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My signature gifts for a new baby are my itsy bisty shoes. And I have made so many now I barely look at the pattern or instructions, which is huge for me! My originals were one of the first things I learnt to sew; I remember pouring over the instructions with my grandmother in puzzlement!

So recently I thought I’d expand my repertoire and take on Homemade Toast’s TOMs inspired baby shoes. Her shoes are absolutely amazing and look so inspiring. Mine were not so inspiring and it was one of those sewing projects that left me feeling unsatisfied by the end.

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Compared to my original itsy bitsy shoes I found these too fiddly and busy looking for such small shoes.  It doesn’t help that I made endless mistakes the whole way through and had to re-do the straps twice to have my stripes aligned the right way! My biggest disappointment in the end was that the shoe size was a lot smaller than expected. I made the 6-9 month size and I had a hunch they would be too small when I cut out the pattern pieces. Luckily the recipient of these shoes is a newborn and they will fit her right now!

I hummed and hawed over my fabric choice and went with Heather Bailey’s Slim Dandy Pink and Melanie Hurlston’s Little Menagerie but I’m not sure these tiny shoes do the fabrics justice and I am looking forward to making larger articles to show them off. In fact I have some pants cut out of the Slim Dandy ready to sew up for the Hamster.

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Definitely an easier step is to cut out the pattern pieces at full size rather than having to cut your fabric on the fold where a slight shift in material will make a big difference. Construction of the shoe has to be exact (which mine wasn’t) whereas my other pattern is more lenient having the sides drawn together by elastic, which a novice sewer like me needs!

I haven’t given up completely. I am going to try again with a larger slipper size for my three-year-old and a plain contrasting fabric to simplify the look. Stay tuned….

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