Amy Butler’s Cutie Booties

When I went on my bag kick earlier this year (see: Cosmo Bag, Everyday Shopper Bag, Origami Bag, Birdie Sling, Frenchy Bag, and the Buttercup Bag for more on this obsession) I started by picking up the Amy Butler Bag book from the library.  Since I was there and they were available, I figured I might as well pick up her other books too.  Although I liked the bags the most, there were a few other projects that jumped out at me.  I copied a few of the patterns and tucked them away for when the time was right.

Well, the time is now right.  I’m in baby shower gift making mode and Amy Butler’s cutie booties are most definitely called for.  I decided to whip up the 0-3 month size with my pink and green fabric, a quarter yard of a green with white dots and left over scraps of interfacing I’ve got from my past bag making adventures.

Now, if you actually read the instructions I’m sure this is a very easy project.  Being the excellent reader that I am, I found there were a few challenges.  The first of which was I cut out the pieces on a Friday night after I’d had a glass of wine.  I don’t know how I keep running into this error in judgement.  Obviously I need to just buy patterns that are pre-cut.  and perhaps pre-sewn.  That would leave more time for wine….

Anyway, as per usual, there are a million pieces to cut out for an Amy Butler project.  It looks great now right?

I managed to get everything interfaced and I was ready to start sewing.  On to the Velcro!  I found several blog posts that mentioned the Velcro placement made for a really tight fit on the booties.  So I marked the placement from the pattern and cheated it a bit bigger when I actually went to sew it on the fabric.  Another good tip: Use a circle of Velcro rather than a square.  That way you won’t have to worry about the squares lining up or being cattywhompus.  Or maybe you don’t care about cattywhompus squares and it’s just the people like OCD me who are impacted by squares of Velcro that don’t quite line up….

I went to put the Velcro on the lining and that’s when I realized not only did I have two booties that were identical (rather than a mirrored set) but the lining pieces I had cut weren’t reversed.  Doh!  Good thing I’ve got extra green fabric because I actually want the right side of my lining fabric facing out….not in.  Just ignore those lining pieces I cut underneath the pink and green fabric and use the correctly reversed lining pieces.

Whew!  On the upside, the lining doesn’t have any interfacing so at least I don’t have to cut out new pieces of that (which is really good because I used up the last of my scraps on the first attempt).

I had to read the instruction on the first seam a few times before I figured out what was going on.  After working through that tough nut, I have a potential to become a cobbler.  Turned and pressed it looked great.

Assembling the rest of the bootie was pretty straightforward with the exception of the blind stitching of the lining sole on.  First of all, it’s impossible to press under that trimmed 1/4″ seam around the assembled bootie so that it will actually lay flat while you pin the lining piece on.  I really had to wrestle and shove to get everything tucked in with a pin barely holding on to make it all stay shut until I can come around there with my needle.  As you can see, I had to use just a few pins to make this happen….

By the time I was done with that little exercise, my hands were cramping from working on such a small piece!  Now, I’m not the best hand sewer, but with the addition of a ton of pins and the realization that this kid won’t be walking when she wears these shoes I polished it off and turned it inside out never to be seen again.

I felt that the booties were a bit blah when I finished.  Sure, they were plenty cute, but I wanted to turn up the volume a bit.  So I decided to put a flower on each shoe.  I grabbed a scrap of the light green lining fabric and sewed a free form flower shape (This is a very similar method to the one I used to make the flowers on the basic burp cloths, only there I had five petals on the flower).

After I finished the flower, I cut it out.  I then repeated the process with a second flower and stacked the two together, offsetting the petals.

To give it a bit of volume, I folded it in half

then in half again

and took a stitch to hold it in place.

I added a button detail and attached it to the shoe tab and there they are!

The second shoe went together significantly faster than the first, but the project still took me a few hours from start to finish (there’s a lot of cutting – not to mention re-cutting when you make a mistake!) and the hand sewing was a bit of a bear.  I bet it’s a bit easier on the larger sizes.

Some cutie booties for a new cutie baby.

–Martta

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