The first pair.

soft soled mary jane pattern. Britt Stitch. DIY baby shoes. Christening shoes DIY.Hallelujah, I finally got the mary jane shoe pattern out for testing this week. I feel like I kept hitting walls whether that looked like wrestling with the computer program or a kid spewing puke in my face (yes that happened). It’s been a crazy month and I’ve sewn what feels like hundreds of shoes checking and double checking that it’s right. I guess we will see how the testing period goes. Fingers crossed.

In honor of my new pattern, I had to pull out the first pair of shoes I ever made. Oh my goodness these are such a treasure to me. They are AWFUL. Like terrible and they make me smile every time I see them. Let’s throw this back to 2012, I was 24 and the proudest new mom.

Eleanor was my first baby and I couldn’t wait to sew for her. I knew I wanted to make her blessing outfit and shoes were a must. Her feet were so tiny that none of the (free) shoe patterns I found online were small enough. So I had to do some serious pattern changing. And this is what I came out with. The satin ribbon wasn’t sturdy, I think I resewed those ribbons in 20 times. The fabric was delicate, there were holes that I had to mend by hand,  no lining, exposed seams, and not a round curve on that toe. Hide me. But I can’t even tell you how proud I was of these babies. I showed this pair of shoes off like it was a diamond ring.

And you know what? No matter how ugly and badly done these were, they still looked pretty cute on her. You just can’t go wrong with teeny tiny shoes.

I sewed shoes for her through the first year of her life. So many shoes. And I loved it. I got so much better at it. When my second girl came along I had it down. And I made them for my boy too. The jist? I’ve been sewing soft-soled baby shoes pretty regularly for the last five years. If not for my kids then as gifts, or commissioned for other special events.

This mary jane pattern has been in my head for years, and I never quite knew how to bring it to life. The first time I tried to put in on paper was 2016. I really got after it in early 2017, and after lots of failed attempts, I finally got it, and I’ve been fine tuning it ever since. I’m so happy with how it turned out. I can’t wait to put it out into the world.

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