Don't you hate when you get really great kids shoes and can't find any more of them? Or worse... they cost $40 a pair? Never fear folks! Frugal Mom is here to save the day! *insert trumpets here*
Let's make some soft soled shoes...
First get all your supplies together! I didn't have any soft leather on hand so I used suede cloth, but you can always cut up a thrifted leather jacket. You will need: a soft shoe that already fits your little one, 1/4 yard of super thin elastic, 1/4 yard suede cloth or soft leather, matching thread, and a fresh heavyweight needle.
Trace all the pieces of the shoe onto paper. Then go around the pieces adding a 1/4 inch seam allowance (excluding the sides that stay raw edges in the finished product). Don't forget to reverse the left and right soles. If you are using soft leather cut one each of the soles (suede cloth cut two), four shoe tops, two thin casing strips, and two (suede cut four) heel backs.
Skip this if you are using one layer of soft leather: sew your outside suede to your lining (WRONG sides together) on the two ends, but not the top or bottom.
Sew the thin casing strip onto the top of the heel piece. Stitch only on the top and bottom of the thin strip. Repeat on other shoe.
Take two shoe tops (right sides together) and sew together on the short curved side. Turn right sides out. Topstitch along the same short side. Make two small parallel snips on one side to loop the elastic through later.
Pin the shoe top (facing down with right sides together) to the sole. Then pin the heel back to the sole. The heel back should overlap the shoe top a little on each side. Sew using a regular 1/4 inch seam.
Test the fit on your child's foot. If it's a little big, just sew around it again with a little wider seam. Trim close to the seam without cutting it.
Using a tiny safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing on the outside of the shoe making sure to go through the loop on the shoe top. Tie the elastic in a knot at whatever length gives a snug fit around the ankle. I ended up with about 3-ish inches. Shove the knot into the casing to hide it.
Turn right side out.... and.... Ta Da!
If your baby is infatuated with little birds, stitch some creepy cute red birds on the shoe tops before sewing it all together. 'Now she tells me...' right?!