Hi everyone! Who is in a sugar-induced coma right now? Ha! Hope you all had a very Happy Halloween! And no worries because it's all treats over here today. We've got the Children's Loafers and matching Tulip Baby Loafers featured this month. Some of you may have ventured into making darling little crib shoes before, but did you know that it's really simple to make shoes for older kids, too? Lena's Patterns has a nice collection of baby shoes with a few pairs for the older children thrown in the mix, as well!
The tutorials for the baby and children's loafers are short and concise. The Tulip Baby Loafers tutorial is a total of 12 pages while the Children's Loafers tutorial is 24 pages. Don't think that just because the tutorial is a bit shorter than most that it isn't a quality pattern- you just get to print less pages ;) There are plenty of really helpful photos to accompany the directions given. Some of the written directions are a little on the scarce side, but you can easily tell what to do by following the photos. I was quite impressed with how quick and easy she made it to sew up a cute pair of shoes! These are the kinds of gifts that moms-to-be go bananas over!
These shoes are available in the baby sizes or the children's sizes and can be made for both boys and girls. The Tulip Baby Loafers are sizes 0-3m, 3-6m, 6-9m, 9-12m, 12-18m, and 18-24m. The Children's Loafers are shoe sizes 6 1/2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13. There are only 2 pattern pieces to print for each size, and the baby sizes actually print out on only one piece of paper. The kid sizes print out on 2. There's a 1/4 inch seam allowance included, or the option is given to add your own. My daughter wears between a 6 and a 7 in shoes and is 2 1/2 years old. I printed out the size 7 for her and was really happy with the fit. I only did one shoe because I was trying to hurry to get this written up (I'm such a procrastinator! Ha!), but I'll post some photos when I get the complete set done. (Please note, the ones below are not mine. The ones I made are zebra print, of course, ha!)
I'm really digging the idea of making some more of these up! I love anything matchy-matchy, so these would be so fun to coordinate with a mommy-made outfit. It would be a great way to use up left-over scraps after a project. I also really love anything that's a "blank canvas." I could totally see adding a fabric flower to the top or incorporating some piping between the layers. Playing around with some really fun buttons could give these shoes a totally unique look. Plus, Heather has some really great ideas in her review below, so I'll just let you read those in a minute ;) Let your imagination go wild! It will only take you about an hour or two to sew up these little loafers, so you'll have plenty of time to embellish!
To make the older kids' shoes a bit more sturdy for everyday wear, you could use a duck cloth or home décor fabric for the outer fabric and use a quilting cotton for the lining to ensure it's nice and comfy. To help the shoes keep its shape, I added a layer of stabilizer to the top portion, and for extra comfort, I added an extra layer of batting to the sole. I tried these out using some of the Anti-Skid Gripper Fabric by Dritz I had picked up at JoAnn last year when I was making the Classic Footed PJ's from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop. It adds a little bit of traction to the bottom of the soles to help prevent slips and falls. If you don't have any of that on hand, you could try adding puffy paint to the bottom of the loafers in fun shapes and designs. Write out your child's name with puffy paint. They'll love it! I sometimes let my daughter wear her ballet flats with some of her dresses to church, so these would be comparable to that as far as the durability of the shoe. If you prefer, they'd also be perfect house shoes!
Let's go ahead and let Heather take it away with her review!
Hi, I recently completed the baby/toddler shoes review for FF&L using Lena's Loafer shoe pattern. I have been sewing for what feels like all my life! I started using my own machine around the age of five, when I rejected a toy machine I got for Christmas and insisted I use I real machine.
The pattern is super easy, and it consists of only 2 pattern pieces per size. The pattern itself only takes about 5-10 minutes to cut out. I might have taken a wee bit longer to cut out because I wanted to make sure the roses on the toes matched up and that the slippers looked like a matching pair (my granddaughter is a priss, and I knew this would matter to her little 3 year old drama self)!
I had originally planned to make this for all three of my grandkids. I printed a size 9 for my granddaughter and grandson (ages 3 and 1.5) and a size 13 for my 5 year old grandson. But when I held the pattern to the boys' feet I realized there was no way at all that the boys would ever get their feet in these loafers. So I was only able to make the one pair for my granddaughter, who has slender feet. I'd say the loafers will only fit feet that are slender or normal in width.
The only real change I made was venturing off and doing my own thing on the last part, because I do not like exposed seam allowances on the inside of baby/toddler shoes. Since I know how to remedy this, I went ahead and changed that myself. I didn't make a sandwich of all pieces of the sole as the pattern says. Instead, I did as follows: I put the inner sole and batting right sides together 'under the shoe' (the top and side portion that was previously constructed) and the inner sole over the shoe, then I sewed almost all the way around, leaving an opening for turning. Then I turned it all, and tucked the inner sole inside, and stitched the openings closed.
The next time I make these, I will change the round elastic I used for the button "clasp" for a goody hair band (the skinny kind). You can then have a colored elastic, and they tend to last a bit longer I find. I just didn't have any one hand when I made these. I would also use batting in the shoe sides to make the slippers warm and snuggly.
The fabric we used was a shirt we recycled. My granddaughter was supposed to be helping me choose a fabric, and she spotted my recycling pile and said, "I WANT THAT!" She thought they'd be princess slippers, and I have to agree! With the fabric being a doe suede, they are naturally slip resistant already, and a great choice made by her! The buttons were also from the shirt.
My advice for this pattern is to read the directions carefully and look at the photos. Some directions cannot be understood unless you look at the photos. For instance, when she calls for 4 inches of elastic, she actually means you need 8 inches, so really 4 inches twice! I would also recommend that a beginning sewer draw the round sewing line on the "cut" in the shoe top for a sewing guide line when sewing. And when you lay the elastic down, untuck it from the other side of the fabric and do not sew it into the other side. Have fun with your fabrics and try and match up your sides so that the shoes looks like they match each other.
Well my goodness, those are some sweet little loafers :) She did a great job with the fabric placement, didn't she? Thanks so much, Heather! If you want to have a go at making some loafers for your kids, you can get this pattern (either size range- the babies or kids) right now for 25% off! We'll have the price marked down throughout all of November, so be sure to help us spread the word!
Pair it Up!
The Banyan Pants/Shorts pattern from Figgy's Patterns is just screaming to be paired up with the Children's Loafers! These casual pants can be made for both girls and boys in sizes 18m- 8/9 Child. The pleated flat front, adjustable back waist band, tapered legs, and fully functioning zippered fly all work together to make this pair of pants a MUST HAVE!
What's a great pair of pants with some stylish shoes if you don't have a great top to bring the whole outfit together? This is the Bateau Neck Top from Wee Muses. Like all the other patterns we've discussed today, this one can be made for both girls and boys in sizes 18m- 10 Child. This one pattern contains 4 versions of the Bateau Neck pattern. It's a versatile style that you'll keep coming back to over and over again!
Make sure you stop by the website to pick up your copy of the Children's Loafers pattern while you can get it for 25% off! Be sure you register your account before ordering so that your patterns can be downloaded directly from the site up to 25 times (one less thing to worry about should your computer crash!) We'd love to see your finished shoes, feel free to post photos to our FB page or our new FB group!
I finally got around to uploading my photos of the Children's Loafers I made for my little bit. Here they are!
She loves them :)
Go sew something magical!