Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Crochet Boy Booties - Loafers with a Strap

I taught myself to crochet in order to make cute items for my kids. Because I am sentimental, I wanted my first ever project to be something I made for one of my own children. Well, that ship sailed when I sent off the bulky newborn set to my good friend. However, my second project was booties for my young son. Ideally, I would have learned to crochet before he was born so that I could have dressed him properly for a newborn photo shoot, but I also missed that boat. My son was wearing size 6-12 months by the time I crocheted his first booties.

I wanted his booties to be adorable, but not too frilly. I had a hard time finding cute booties patterns for boys. Yes, there are many unisex patterns out there, but many of them tend to be a bit generic. Where could I find something as cute as Mary Janes, but intended for boys? The answer for me was...Etsy (again). I just love the crochet patterns featured there. The pattern I selected was from The Lovely Crow, which is also the source of the booties I blogged about last week. Actually, I had bought these two patterns at the same time so that I could get a two-for-one deal (two patterns for $10.75 rather than $5.95 each, for a savings of $1.15).

Pattern Link:
    • I chose The Lovely Crow's Little Mister Loafers for my son's first booties (note: the original pattern does not include the strap shown in these pictures)

    Little Mister Loafers with strap

    I still swoon every time I see a picture of these booties. The pattern was very easy to follow. I finished the booties very quickly. I opted to keep them simple, so I left off the buttons and optional trim on the toes. Even though I did not add the buttons as embellishments, I did add a strap and button (see below). A bonus of this pattern is that it comes with a video tutorial that includes a very clever and fast technique for sewing on buttons.

    • Worsted weight (#4) yarn: I used Caron Simply Soft, as suggested in the pattern. The colors in my photos are "bone" and "chocolate"
    • Hook size 3.5mm (aka "E")
    • Tapestry needle
    • Two buttons (I used coconut)
    • Stitch marker for keeping track of the first stitch of each row (optional) 

    Little Mister Loafers front


    These booties are loafers, which I call the male equivalent of Mary Janes. They are designed such that a relatively large part of the top of the foot is exposed. Although this is extremely cute (especially on chubby feet), there is a drawback: they fall off pretty easily. I would not call this a design flaw, per se; it's just what happens when you put a loafer on a baby. I made an attempt to correct this by adding a strap. The strap was not part of the original pattern. 

    brown Little Mister Loafers

    Pattern modification - adding a strap:
    If you already have a booties pattern with a strap that you like, then that would probably work fine for this. I wanted the strap to be very simple, so I made a chain and used slip stitches to add a button loop.
    Simple chain strap (for a chubby ankle in size 6-12 months):
    Chain 18 (or to desired length), slip stitch in 5th chain from hook and continue down to the first chain, fasten off and secure loose ends to the inside body of the bootie.
    Add a button on the other side of the bootie using the technique described in the tutorial that goes with the bootie pattern.

    chubby ankle bootie

    I must say that even with the strap (which helped a lot), these booties still tended to slide off of the heel. I suspect this happens with many booties that do not cover the ankles and include an ankle tie. I still love them, especially for photo shoot purposes. The next time I make these, I may add a much thicker strap. Incidentally, The Lovely Crow offers a pattern, Little Prince Loafers, that looks almost identical to these, but includes a wide strap. They are also very cute baby boy booties, and probably stay on busy babies a bit better (yeah, I like alliteration).

    When choosing crochet booties patterns, do you rank
    form (i.e., cuteness for photo shoots) or function higher?

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