Let's talk baby wear. Shopping for your little one is fun, and yes, sometimes expensive. The urge to over spend can be very strong, especially considering how many beautiful handmade and vintage shops are available to us online. One of the biggest problems with buying big for baby is the fact that (happily) babies grow like bean spouts, so nothing fits for more than 6 months, and that's a generous estimate.
I'm a big believer in making a lot of my own baby clothes, sourcing them secondhand and spending what budget I do have on very smart, unique and well made items. That means, in this example, purchasing locally made deer leather baby moccasins as soft shoes for Eve. I bought these a few months before Eve Moon was born last year. They set me back $40 CAD. That's a fair chunk of change for a pair of baby booties.
These boots are soft, created with deer leather and hand stitched for extra durability. They close by overlapping the sides and tongue, and wrapping snugly around the ankle with leather lacing. They can be folded over for a shorter shoe, or left up as a boot. The smallest size was a 5, but I knew I'd be able to wrap the ankle as tightly as needed to keep them from slipping off of her little foot. Eve started wearing them around 5 months. Now, she's just over 15 months old and they probably have a couple months left in them. 10 months of wear is pretty good in my book for baby shoes.
Shoes like these wrap up moccasins are excellent for babies who are learning to walk, because they form to the foot and provide some traction on smooth surfaces like wood floors. The leather lacing ties up nicely and won't come undone easily like regular laces. Eve loves to rip off her shoes, and she doesn't even try with these. I think it's because she just forgets she's even wearing them. At this stage, I let her wear them outside during dry summer days to play in the grass or stroll down the sidewalk. Leather shoes like this aren't intended to wear in wet conditions, and know that they will get dirty - so expect dirt and toe marks so show through the soft soles. I sprayed these with leather conditioner twice, and try to avoid having her wear them on wet days so these have stayed in good condition.
I have a pattern for making baby mocs that I'd like to try with scrap leather, and I'll share the results. However, I feel good about supporting handmade industry, so if you know of a artisan who makes moccasins, trust in their experience and treat your little one to something special.
Buy handmade, Lune suggests :