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So I first made these booties a few years back, and then sort of lost track of it as a project. You know how you do – you makes loads of one thing, then none for ages until you forgot that it was something you ever did. And then rediscover it thinking – why did I ever stop? (I do the exact same with food.)
I guess I thought about it again because this year is turning out to be a baby year. Do you have baby years? The years when everyone you know is having a baby. Some years are wedding years (last year) and some are baby years. This year, two of my best friends are having babies, and my brother is too. And there are suspicions of another friend, but she’s denying so we won’t go there. And those are just the people in my inner circle, so to speak.
So all my projects at the moment are baby based. You may have noticed this, to be honest. I have only just realised it myself, but you guys may be a little quicker than me.
Oh well… here’s another!
You will need:
Template – you can find it here
20 x 30cm outer fabric – we used this
20 x 30cm inner fabric – we used a lovely hot pink kona cotton
15 x 20cm plain linen
1/2m 1/4″ wide elastic
1. Cut out your outer template pieces – 2 from your top fabric, 2 from your lining fabric. Then cut 2 x 3cm strips from your remaining fabric, each approximately 12cm long.
2. Fold a 1/4″ edge on each long side of your strips, fold in half, and insert your lengths of elastic, pushing right up against the fold. Pin along the edge, trying not to catch the elastic (diagram 2).
3. Sew along the edge of the strip, being careful not to touch the elastic. Stitch on one end through the elastic and the fabric, about 1cm in, then pull the elastic a bit, so the fabric bunches up nicely. (diagram 3)
4. Stitch on the other side, and trim. Do this for both strips, so you have one for each shoe.
5. Right sides together, pin your ‘u’ shaped outer and your ‘u’ shaped lining fabrics together. On one side, about 6cm down, pin in your elasticated strip (see diagram 5)
6. Sew down and across the elastic catching it in place. Stop just past the bottom of the ‘u’ – so about 2/3 of the way around. You can just about see this in diagram 6.
7. Ignore diagram 7. Apparently I made 2 diagrams the same. Hmm..
8. This is where it gets a little complicated. Take the loose end of your elastic, and pull it round to the other side, and feed it in so it is level to the already sewn end. Pin it into place. All your fabric will bunch up in the middle, and you’ll probably get a little frustrated, but hang in there. See diagrams 8, 9 and 10
9. Now sew down from the other side to join where you sewed to before. (diagram 11)
10. This is hard to see because the elastic is pulling it all about – but the next step is to clip your curves. Trust me, this makes a big difference, reducing bulk in your seams and making them lie flat. Excess bulk on such a small project can show up a lot. Trim the bulk on the elastic too.
11. Your shoe will now look something like this (diagram 13) – ie, not much like a shoe. Don’t worry. A shoe will come.
12. And like this from the other side. Still not much like a shoe.
13. Turn your shoe the right way out – and finger press the seams. You may find pinning it into place makes it easier to control.
14. Pull open the un-sewn straight edges, and line up against each other right sides facing – outer fabric to outer fabric, lining fabric to lining fabric, making sure to line up the centre seam. Sew down this line (diagram 15a). Turn the right way out again, finger pressing the seam.
15. Using the template, cut out your sole pieces from the fused fluff and fleece, and the linen. Cut 2 from each fabric.
16. Take one linen piece, and one fluff and fleece piece, and wrong sides facing, lay them together. Stitch all around the edge with a very small zigzag stitch. Diagram 17.
17. Pin the right side of the upper shoe to the linen side of the sole. Pin all around at intervals. (diagram 18). If you find that your upper has a little too much excess fabric, go back to the back seam and make a little smaller.
18. Sew around using a scant 1/4″ seam, catching all layers.
19. Turn the bootie the right way out and then repeat the whole process for the other bootie.
I have to apologise slightly because I think in my write up of this tutorial I’ve made it sound super hard. It’s not, it’s just a little fiddly and hard to explain. But ultimately very satisfying, I promise! Because check it out – look how amazingly and ridiculously super cute they are.