Thing 2 has been wearing soft leather shoes for the last few months, at least when he wears shoes. We've used the cheap Robeez knockoffs that are sold at Target (an example - not the exact pair he's had), and they've been great. But he only had the 6-12 month size, and now of course he's outgrown them. (This would not be so much of a problem, but now that he's in the toddler room at daycare, he needs to wear shoes when they go outside.) So...I looked at Target two weekends in a row, and each time, they only had 1 pair of boy shoes in his size, and the one they had was really pathetic. I've wanted to sew him some shoes for awhile now, and I already the pattern and some leather, so necessity kicked my butt into gear.
Tada! My very first pair of leather shoes - in fact, this was my very first time working with leather at all! I thought that the pattern was quite easy to follow, and I appreciated the extra tips on working with leather, as well as extra options for modifying the pattern. I did not use any embellishment on this pair, as I wanted to make it very basic to test the pattern. (Also, I desperately needed shoes that fit!) The 12-18 month size is a little big on him, but not so big that it interferes with his walking. Yippee!
I got so many compliments on these shoes! DH was impressed - and that isn't always a given. He's usually pretty honest about what he thinks, so this was a real compliment. And Thing 2's daycare teachers commented on his "stylish new shoes" as soon as we walked into the room the next morning - without any idea that I'd made them. Another daycare teacher strongly hinted the next day that she'd love some for herself for Christmas. :)
I'd say these are a big success! I already have another pair cut out, and I intend to make plenty more. I want to try appliques on some subsequent ones. We'll see how it goes...