TOMS-inspired Baby and Toddler Shoes – Free Pattern and Tutorial

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I’ll just let the pictures do the talking here…

Love.

These shoes are adorable, comfortable and STAY on.

The little velcro strap keeps baby’s foot snug inside.

I am obsessed with those little tags. Characteristic of those cute little TOMS, yet personal to the little toes inside.

Want to make a pair for an itty baby? Add a little elastic to the back, sew the middle strap down – easy peasy.

And, best of all – they are made by you. (Or me.)

I’ll show you how…

First, download a pattern:

FREE General Baby Pattern (PDF) 
                              -or-
Instant Download Baby Pattern – $4.50 
includes: newborn, 0-3, 3-6, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24 month sizes & sizing chart
Add to Cart

FREE General Toddler Pattern (PDF)
                              -or-
Instant Download Toddler Pattern – $4.50
includes: US children’s size 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 & sizing chart
Add to Cart

View Cart

If you choose to download a generic pattern, make sure you scale it to the size you need. You will want the sole piece of the pattern to be approximately 1 inch longer than the feet you are making them for. This will allow room for seam allowance, plus a little wiggle room for comfort and growth.

Also, one more suggestion: make both of your shoes at the same time, assembly-line style. Because these shoes are so tiny, it’s important that your seam allowance is exactly the same for both shoes. If you make one shoe, and then the other – you risk slight differences, which could add up and result in a difference in size.

Here we go!

1. Cut out the pattern. 

First, cut out all of your pieces, as listed on the pattern.

This photo shows the pieces needed for the toddler pattern. If you are making the baby pattern, the center strap is made of one folded piece, not two separate pieces.

Also, the back is slightly different. The toddler pattern has a curved piece, with a rectangle-shaped lining (to be trimmed later). The baby pattern is made of two curved pieces.

For the soles of these shoes, I like to use two layers. (I use a rubber-dotted grippy fabric for shoes made for walkers.) But, you could use only one layer, or even three if you wanted. I find it easiest to fuse them together with wonder under – that way I am only essentially dealing with one layer of fabric.

Also, I would definitely suggest fusing the center pieces with interfacing. It will help keep the fabric in place, and prevent fraying when you cut the slit that will be folded out to encase the elastic. For the toddler shoes, I also like to use interfacing on the outside back, and heel pieces – just to give the heel a very clean look. Do NOT use interfacing on the toe pieces. They need to be very flexible!

You will also need your tags & elastic.

I use 3/4″ to 1″ elastic cut in a similar shape to the heel piece – edges cut at a slight angle. I usually use a piece about 1 1/4″ on the longest side for the toddler shoe, and 1″ for the baby shoe.

I make these tags with a printable iron-on transfer paper and 5/8″ ribbon. If you have the supplies to make these, its fairly cheap to make them yourself. If not, the transfer paper, ribbon, and elastic is going to put you upwards of $20.

Or, I have this set of customized tags available in my Etsy shop. It includes a set of three tags (one extra set, just in case) and 4-inches of 1″ elastic.

2. Sew the back of the shoe.

One of the main differences between the toddler and baby shoe is the back. The toddler shoe has a flat back, and the baby shoe has an elastic back. The toddler shoes are shown in the grey/floral photos, baby in mustard/grey dots. You can click on any of the photos to enlarge.

Toddler Shoe
With right sides together, sew along the straight edge with 1/4″ seam allowance.

Iron, pressing the lining fabric flat, the outside fabric creased.

Fold the outside fabric over the lining, and press again.

Sew along the top edge.

Baby Shoe
With right sides together, sew along the straight edge with 1/4″ seam allowance.

Iron seam open.

Fold in half, press.

3. Sew on back tag. (Same for toddler and baby) 

Press the sides of the heel fabric under. Place it upside-down (long side up) with right sides together so that the tag is placed in the center and about 1/3 of the way down the back curved piece. 

Sew along the top of the tag piece, about 1/4-inch in. Separate the lining from the outside fabric so that you are only sewing through the outside layer. (Enlarge the picture, it will make better sense.)

Then, press the tag down, and sew along the sides and top (still only on the outside layer). 

Next, either trim your tag to size and treat with fray check, or fold the sides under. Center over the heel piece and sew in place. (I like to use a longer stitch length on the tag to give it more of a “hand-sewn” look. 

Remember you are going to loose about 1/4-inch in seam allowance from the bottom, so place the tag high on the heel.


4. Sew encasing for elastic. (Baby shoe only)

Sew along the top of the back piece, just over 1/4” in. Pull 1/4″ elastic through, enough so that the ends stick out when flat. 


5. Sew the center strap.

Cut along the line as indicated by the pattern, and fold toward the wrong side of the fabric to create a triangle shape. Press well.

