Baby Moccasins And Other Off-Season Adventures

The peak marathon of late-summer work in the garden is finally over. Oh sure, there’s clean up and garlic and cover cropping and all those other tasks, but there’s no urgency. The days are shorter and the tasks are less immediate. I’m still preserving pears and apples but the weekend-long sessions of salsa and canned tomatoes and peaches as far as the eye could see are – blessedly – done for another 10 months or so.

This leaves some time for other household projects. My latest thing is an attempt to make baby moccasins for my one year old son. I have some distinct opinions about footwear on toddlers (way less is way more) so generally Oliver plods around in bare feet, socks, or the leather-soled Robeez, depending on weather and terrain.

Those little shoes are worth it, but at $20-$40, they aren’t cheap. So, emboldened by an extremely good internet tutorial on DIY moccasins, I decided to attempt to make leather baby moccasins from an old thrift store leather skirt with a busted zipper.

Two days ago I became the proud owner of a brand new (to me) 25-year-old Pfaff sewing machine. This was my first sewing project with a machine since I messed up a pillow in 7th Grade Home Ec. I literally had to learn how to thread the machine to embark on this project, so I guess what I’m saying is – if I can make moccasins, anyone can make moccasins.

I think given my inexperience they (well, it, since I only have the right one done at the moment) turned out really quite well.


I followed these instructions for adult moccasins, with a few adjustments:

  • With the exception of the heel reinforcement tab and some of the tongue stitching, I sewed the shoes on the sewing machine. Several weeks ago I did whipstitch a moccasin together by hand one evening, and found it relaxing but also quite slow.
  • I deliberately made the moccasins on the large size, so they go on uncooperative and chubby toddler feet more easily and will accomodate big puffy winter socks. 
  • I punched holes along the ankle surround area and threaded leather laces through so I can cinch the bootie more snuggly around my little mans baby ankle.

Over the weekend, I’ll make the other shoe and we’ll see how my boy takes to them. I predict total shoe love.

What new skills will you be tackling durring gardening’s sleepy season?


  1. says

    Awesome work!

    On these rainy Spring days we are having, I have been sewing a patchwork bag for my new crochet habit!! It has navy blue vintage floral, solid red, red & white spot, red & white gingham, and even a little stripe… sounds awful, doesn't it!

  2. says

    You did an amazing job. I’m into sewing and making my son different styles that i haven’t seen anyone with. I love the fact that these shoes are handmade and high top. These shoes are the bomb!.

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