mae and i went shopping last week, in the midst of a crazy thunderstorm, and i kept spying all these gorgeous baby boots in the shops. there was a sweet little leather pair at seed that made me feel especially wanty but i am cheap (or thrifty, whichever). and mae needs some boots, the girl's toes resist socks of all types and it's getting pretty chilly here. so i got to thinking: i have tons of leather scraps leftover from my journal making days, i'm pretty handy and there are bound to be tons of patterns out there. and so begins, the booty trials...
i found some super cute patterns. the first one, which is basically a rip off of the robeez boot, i bought from here. the second, a more simple construction but still really sweet, i found on etsy. i started with the first pattern, just jumped right in using a cream leather and some fuzzy bamboo/cotton towelling for the inside.
it actually looks great in this photo but, let me tell you, i had some issues with the instructions and construction of this one. forget the fact that it's really narrow, that might be my own fault for using such a thick lining, although the pattern does suggest such things as fur and sherpa, which would be equally thick. forget the fact the instructions of how to insert the elastic at the end make pretty much no sense and doesn't seem to do anything to help with keeping the boot on little feet. the main problem, for me, was that at one point, you have to sew through EIGHT layers of fabric, with four of those being leather. i used a leather needle but i still had to gingerly hand crank my machine through these bits with terror in my heart. and the bloody thing doesn't even fit.
so onto attempt two, using the same pattern:
this time i used a sturdy wool felt with a leather sole and the same lining. these came together better because i had the experience behind me. i decided to ignore the instructions at the end and attach an elastic the way i thought it would work best. and it does. these ones actually just fit so i may have to make the second one and get these on mae's feet before they grow. they're still pretty narrow and i wasn't satisfied so i thought i'd better try the other pattern as well.
these were made with a stunning linen i got as a gifty from leslie, with organic cotton fleece inside. again, just at the end this pattern totally lets you down. the instructions for the binding step are literally "Bias and binding. And Slip stitch." i'm not even joking. there are photos to accompany this but they actually confused me more. so anyway, i just bound them like i would one of my quilts and they turned out okay. not great, just okay. not okay enough to make me jump at sewing up the matching boot but okay enough for me to want to try again with my own little twists on the pattern. (oh, and it's super wrinkly and misshapen because i spilt coffee on it and had to give it a quick hand wash.)
finally! limited success!! i ignored the binding and just made the boot and lining how i thought they should be. and i used leather this time, with a suede sole to prevent slipping and the organic cotton fleece inside. i'm pretty happy with these, they're sort of camper-esque, no? i would have been VERY happy with them but i meant to add some elastic into the lining to make them stay on better and totally forgot. so there might be another pair on the way - after all this work i feel i need to achieve perfection, damnit!!