With right sides together, align the center pieces making sure that the triangles line up well.
For the toddler shoe, sew around the top, short side, and bottom of the of the strap. Do not back-stitch on top edge, the stitch is just to baste for now. Clip the corners on the short end.
For the baby shoe, you only need to sew along the top. Do not stitch along the short side and folded edge.

Turn right-side-out and press all edges very well. Use a seam ripper to open the stitches as shown.

Insert in elastic and the small tag near the edge of the short side (fold in half & trim). I totally forgot to add the little tag as I was making these. Hopefully these make-shift illustrations will explain how to put it in.

Toddler Shoe

Sew along the top, small side and bottom edges. I like to do a double stitch on the top.

Baby Shoe
Sew along the top edges, placing the tag about a 1/2 inch away from the edge. Meet the toe piece with the center, and overlap 1/8″-1/4″ and sew together on outer edges, with the center piece on top.

6. Baste the toe. (Same for toddler and baby)

Following the guides (the dotted lines) on the pattern, baste the toe pleats as shown. The little notches at the end of the toe should line up so that the resulting piece is a smooth curve.

The pleats should point toward each other on the back side of the piece, but they do not touch. Make sure that the pleats run parallel to each other, and do not angle outward. (This is the same for the baby shoe, it has just already been attached to the toe.)

 

Toddler Shoe

Attach the center strap to the toe by placing the two pieces together and overlapping by 1/8″-1/4 with the center strap in front. Sew along the same stitch line on the outer edge of the center piece as you made before. Stitch 1/3-1/2 way into the length of the center strap. 
Here’s what it will look like in front:
And in back…
7. Size the back pieces. (Same for toddler and baby)
Before attaching the back and front, lay our your pieces to make sure that they are paired correctly.

Trim the back pieces along the curved edge, so that all of the edges align.

The pattern allows for the back pieces to be trimmed to fit the shoe perfectly. I did not create these to be exact – because any deviation in seam allowance could result in an incorrect fitting. 

To size the back piece, place the top piece on the sole, pleats aligning to the pattern.  Pin the center in place.

Then, carefully pin the pieces to the sole, aligning edges.

Attach the back piece, by first centering the heel to the back and following the edges around until the sides meet. (Don’t worry about pinning the back piece on.) Pin in place to the front.
**Attach back of the toddler shoe to the TOE piece on the outer side of the shoe (so that the strap can move). Attach back of the baby shoe to the CENTER piece outer side of the shoe.**

Now, unpin the front from the sole, so that the front and back are still attached.

Trim the sides of back piece so that they overlap the front by 1/4-1/2″.

Zigzag stitch the trimmed edge to prevent fraying.  
Baby Shoe

For the baby shoe, trim the edges very carefully, making sure that the elastic lays flat inside. Zig-zag stitch one side, and straight stitch over the elastic just for reinforcement.

Pull the elastic through the other end about 1-inch (give or take, depending on how stretchy you want it to be).

Then stitch in place.

8. Attach the back to the front. (Same for toddler and baby)

First, on the large end of the center strap, stitch the back to the front, along the same two lines already sewn.

Back view:
 

Now, attach the back to the other side with two straight lines.

**Sew back of the toddler shoe to the TOE piece. Sew the back of the baby shoe to the CENTER piece.**


9. Attach the velcro.  (Toddler shoe only)

Toddler Shoe
Before attaching the toddler shoe to the sole, add the velcro for the strap.
First, sew one side of the velcro to the end of the strap.

Then, attach the other to the side of the shoe, trimming the velcro to align with the seam.

10. Attach the top to the sole. (Same for toddler and baby)

With the right side of the top of the shoe facing the outside of the sole, carefully pin together, matching the pleats with the pattern and centering the tag in the back.

Sew around the entire edge, reinforcing the seams and pleats. If you are working with a small shoe, you may need to sew around in 3-4 segments, replacing and repinning each time.

If you would like, cut out a lining to the shoe out of a thick material. Use the sole pattern as your guide, cutting in about 1/4-inch. (I used a fuzzy/pleather here.) This will add a little more padding to the bottom, and also allow room to grown

That’s it! Turn your shoes right-side out and put them on some cute little feet!

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Comments

  1. says

    I just found your shoe tutorial on Pinterest and I am loving it!! I can’t wait to make a pair for my 15 month old. (Now to get what needs to be done before I take this project on!) And the personalized tags??? Such a great touch. Thank you so much for posting this pattern!!

  2. says

    These are the cutest things ever! And of course I just adore that they are personalized.. what could be better?
    Thanks so much for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party.. I am featuring these next week!
    xoxo
    Amie @ Pinkapotamus

  3. says

    I just want you to know how much I enjoyed looking through your blog this morning. Such wonderful sewing and recipes ideas and I ‘Pinned’ a bunch of them so I’m spreading the word. I look forward to seeing more!

