My sister and I have been selling patterns for and making Waldorf-inspired dolls for a few years. Our dolls, like many other Waldorf dolls, have a unique feature in that each f00t of the doll is constructed by folding up the end of the doll’s leg and stitching the fold into place. This makes for very small rounded feet.
Over the years, I have made many pairs of slippers and shoes to cover those little feet. Usually choosing to crochet or knit them, as I was apprehensive to attempt feeding the tiny amount of fabric needed for each shoe through my machine.
After much trial and error (and a realization that some simple hand sewing was an option) I came up with an easy and quick alternative to the fiber shoes of before.
These simple shoes are quick to make and are the perfect first sewing project for your child to make a cute pair of booties for their doll.
High quality fleece or felt
A large needle
Print and cut out Shoe Template
Cut out 2 pieces of fleece from both the sole and the body pattern pieces.
Cut a piece of thin ribbon 3 times the length of the ankle of the shoe body.
Stitch this ribbon onto the rightside of the fleece at the ankle of the shoe. Be sure to leave 1/4 inch from each edge to allow for sewing the ankle halves of each shoe together in the next step.
Now, fold the ribbon in on itself and pin in place to avoid stitching by accident when you construct the shoe.
Fold the body of the shoe in half with wrong sides together.
Now for the help from your little one! Have them use a needle and threaded with embroidery floss and use a simple running stitch to sew the front of the shoe together.
Once you get to the bottom of the shoe, place the fleece sole of the shoe right side out at the bottom of the shoe body and using the same thread, stitch around the perimeter of the sole of the shoe.
Once you return to the front of the shoe, you will again stitch up the front of the shoe until you reach the thread where you began.
Triple knot and cut thread.
Repeat for the second shoe.
If you prefer a shorter shoe height, simply cut 3/4 of and inch from the cuff of the shoe template.
I like the look of the raw edge of seam to be visible on the outside of the shoe. If you prefer, you can certainly fold the body of the shoe in half with right sides facing inside so that the seam is hidden inside of the shoe. Otherwise the directions are exactly the same.
If you do choose to have the seam on the inside of the shoe, you will need to make your stitches tighter than I used in the outer seam shoes. This will prevent seam gaps from being visible once you turn the shoe right side out. You will see this illustrated in the blue shoes above and below.
These shoes can be easily adjusted for different sized dolls; simply resize the pattern by measuring the sole of your doll’s feet and adding 1/4 inch to the perimeter of it and the sole to allow for stitching the sole to the body. As you increase the size of the sole, you will likewise increase the size of body of the shoe to the same percentage.
As long as you increase the size of both components by the same percentage you will have a shoe that sews together perfectly.
Julia Daby is a Registered Nurse who lives happily with her husband and little boy in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. She enjoys crafts of all kinds, eating good food, reading, and being outdoors. She has a pattern and tutorial store on ETSY where she and her twin share sewing and fiber tutorials to inspire creativity in other Mamas; including those on cloth diaper sewing, complete instructions on several variations of Waldorf Dolls, clothing tutorials, and accessories for little ones. She writes about life, family and creativity at Happiness Comes. She also can be found at Windfall Dolls, where she and her sister give away Waldorf inspired dolls to deserving little ones.