If you’re anything like me, there is no way you’re gonna shell out $60 for a pair of baby shoes that will last 6 months at best, not matter how stinkin’ cute they are. With this pattern, you can make your own using repurposed leather you can find at any thrift shop. I often find leather jackets that might have a few worn or damaged areas very inexpensively.
This pair of moccasins will fit babies about 6-12 months and the sole is about 4.75″ long.
You can download the free baby moccasins pattern here:
How much leather do you need? The whole pattern fits onto an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper, and you need two of each pattern piece. So, you should easily be able to make these from under 2 square feet of material. If you are really careful about placing your pieces, you may even be able to fit this onto one square foot of leather. You will also need 14″ of 1/4″ elastic.
Sewing with leather can be a bit tricky if you haven’t done it before, but there a few little tricks I will share with you along the way that can make it a lot easier.
1. Cut out pattern pieces and lay out.
A.Cut out your pattern pieces. .When you see an arrow on the pattern piece, make a small mark within the seam allowance to mark center points. Cutting leather out is MUCH easier if you have a rotary cutter
and cutting mat
. In fact, if you are planning to make many of these little moccs, or you want to sell them, you really need a rotary cutter for accurate and clean cutting. I really like this little OLFA 45 mm
. It has held up really well to a couple years abuse by me.
If using scissors, you may find it easier to first trace the pattern onto the leather before cutting out with scissors.
Make sure you have all your pattern pieces:
A. Two Toe Pieces
B. Two back fringe pieces
C. Two sole pieces
D. Two front fringe pieces
E. Two heel pieces
Also cut 2 pieces of 1/4″ elastic, 7″ long each
2. Sew the fringe pieces onto the sole and toe.
A. Lay out your back fringe piece, right side down. Place the heel piece on top, also right side down, about 3/4” down.
B. Fold the fringe piece down over the heel piece, about 3/4” to create the casing for the elastic. Clip down with paperclips to hold in place before stitching as shown. You could also use binder clips or hair clips even to hold the leather in place. You don’t want to pin it, as that will leave permanent holes.
C. Place the front fringe piece centered on top of the toe piece, both right sides up. Line them up evenly at the top. Stitch two seams as shown, leaving about 1/2” between for elastic.
D. Here are all your pieces, ready to sew on to the sole.
Hint: Use wax paper under the leather.
Place a piece of wax paper under your leather as you sew can help the leather to move more easily as you sew. It also prevents the feed dogs from scratching your leather as it moves. It tears away easily when you are done.
3. Sew the heel onto the sole.
A. Line up the center points on the sole and heel pieces, right sides together, and pin together. Place the pin horizontally along the seam and staying within the seam allowance, so that no holes will be visible.
B. Clip the sides together with paperclips. Be sure both sides look even and adjust the heel piece as needed. Stitch around the edge, staying close (within 1/4″) to the edge of the sole piece.
C. Here is what it looks like sewn on. Keep in mind that you may need to go very slowly around the turn. Stop with your needle down, life the presser foot and adjust the pieces as often as you need to.
4. Sew the toe onto the sole.
A. Now, line up the center points on the sole and toe pieces, right sides together, and pin together, keeping the pin within the seam allowance.
B. Clip the sides together with paperclips. Try to overlap the heel piece over the ends of the toe piece evenly on either side. Back-stitch over the bulky area on each side to strengthen those seems, but don’t sew over the seams more than needed. Putting too many holes in the leather with the needle can weaken it and may cause it to rip.
5. Trim off excess and add elastic.
A. Trim off any excess around your seem to about 1/8”
B. Now insert the elastic, you can use a paperclip or, I like using a crochet hook to pull it through. Go through the back casing, then through the front.
D. Attach either by pulling out and stitching together on the machine, or I like to use a glue gun. Overlap the elastic by about 1” before attaching
6. Cut the front fringe.
A. Exactly how you cut the fringe is up to you. Here is how I do it. First, cut down the center. Oops, that was a little off-center. Try and do better than me!
B. Then two cuts on either side. I ended up trimming a little off the right side to make it look more even.
C. Now trim the bottom. I like making an arrow, but you could also round it off.
7. Cut the back fringe.
A. Cut your back fringe to about 3/8”. You can make them narrower or wider if you want, just try and keep it even. That’s it!
Where to find leather.
This is the question I get the most, and unfortunately, I don’t have a good online source for reasonably priced leather. If you know of one, please let me know! I find all of my leather by thrift shopping for used leather jackets. I’ve been able to find some fantastic quality leather on jackets that might have had a few flaws.
Post may contain affiliate links.