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Topic: Baby Booties: Evolution of Skillz, Successes and Failures (14 Different Pairs!)  (Read 12615 times)
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Crafty Intentions
« on: January 21, 2009 11:01:53 AM »

A while back, I discovered Heather Bailey's Baby Booties pattern online: http://www.heatherbailey.typepad.com/heather_bailey/2006/06/bitty_booties.html

I thought they were absolutely adorable, so I had to try my hand at them.  In this post I'd like to share with you the journey I took, tweaking the pattern, trying my hand at different techniques, and learning about lining, embroidery, shaping, appliques, hand stitching, machine stitching, and fabrics.

At first, of course, I thought I was all that.  So I decided to drastically tweak the pattern for my very first pair of baby booties.  I had seen another pair somewhere on flickr that used a lime green/cream color scheme and I loved it.  So I whipped out a pair and used two holographic buttons as closures.  Boy did they come out badly.

I knew they didn't look right, and it was the first time I'd ever tried a Blanket stitch.  I'm pretty hard on myself when it comes to my crafts, and it was hard for me to even show you those.  Surprisingly, it didn't take long for me to try again.  I decided one of the major problems was the way I stitched the top and the bottom together - so I decided to do the next one so that you stitch the outside of the top to the outside of the bottom - And I decided to line both the top piece and the bottom piece.  Unfortunately, I decided to use a particularly pretty brocade and cotton fabric for the top, and it ended up fraying a bunch while I was trying to hand stitch it.

You can see the fraying around the top edges.  Also, because the brocade was unruly, it didn't come out nicely shaped - it was all wonky.  These pictures look okay because I stuffed them hard with tissue paper to make them a little more stretched out/normal shaped.

I was disappointed with my work again, but learned that if I'm going to be sewing a brocade fabric, I should either machine stitch it, or I should interface it first.  At the time I was still a little wary of my sewing machine, and I hadn't ever interfaced something, so I decided to go back to felt as my fabric.

The next pair I attempted I decided to really buckle down and do everything absolutely perfectly.  I heard about a Michael Miller baby bootie contest, and I got really excited.  So I first designed a pair of baby booties and then went about doing all the things that needed to be done for them.  These are pink felt with hand embroidered watermelon seeds.  The bottom rind is made of two shades of green felt, machine stitched together.  The bottom of the booties are micro suede with machine stitching.  The bottom inside of the booties is lined with super soft fleece.  The inside of the booties is lined with watermelon fabric.  The bow is pink satin.  Almost everything was hand stitched together.

Unfortunately, despite these taking MANY hours to make, they didn't even come close to winning. Sad

Regardless, they're probably my favorites and I'll be holding on to them for possible future baby girls.

While I was making those booties, I decided to do double the work and make a second pair in a slightly different style, so instead of putting the "rind" at the bottom of the booties, I lined the top edge with it and set it up "kimono style".

Another view: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/2530258301/in/set-72157606310779498/

Encouraged by my success, I decided to try out another design idea I'd been toying with, a bootie made to look like a pea pod.  Unfortunately, I didn't line it, and in order to get the effect I wanted I had to alter the Bootie design in such a way that I'm pretty sure these babies would NEVER stay on wiggly toes.  It's a good concept, but I am disappointed in the execution.

Another photo of these: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/3215360306/in/set-72157606310779498/

A friend of mine at work was having a baby girl and I decided to try to make a really girly pair of baby booties as part of her gift.  I did pink felt with plenty of lace, lined with felt and cotton (with a butterfly print).  I masked any top fraying with a little extra lace and finished it off with a tiny little bow.  They are very sweet looking and she was very excited to get them. 

Another photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/2692713788/in/set-72157606310779498/

Next, because I LOVE rainbows, I decided to do bright blue rainbow baby booties.  This time I machine stitched the edges together, and I hand stitched to the top and the bottom of each bootie together.  I also hand stitched all of the decoration except for the soles - that is machine stitching. 

