Anyone out there have a baby with 4″, 4 1/4″ long feet*? I have a pair of denim shoes, with starry linings, that will fit such a baby, boy or girl. Speak up via comment if you want them.
*The soles measure 4 3/4″, leaving 1/2″ wiggle room as recommended.
So, I noticed that Amy’s denim shoes were wearing out — not just the trim falling apart, but holes at the toes. It was time to make new ones.
I had Amy stand on a piece of paper while I traced her foot. And carefully. And measured. Also carefully.
I scaled the pattern accordingly and started to work.
I thought maybe it would be a good idea to use two layers of leather for the soles, for better protection. (I no longer think that’s such a great idea, or at least it’s not necessary and it adds not so desirable stiffness and makes it more difficult to sew.) I glued them together, suede sides out, using an iron-on adhesive, then adhered a fabric lining piece to the inner side of each sole.
For the linings, I used cheap eyelet left over from Amy’s baptismal dress.
The outer pieces were more of the same denim I’d used before.
The shoes turned out pretty nice, although the toes were a bit crooked, because I tried to freehand sketch the same pattern adjustments I’d made to the previous pair, and it didn’t work quite as well this time.
Unfortunately, they’re much too big. If they weren’t summery with their light linings, I’d just wait, but a) I was out of leather and b) I needed shoes now.
Then I had a bright idea — the soles of Amy’s existing shoes were fine — why not take off the uppers and sew new ones on?
Here are the new shoes, too big, framed by the old shoes, one picked apart, one showing its wear.
I pinned my pattern pieces on the lining fabric, some stars left over from American flag art I made as hostess gifts for folks in the Czech Republic when I was traveling there. You can make out how I tilted the toes a bit, to make them more like real foot shapes.
The lining came off the soles, so I had to iron on new linings, which meant ironing the leather since it was curly from being in shoes. (Did I notice that ironing the leather shrunk it? No, I did not.) The new uppers went on nicely, and I re-used the elastic. One shoe turned out longer than the other, but I resewed the toe and heel and made it match better. (Did I notice this clue that perhaps the leather had shrunk, more in one piece than the other? No, I did not.)
Here they are — the remade old shoes, and the new shoes.
Here you can see the pretty linings.
Then I found that the remade old shoes barely fit. It occurred to me (finally) that the leather must have shrunk while I ironed it. Something would have to be done.
Here are one new shoe, too big, next to one remade old shoe, too small.
I decided to try sewing new seams inside the existing seams on the new shoes. A quarter inch inside did the trick, I think — Amy only let me put them on for a few seconds while she was on the changing table, so I don’t know for sure yet that they will work. I am nervous that this technique might have taken in too much of the upper fabric.
Here are the remade old shoes — want them? — Amy’s dress shoes, and her remade new shoes.