Genuinely useful new baby makes with Zoe: Elastic-back baby shoes

This is the second in a series of blog posts by Zoe Edwards offering tips for gifts you can make for a new baby! You can find Zoe’s first post hereTake it away, Zoe!

Hello! If you’ll indulge me, it’s time to have a look at my second suggestion for something to make for a new baby that will actually get used. Let’s face it: there are few things cuter on this earth than a pair of baby shoes. No doubt, the new parents will be given a clutch of baby shoes (what is the collective noun for shoes, anyway?), but if you heed my advice, yours make will stand out from the rest. How so? Because the ones you make actually have a chance in hell of staying on the little feet they were made for!

The thing I never realised about babies until I had one is that, when they are awake, babies are NEVER still. Those little arms and legs are always moving. In fact, they even move a fair bit whilst the baby is asleep as well. Any slip-on type shoes will slip right off again, and after a couple of attempts to put them on their baby, the parents will give up and consign those shoes back to the drawer for good. To make sure your pair of shoes stays on (and therefore gets used) my advice is to choose a style that is either elasticated or tied on around the ankle. Hopefully then the baby will wear those shoes for longer than it takes to get a photo!


There are literally hundreds of sewing patterns for baby shoes/slippes/booties/footies available, but the one I used here is a free one via Poo Pockets (!). It is graded for two sizes, 0-3 months and 3-6 months. It consists of three pattern pieces and you’ll need two types of fabric (outer and lining) plus a small length of elastic. I changed the construction method slightly by choosing to line the back heel section too, plus I used 3/8” wide elastic rather than 1/8” wide as the pattern suggests.

Most of the fun here lies in choosing awesome fabric to make them in (as with all sewing projects, let’s face it!). With the outer fabric, you really can go to town. They can be as cute, kitsch, contemporary, classic or bizarre as you want! We went ‘subtle contemporary’ by picking some gorgeous 100% organic Cloud9 First Light flannel/brushed cotton in turquoise by Eloise Renouf. You only need about 30cm of fabric, so why not pick something really special?


As with the outer fabric, your lining fabric options are pretty broad but make sure that whatever you choose is soft. For this pair, I used a scrap of white felt from my stash, but toweling/terry cloth, sweatshirting, or velour would be great too.

We let the fabric do the talking on this pair, but there’s nothing stopping you from customising your baby shoes with ribbon, braid, ricrac, (very securely stitched-on) buttons, or whatever else your heart desires!

Here is a peek at how these shoes came together:








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