Thursday, 7 February 2013

sewing : four toddler shoes from one tea towel

running in the Tate Tanks

So I bought a tea towel just before Christmas from the Victoria and Albert Museum shop. It cost £5 - a bit more than I would normally pay for a tea towel, but this one went a long, long way.

By the time I finished it had become six new things — two pairs of toddler sneakers (i.e. four sneakers in total) and two baby bibs.

one tea towel shoe

I only have pictures of the shoes here. My son is a dribbler, a big dribbler, and the bibs went straight into action as soon as they were finished - no time for a photo shoot. Maybe one day, if they stay clean and dry for long enough to get my camera out, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

tea towel shoe and pop stud

The pattern used was I Think Sew's 'Cameron' baby sneaker pattern. Ok, so the name is a bit off-putting for many of us in the UK, but that didn't take away the fact that they were a lot of fun to make.

There's a sculptural, 3D, feel to them - almost adding in a whole extra dimension to my usual flat garment sewing.

I made two sizes. The smaller shoes are actually made from the largest pattern size. They are waiting to be posted to a friend in China. The larger ones are for my number two son.

standing in tea towel shoes

My son is just 15 months and it was clear that I would need to scale up the pattern if I were to make some to fit. I did this the quickest, and laziest, way possible - by photocopying. I scaled them up 120% and the finished sneakers fit perfectly length-wise but, unsurprisingly, they are a bit too wide.

Fortunately they are not so wide as to make wearing them impractical, but wide-enough for me to need to fudge the pop stud position somewhat to get them to stay on. Ah well, with two small children there simply isn't the time to get things perfect and sometimes you just have to let these things go in order to actually get things done.

in the Tate Tanks with tea towel sneakers

Despite this I am very happy with the outcome! I don't want to restrict my son's feet by wearing 'proper' shoes whilst he's so young any more than is necessary, but I want to keep his feet warm during these cold winter months. These fit the bill perfectly.

non-slip soles

The soles are made with non-slip slipper-sole fabric bought on Etsy. Not the most practical colour – I should perhaps have dyed them in advance the grey colour they have ended up after a Sunday afternoon running round the Tanks at Tate Modern. But he's not slipping over, which is what counts.

elephant fabric lining

The elephant fabric is left over from number one son's nursery bag I made a few months ago. And the tea towel fabric is strong and its pattern is, in my mind, perfect for a small boy and quite unlike anything I could find in the shops.

1 comment:

angel gonzales said...

The shoes look nice. I have always wanted to make shoes for my baby. I think i want to try it this time. I just need to look for some cute patterns. Thanks for sharing.