Thursday, March 13, 2014

Janek Baby Shoes Tutorial (and free pattern!)

Remember FOREVER ago when I said I bought some faux leather and I was making a pattern for some baby boy shoes? Well, I made several pairs of them and gave them to some dear sweet friends. Then I made a pair for my own little guy. (seriously, this was a while ago! I mean look at Jacob. He wasn't even mobile yet!) I have been hesitant to share the pattern because I don't know if I love them.While they look absolutely adorable, they are rather easy for little babies to take off their feet. So if you are wanting to make these, I suggest making them for little babies who can't pull their shoes off yet.

I had a hard time naming these. You see, I made these shoes for two little boys, Janek and Ryan. They are the sweet babies of two very dear friends. Ryan, you are still loved very much, but you lost in a coin toss and Janek won. I will just have to name another pair of shoes for you, okay?
Ready to make your own?

You will need:
  • 1/4 yard faux leather
  • 1/4 yard felt (I recommend a wool blend, or at least the nice acrylic stuff from the bolt, avoid the craft felt that comes in sheets)
  • 1/2" wide twill tape, or any trim/ribbon you like
  • fusible web (I used Pellon wonder-under, but steam-a-seam, heat n bond, and soft fuse would all work just fine)
  • fabric glue (such as Fabric FusionFabri-Tac or fabri-fix)
  • free pattern HERE (this size will fit babies 1-4 months-ish)
Begin by cutting your pattern pieces. Cut out two main pieces from each leather, felt, and fusible web. Cut two soul pieces from leather. Cut two insole pieces from felt. Remember that pins put permanent holes into leather, so when pinning be sure to pin along only the very outer part (in the seam allowance)

Another tip, don't cut the tab part out of the felt just yet. It's much easier to wait until it is fused to the leather and then trim it to shape rather than trying to match it up and having it stretch or slip.
This is the fusible web I used, pellon 805 "wonder-under." You purchase it by the yard, and is found with the interfacing at the fabric store. You can find it at Joanns, Hancocks, Hobby Lobby, and even Walmart. I like to use this stuff for applique. It is an adhesive that fuses two fabrics together. The heat activated glue is on both sides, so one side is covered in paper that you will remove after you bond the other side to your first fabric.
The reason why wonder-under has paper on one side is so that you can fuse one side at a time. So, keep the paper on (you don't want to fuse your felt to your ironing board, pressing cloth, or iron!!) and iron the web to the felt (rough side down-on the felt, paper side up-against the iron).

The wonder under instructions direct you to to use a "pressing cloth." A pressing cloth isn't anything fancy, just a scrap of cotton fabric will work. It seems like a hassle, but DO IT! I have accidentally fused quilting applique to my pressing cloth- if the pressing cloth wasn't there, the bird applique would have been glued to my iron! yikes!
Okay, now you can peel off the paper. Do you see the webbing fused to the felt?
 With the fusible web side of the felt up, place the leather on top.
 Now iron. The felt and leather should now be fused together as if it were just one.
Trim the felt of the little tab, snip snip snip.
Next, with a chalk pencil, mark your stitching line. This will help your stitching to be more precise, and give your shoes a nice look. Then with a nice contrasting thread, sew along your stitching line. With leather, your sewing needle punches very visible holes, so you can't unpick and redo your stitching if you mess up, so take your time to make it look as nice as you can. (tip: I recommend practicing a little bit on some of your scraps before sewing on the shoe, get a feel for the leather and practice pivoting smoothly. This is the hardest part of the shoes)
repeat, so you have two. We are making two shoes remember!
 fold your shoe with the heel sides together and sew (1/4" seam allowance)
 Now you are ready to sew the bottoms on! ready?
 Line up your triangles on the tops and bottoms (I learned to sew from simplicity/butterick/mccalls patterns, so I am a big fan of matching centers with triangles!)
 Sew around the entire sole.
sew on your tab. Go back and forth a couple times.You are going to be pulling on this tab to help you put the shoe on baby's foot, so you want it secure. (the first pair I made I didn't put a tab on, ha! they were impossible to put on my baby. Don't skip this!)
 Trim the excess, this will help the shoe not to pucker.
 Time to sew the top of the tab down. Fold over the twill tape.
You will be sewing along the stitching.
Time for the insole
remember the felt piece you cut? You are going to glue it to the inside of the shoe.
 Use a permanent fabric glue and apply glue to the inside of the shoe (with the shoe inside out)
See how it doesn't quite go to the edge? That's okay. When you turn it right-side out it will cover the seams.
As you turn the shoe right-side out, put a little glue along the edge...
and cover with the insole.
See? I told you it would work! When it's turned inside out, it covers all the seams! hooray. I know it's tempting to put the shoes on your baby right away, but you need to let the glue dry completely before putting them on your baby's cute feet. Just follow the directions on the glue bottle. Mine says to wait 2 hours.

Enjoy your baby shoes!

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