When a family in our church welcomed a long-awaited baby boy a few weeks back, leather shoes instantly popped into my mind. And when I discovered that the baby shower theme was mustaches and sweater vests, the specific design began to take shape.
I used the Darling Diapers Mini Mocs pattern (It's free and includes sizes 0 mths - 4 years!), which is my favorite "classic" leather shoe pattern. I made up the 6-12 months size, since the little guy I made them for is already two months old and growing fast. The shoes were entirely handstitched -- I'm finding that's my absolutely favorite way to sew leather, because there is no stress and headache of trying to get my machine to cooperate.
I drew up a mustache template and cut it out of the tan suede upper, so that the black leather "lining" would show through. It worked like a charm! After stitching the lining and upper right side together along the straight-ish edge, I used an awl to poke a series of holes around the mustache. Then it was a simple matter of two rounds of running stitch (the cleanest way to create a strong, tidy row of stitching on leather, in my opinion) with a regular needle. I chose the awl + regular needle over just a leather needle, since the awl gave me the necessary precision for a topstitching detail.
I repeated that procedure on the elastic casing. However, I did use a leather needle for my first row of stitching when attaching the sole to the uppers (switching to a regular needle for the second round of running stitch, since the blade on the leather needle can easily cut your existing stitches!). I like the leather needle when sewing "curved" seams that don't lay flat together, because I feel I have more control.
Once the shoes were done, I realized I had no suitable box to place them in, so I got to work with a manila folder and a roll of brown shipping paper. Voila! Custom shoe box! Dolled up with some washi tape and chalkboard contact paper, it was ready to go. And yes, for the record, I often spend far too long wrapping presents.
Into the bag with some homemade whipped body butter and a little book, and ready to go. For the bag, I stitched together some cardstock flags to make a mini bunting for an otherwise plain gift bag. I like the simplicity of the look.
In keeping with the mustache theme, I volunteered to make a cake (which, sadly, went largely uneaten!). I've been longing to try the whole "take a circle cake and cut a curve in it" idea that you've probably already seen on Pinterest. Well, it works! Sadly, this very "flashy" picture is the only snapshot I got: