some patterned stitches in the middle.
For the top, I layered the tulle with the satin and sewed the heel right sides together. Then I sewed the broadcloth liner's heel. I pinned the top and liner together around the foot hole (right sides together) and sewed around. I cut the sharp corners so they would lay flat when turned and turned the whole thing so it was right side out.
I pinned the top to the sole, right sides together, and sewed around. This is what it looked like after all that:
Easy peasy, right?
Well, maybe not. But I had so much fun with these! My experiments often don't turn out well so I was very pleased with my results here and it's given me confidence to try making patterns for other things as well.
(My happy little butterfly)