Another View: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/3214539623/in/set-72157606310779498/

The only thing I regret with those was not originally cutting the micro suede for the soles a little bit larger.  This microsuede was softer and more pliable than the stuff I had used before, and consequently it stretched in funny ways and made the booties' shape a little less regular than I desired.  Overall, I'm happy with the way they turned out.

The next pair I tried were based on a lady bug inspiration - I wanted to try to convey little black polka lady bugs.  I lined it with a flannel and the bottoms are a very dark brown micro suede.

Top view: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/2531074624/in/set-72157606310779498/

I wish I had been able to find a real black micro suede before embarking on those - but I couldn't.  And now they're adorable and everything, but I think I may leave them as a "One-of-a-kind".

Then I languished in my baby bootie making for a while.  I wasn't inspired because the only ones that came out perfect took me weeks to finish.  However, my sister-in-law (My husband's brother's wife) is pregnant with her 3rd boy and I hadn't been making baby booties when her other two were born, and she had told me that she admired the booties I made.  I got to work making these:

Another view: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/3193316321/in/set-72157606310779498/

This time I tried to hand embroider on the micro suede sole, but other than that, they were fairly simple.  I made an accompanying baby onesy, with little gold wings on the back.   They remind me of that Greek God... the messenger dude with the wings on his sandals.

Then, because those were so much fun to make, I decided to start trying again recreationally.  I lined this next pair with fleece on the bottom and flannel on the top.  The outside fabrics are micro suede and felt.  The bears are vintage patches that I found at a Pennsylvania treasure trove of craftiness, and the balloons are also felt.  Everything was hand stitched together.

Another View: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/3181330071/in/set-72157606310779498/

Because THOSE were so much fun to make, I decided to keep going and try my hand a little baby wing tips.  I felt like I'd spent a lot of energy making booties that were appropriate for girls or were unisex - I wanted to make a pair that was pretty much all-boy.

That was the first time I'd ever really used a French Knot.  It turned out to be pretty easy, and definitely worked.  The little bows were made from puff shapes that I got for Christmas - so I'm not exactly sure of their particular company origin, but I didn't make them myself, i just scrunched them in the middle to make them look more like bow ties.

Because THOSE were successful, and I really loved using the puff shapes and I have a bunch of trim floating around that I don't use enough of - I decided to go for a Dutch baby look with Heart trim and Heart puffs.  The embroidery stitch I used on the bottom was a little more complex than the blanket stitch and I basically just did what looked right and then repeated it a million times along the bottom:

I don't think I'll ever be able to part with those, but I have a few more puff hearts so I will probably be making another pair.

I loved using applique's and patches so much, that I decided to do a polka dot version.  Here's a rare in process photo:

They turned out a bit more "royal" looking than I intended... probably something to do with the purple and the gold.  My husband really likes them.

Another view: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/3201480404/in/set-72157606310779498/

I used Gold embroidery thread to stitch on the patches and I used a blue embroidery thread to stitch the edges.  The top edge of the bootie has gold ric rac and a crazy purple ribbon trim. 

The next (and most recent/last) pair I tried, I decided to use these little metal studs, and woven ric rac, and patches, and a pink and green color scheme (similar to the watermelon booties).  I decided that rather than making them identical, I would go for abstract.  I'm still not quite sure how I feel about them.

And that's where I'm at.  I can feel my inspiration languishing, so it'll probably be a while before I work on more baby booties, but we'll see.  I wanted to share these with you and I hope you enjoyed!  Here is a link to my flickr baby booties set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/sets/72157606310779498/

Have a crafty day!

« Last Edit: January 21, 2009 11:41:55 AM by Crafty Intentions » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2009 11:29:31 AM »

These are amazing!  Shocked
I just love the green ones and the rainbow ones and...all of them!
So cute! I'd want a pair of these for my kid, if I had one. <3
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009 11:45:38 AM »

These are awesome.  The wing tips are so cute they make me die a little.  I also love the ones with the puff hearts.
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009 11:47:26 AM »

im million years away from having babies... but i MUST have some of your booties!! do you think it will work if i blow up the pattern to a womens size 9?
you should definately try your hand at doing womens slippers

etsy: stuff i make 

I have 2 vintage dirndl skirts (floral) for oktoberfest  (US sizes 6-ish and 8-10) I would love to swap! anybody interested?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009 11:48:25 AM »

