I know a lot of people expecting babies at the moment, so I’ve been looking out for cute but easy gifts to make. This post is about bootees, both knitted and sewn, and there will be another post to follow with some quick ideas for bibs and blankets. I hope they give some ideas for other people with little ones to craft for!
The first bootee pattern I tried was a knitted one, and as a bonus, it’s free at this site and also on ravelry, where you can see a picture, too. It’s a nice easy pattern; in fact I’d say it was suitable for a newbie knitter keen to learn a few more techniques. You only need knit and purl stitches, plus a bit of increasing, decreasing and joining. The only extra equipment you’ll need is a stitch holder or large safety pin, and if you don’t know how to crochet to make the little tie at the front, you could do a plait. My only other recommendation is to read the pattern right through as there is one part where you have to follow the instructions and also remember to decrease on certain rows. As you can see, I thought they were so cute and easy I made two pairs, and would have made more if I had more babies to knit for!
The second two patterns were both fabric ones, and both from online shop ithinkisew. This shop has lots of adorable patterns for baby shoes and bags, and they’re all downloadable as pdfs. I chose the Cameron baby sneakers and the Jaden baby sneakers. I started with the Cameron ones because they looked a bit easier, but in fact I did find them a little bit fiddly as you have to make sure you sew through several layers and then turn them out. To be fair to the pattern though, firstly I forgot to check that my printer was set to ‘no scale’ – ie print exactly as the pattern says – so I think that my pieces were a bit smaller than intended; and secondly I later tried again by hand because I was away from my machine and they turned out absolutely fine.
Next up I tried the more difficult-looking Jadens (again by hand) and found them actually to be no more difficult than the Camerons. I would say both are suitable for intermediate sewists partly just because the pieces are a bit fiddly for being small. Plus on both patterns you do need to look out for the odd inconsistency between the instructions and the photos – trust your instincts and the finished images. Full photos are provided for each stage which is very helpful if you’re not so much of an instructions person. As you can see, in both cases I got slightly addicted and made several – each only takes a tiny bit of fabric (way less than the amount specified in the patterns; you really can use offcuts and leftover bits) and you only need a bit of interfacing and some velcro in terms of extra notions. Plus you can play about with nice lining fabric which I love. All of the ithinkisew shoe patterns come in several sizes, all given on the pattern sheets.