Baby Ballet Slippers – Free Tutorial

This is a little slipper that I’ve been making Alessandra from three months.  Such a super cute little shoe and the elastic around the edges keep it on her feet.  I thought I would share this as a tutorial and hope you enjoy it.  The pattern is located here and you can also download a printable version of the instructions here.

You will need:

  • Approx. 30cm/12″ square of a main fabric and the same of a contrasting fabric.
  • Scraps will do fine (which I have used for the tutorial photos).
  • Thin rope or thread elastic, alternatively, very thin elastic 8″/20cm in length
  • 20″/50cm length of thin ribbon
  • Eyelet/Grommets or fray stop to make the little ribbon holes.

Cut the Fabric. The pattern fits on a standard A4/US Letter paper sheet and is provided for sizes 3mths, 6mths and 9mths.  You will need two pattern pieces for any size.  Follow the cutting instructions on the pattern pieces and transfer the markings (yellow and orange dots) to your fabrics.  Once cut you will have two foot and two sole pieces for the main (outside fabric) and the same of the lining (inside) fabric

Stitch inner foot seam. Set aside the sole pieces.  Take the foot pieces and with right sides facing, stitch the inside ‘U’. Trim the seam as close as practical.  This seam will be located in the elastic casing during a later step below..

Create opening holes for ribbon/elastic Open up the toe piece and locate the markings you made for the yellow dot – this is the opening holes for your elastic/ribbon.  There will be two points 3/8″/1cm either side of the midpoint and the same 3/8″/1cm from ‘U’ stitch.

You need to make little entry holes for the ribbon/elastic bows at the front of the slipper.  You are only doing this on the front fabric of the slipper (not the inside fabric).

You won’t really see the hole when your finished, so don’t worry too much about how you create the holes.  You can either:

  • use an eyelet kit (like I have).  You can purchase these at any good habby store fairly cheap. I would use a little bit of interfacing or a small square of fabric behind the eyelet to stop it fraying around the punch line.
  • small button opening using your machine button hole function. If you can get a small enough button hole from it – it would be perfect!
  • whip stitch with a needle and thread around a snipped hole (just a small snip with scissors); or
  • if you are stuck for time, just dab some fraystop glue around the little holes to stop the fraying.

Sew heel on foot piece. Open up the back of the heel on the foot piece and with right sides together, stitch the length – from the inner fabric to the end of the outer fabric.  Fold the inner fabric to the right side.  You now have a completed slipper top.

Make the elastic casing. The last step to finish the slipper top is to create a casing for the elastic.  Stitch the elastic casing around the rim of the foot piece from the eyelet/ribbon opening one one side around to the other side.  The side of the casing will depend on the size of the elastic.  I used a small rope like elastic (bit thicker than thread) so kept my casing 1/4″/0.6cm.

Attach the outer sole to the foot piece. Place the outside sole piece on top of the foot piece – right sides together.  I am using the same outside material on the sole as she isn’t crawling or walking yet.  If your baby is at that age, then you might want to swap the material for suede or dab fabric paint on the bottom to provide some traction (just in case).  I use the rug or mat grip material you can buy from rolls at habby stores.

I like to stitch the sole with the sole on the bottom (with the dog teeth) and the foot located at the top (near the need).  Sew gently, following the curve of the sole.

Attach the inner sole to the slipper. One the outer sole has been attached, with the slipper facing up, place the inner sole over the top of the slipper, right side of the sole facing the right side of the lining material on the shoe.

Stitch the inner sole over the top of the slipper leaving the back heel open to turn the slipper right side out.

Now turn the shoe right side out.

Fold the open inner sole heel into the shoe and hand stitch in place to fix.

Whew!  That’s the hard work done.  Now for the elastic ribbon.

Elastic ribbon. Stitch your elastic between two pieces of ribbon 5″/12.5cm in length.  Nothing fancy, the stitch will be inside the elastic casing.  One finished, thread this through one of the eyelets/openings through to the other side.

Now this may or may not be easy depending on whether you trimmed your edge seam (to give the elastic more room) and you have a bodkin small enough to fit through the hole in the first place.

A little trick – because my eyelets are so small I use a very small safety pin.  I thread one of the ribbons onto the pin and close it.  With a pair of pliers, I then squash the top of the safety pin until it becomes a narrow ‘lump’.  Once threaded through, I use the pliers again to snap off the lump and remove the safety pin.

Once through to the other side, position the elastic into the casing and pull the ribbons out of the eyelet/opening, tie into a bow.  If you ribbons fray, gently place it near an open flame to melt/seal the ends and stop the fraying.


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4 Responses to Baby Ballet Slippers – Free Tutorial

  1. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am inspired! Extremely helpful info specifically the closing part :) I maintain such information a lot. I used to be seeking this particular info for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  2. Alina Cervantes says:

    Thank you a looot!!

    i have been looking for this for ages..
    i’m a ballerina, & i’m having a girl next month, so i wanted to buy her a couple of pairs of ballet slippers :) i searched online, but they were too expensive, and they weren’t on sale on my country..
    then i found this, and it’s a bit difficult for me ’cause i speak spanish, my english isn’t good enough, but i’m trying hard to understand this ’cause i want to make lots of pairs of this for my baby! the pictures are really helpful.
    thank you!!!

  3. Sue says:

    This is honestly very clever.

  4. Pingback: WeAllSew «

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