Holy cow! Those were all amazing! I kept scrolling and yo just kept impressing me! I loved them all. Smiley

~*~ Sadie ~*~
Oh, for corn's sake!
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2009 11:52:49 AM »

Those are so cute! Wow, you put a lot of effort into each pair and it certainly paid off! May i ask where this "Pennsylvania treasure trove of craftiness" is?
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2009 12:00:05 PM »

ohhhh!!!! I love the one with the peas and the watermelon and the one with wings....and I can't remember all of the ones I loved but you've done a great job on all of them.  I wish I had the time and patience to do that sort of thing!

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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2009 12:27:25 PM »

I love that pattern as well!

You've done a fantastic job on them all but I simply adore the wing tips. My little one would be so snazzy in those!
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2009 12:36:50 PM »


Looking to trade, if i do something you like let me know.

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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2009 12:37:47 PM »

You are very talented!!!  Those booties are amazing.  You have a fantastic imagination.  I love the tweak on the pattern - lovely shape.    Wink
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2009 01:19:55 PM »

 Shocked Shocked These are just too cute! I love the watermelon and pea pod ones, but the puff heart ones are my favorites, too, I can see why you'd want to hang on to them! They are are just darling, though. Adorable baby shoes make me want to procreate like nothing else, so I must not look upon this post any longer for my husband's sake, haha.
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2009 01:31:45 PM »

Absolutely Fabulous! I can't pic a favorite and it makes me want to branch out from my crafting comfort zone. So sweet, so pretty.  Cheesy

« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2009 02:09:34 PM »

You are a goddess!
The craftsmanship on these is stunning, and all the different themes are so inspired
wow. Simply adorable
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2009 03:01:26 PM »

I love them, so cute, you really have wonderful ideas and each pair is so unique. This is getting better, I wanna see more pairs of these lovely booties. Very well done!

« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2009 03:57:15 PM »

Oh, those wingtips! ADORABLE!
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2009 06:24:47 PM »

extremely impressive work. i want some in my size  Wink

« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2009 07:37:51 PM »

The wingtips are the PERFECT pair of baby boy booties.  I love them.  The others are mostly fabulous as well.  Very creative, all in all.  What a lot of work they all must have been.
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2009 08:52:28 PM »

I love these sooooo much I can't figure out which pair I want to wist! OMG OMG! I love these. FAntastic Fabulous wicked wizard wooza Amazing Awesome Cool I just can't think of enough adjectives to convey how much I really really like these little tiny shoes.... One question... do they stay on?

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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2009 04:55:47 AM »

So beautiful!
There are a few competing for the word "favorite" in my mind: the heart pair at the top of the page, the wing tips, and the ladybugs.
I really admire your dedication and skill!

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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2009 08:57:37 AM »

those are the absolute cutest baby booties ive ever seen! adorable! the peas in a pod may be my favorite, but i love the watermelon, and puff heart ones and the little ones with wings!! i love how you do decorative stitching on the bottom, its a cute touch
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2009 03:58:58 PM »

Lovely! That baby sure will have a lotta shoes Smiley

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« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2009 04:09:25 PM »

Absolutely adorable!!  Loved those wingtips and like your hubby those purple ones are to die for!  You are one crafty lady!!!   Smiley
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2009 07:59:22 PM »

I"m speechless....
that said, i love the lady bugs and the pea pods.

« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2009 01:31:14 AM »

these are so cute!  i absolutely adore the little dutch ones, those are definitely my favorites!  it was really interesting to see the progression, thank you for spending the time to put it together!

I'm looking to trade for kawaii Japanese fabric or cabochons!  PM me if you're interested!

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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2009 10:22:35 PM »

Wow.  Thank you for sharing -- all of it.  We can surely learn as much from each others' trials and tribulations as from our perfect creations.

It looks like you quickly found your footing (no pun intended) with these, though, and the finished products are beautiful!  I know a few swing-dancing friends whose future babies will undoubtedly be getting wing-tip bootes, and I'm tempted to adapt such a pattern for my own not-so-baby feet ... I see adorable slippers in my future.

