I used my Viking 5 needle embellishing machine to "make" the fabric. The red shoes are from a cashmere St. Andrews golf sweater that my husband inherited but the moths got to it over the years. I have put it through the heavy duty wash and dry cycle in my machines a few times which felted it but it still wasn't sturdy enough to work as a tiny shoe. I cut off one sleeve (enough for the smallest size of shoe) and proceeded to run the embellisher up and down, back and forth the two layers until they were felted closely together. Wonderful result...top layer still has the ribs of the sweater slightly visible, bottom layer is a little fuzzy and woolly feeling, perfect for the shoe interior.
Next I assembled the shoes using a free pattern from Heather Bailey's website: Bitty Booties by Heather Bailey What a generous resource and so many inspiring versions. I'll eventually post a pic of mine on the photo group she has set up.
But I couldn't stop with just one pair so I tried out the Simplicity 2867, a 1948 vintage baby bootie pattern that is too precious for words. Simplicity 2867
I did the same needle felting on apiece of mohair wool that I had washed and cut into potholders a few years ago. It made great potholders because wool insulates so wonderfully and because it still had some fluffiness for padding. But again, I wanted the baby booty fabric to be a bit thinner for sewing so I felted it for about an hour. It thinned out but was still flexible and comfy.
For both of these I overlapped the back seam to reduce the bulk inside where it would rub against the baby's heel. I did very "rustic" looking embroidery floss trim and added the ribbon bows, using a hole punch on the Simplicity brown booties to make them fully adjustable.
Here are a few more pictures of the process
|Back heel overlapped seam|
|Needle felting the fabric to make it "thinner"|
|Two Simplicity pattern pieces|
|Fuzzy inside of the booty and ribbed outside|
|Two sweater layers felted together|
|Delicate burpers, use the left one, hefty burps, pick up the right one.|
|Knip Mode 04-2008|
I wore it to the annual Baltimore Symphony concert at Oregon Ridge Park, an event that I've been enjoying since the 1970s. Gorgeous setting, beautiful music, wonderful friends, great food and then fireworks, wow, that's what freedom means to me. Thanks so many men and women who gave that ultimate sacrifice to let us enjoy this and every other day.
Next post I'll show you the dress pattern that I've fallen in love with in this latest heat wave, catch you up on books I've been enjoying....and not enjoying... and show you what else is stealing my time from the sewing room this summer.