Thanks again.

I'm organizing, focusing and purging my craft projects and supplies in 2010.  Please PM me if you live in Chicagoland or SE Wisconsin and would like to swap, trade or barter supplies!  (I'd even trade some for delicious treats or good craft karma.)  Happy to send a list &/or photos as I compile it.
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« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2009 04:08:40 PM »

Gorgeous booties! Thank you for sharing, even the imperfect ones. My faves are the one's with the puffy heart and the vintage teddy bears and balloons pair. Great dedication!

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« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2009 02:00:50 AM »

I am absolutely in LOVE with the first pair of bootys you made! I love them! REALLY! They're adorable and remind me of this amazing book called "alice, I think".
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2009 03:59:13 AM »

goodness me you are one clever little cookie!! what an array, so many completely different styles. i get the whole "but it's not perfect" thing, cos I am the same in my craft endeavours, but your work is amazing and you have such imagination!

« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2009 04:53:05 PM »

Those are fabulous!  I can't wait to try these!
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« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2009 06:23:53 PM »

Holy Moly!  You went to town girlfriend!  Geesh!  I barely got through my first pair and they were made out of felt!  I don't even want to try again and you went for 14.  WOW.  I tip my hat to you for that!

« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2009 05:57:26 PM »

So inspiring. I do doll clothes, and recently shrank a similar pattern to fit 18 inch dolls. I have made several, but must say yours are just so great!
THe really frilly pink ones would be cute made to fit one of those really silly over dressed Victorian Teddy Bears.
Any way they are so cute, good job.

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« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2009 04:42:01 PM »

Wow you have been a busy bee. They are all amazing Smiley

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« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2009 08:09:55 PM »

They remind me of that Greek God... the messenger dude with the wings on his sandals.

That god is Hermes (or Mercury in Roman myth) and he's my favorite Greek god.  I don't know why but he always has been.  Anyway, those booties are adorable!  The watermelon booties, the rainbow booties and the booties with the heart on the toes are my favorites.  My boyfriend's sister just had another baby and I think I'm interested in making a pair of these booties for the new baby!  Good work!

Miss Wrangler
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2009 09:05:48 PM »

my jaw seriously dropped about the 3rd pair in and by the last i had wiped drool from my chin several times! these are absolutely gorgeous! and inspirational...!!

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« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2009 07:03:04 AM »

Not sure how I missed these before, but I'm glad I so glad I saw them.  I bookmark the bitty booties page when I was pregnant with my daughter (she's turning 2 on Tuesday).  Needless to say, I never got around to making them.

Thanks so much for sharing.  Your learning curve is pretty tight; you progressed so quickly.  I think my favorite ones are the rainbow booties.  How cute!  Great work and thanks for sharing!


« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2009 07:54:50 AM »

I am absolutely BLOWN AWAY!  These are the cutest things!!  I love the wingtips, the rainbow ones....and many more!  I have wanted to make some baby shoes forever.  I hate too much hand sewing but yours are awesome.  You could make a lot of money selling these because they are so unique!!

« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2009 03:31:13 PM »

I have thias pattern and have not given it a try yet. You have inspired me to get it out and sew up a pair. Thanks
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2009 05:37:55 PM »

These are absolutely adorable, thanks so much for posting the tutorial. Smiley I'm due July 8th, hopefully I can turn out a few pairs before then~
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2009 01:50:02 PM »

I liked seeing the progression. I just bought some felt and a bootie pattern (now, if only I could remember where I put it...) and, although I'm looking forward to doing it, I've been a little apprehensive about starting. You've given me some good inspiration, though! I love the wingtips! Those are snazzy! So many other cute ones, too.

« Reply #39 on: July 22, 2009 02:25:47 PM »

Soo cute! Peas and watermelon are my favorites but I love them all!

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« Reply #40 on: July 22, 2009 03:18:37 PM »

Really really cute! Grin

But I would NEVER have the patience for it myself! Too tiny ;-)

Good job!
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« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2010 10:12:28 AM »


I guess this is goodbye.

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