  4. says

    Love these! I am in the process of making but I can’t find the rubber grip material anywhere. Any suggestions? Also, thank you so much for the tutorial, I can’t wait to finish theses adorable shoes for my kiddos!a

  5. Anonymous says

    Wow! What a wonderful tutorial. I can’t wait to make these for my grandson and grandbaby #2 on the way. WELL DONE! Thank you for sharing. OMA

    • says

      I’m sure canvas would work great – really, I think anything goes for these shoes! Since you have the flexibility in the shoes with the elastic and velcro, you could use a stiff or thick fabric – and they would still be comfortable!

      I have even used a slightly stretchy corduroy and they turned out fantastic as well!

  6. Anonymous says

    So excited to start making my daughters pair!! I got the perfect chocolate and tan duck cloths at Joann’s to use :) her feet seem a little big with the sizing though compared to your patterns lol

  7. says

    oh YES!!! i am SO sewing this weekend ….. the dirty clothes will still be there when i finish, no doubt about it!!!

    i CAN’T WAIT!!! Thanks SO MUCH for sharing and being so generous with your tips and advice!!!!

  8. Anonymous says

    oh my goodness! i am so excited! i got a sewing machine for christmas and i have twin girls on the way! they are going to have the cutest shoes!!!!!! i am going to have to get my mother in law to sit down with me and help me out! she is the pro and i am the young grasshopper in training!!

  9. Anonymous says

    is there any way you could do a video for how to do the toe part of the shoe? I am having some trouble with that part.

    • Anonymous says

      Yes…also I have tried multiple times, and cannot understand how to do the strap thingy. I’ve gotten as far as turning it right side out (baby shoe) and can’t figure out how to get those pressed flaps to stay under before I put the elastic in! I put the elastic in, too, but it looks way worse than yours. Could you explain in…or in a video?

  10. says

    How much elastic do you reccommend for the elastic in the toddler shoe? I tried a pair but I think I had my elastic too tight, they just didn’t look cute like yours!

  11. Anonymous says

    How much fabric is needed for the baby pair? 1/4 yard for each or 1/2 yard? I can’t wait to make some for my son !

  12. says

    These shoes are so cute! I wanted to start by making the printable pattern and just wondered what size it is supposed to be? Also, will you be selling an adult pattern? My husband wants a pair too for around the house!

  13. Anonymous says

    These are so cute!!! I have a niece or nephew due in a month and I can not wait to make these! Being a new sewer, I was wondering when you add the interfacing? Is it before you start sewing? And do you have a certain size interfacing you have found works best?

    Thanks!

    • says

      I use an iron-on interfacing, and iron it to my material before I cut the pattern out! I think a light-weight interfacing works great – it really just depends on the size of the shoe and the material you are using. The interfacing is used in the middle piece just to add stability to the cut you make in the fabric, and to prevent fraying. Adding interfacing to the heel piece in the toddler shoe just gives it a cleaner look. Good luck, let me know if you have any other questions!

  14. says

    Hi Leisha,
    I am in the middle of making these for my 15 mo. old grandson. I have just come to the baste the toe part & cannot figure out the toe pleats. I have read through all of the previous posts hoping to see it already answered, but no luck. With the bottom part being “folded” from cutting it along the fold, what am I going to do with the bottom part? Is it cut along the fold simply for a double layer of fabric along the toe part (so that it is still quite bendy)?

    Many thanks,
    Lyne S.

    • says

      I just finished a pair of these and saw your question wasn’t answered yet — the fold of the toe attaches to the “top” part of the shoe (where the elastic is), also cut on the fold. So, the 2 pieces cut on the fold go together and overlap by 1/4″ or so. The 2 pleats are where the scallops are, and they go at the tip of the shoe and attach to the sole. I hope that makes sense!

    • Anonymous says

      Kim,
      Question: how did you exactly do the strap part for the baby size? I tried so hard…

      I guess I’m asking how you got the edges of those flappy things to stay down when you sewed the elastic in.
      Thanks!

    • says

      So cute! Love the post. I featured you on my fb page!

      To answer your question – you really just need to iron them down very well. If you are working with a thicker fabric, it may be a little tricky – and you may also need to use a few pins!

  15. Caitlin says

    When cutting out the pieces, what does it mean when it says, cut one front on fold, like on the toe of the toddler shoe? does this mean one piece of fabric but two layers because it is folded over? Same with for the back of the toddler shoe. I am new to sewing and trying to figure this out. I wanted to see if I am even competent enough to make the shoe before buying all the sizes :) Thanks for the great pattern!

    • says

      Yes, exactly! So, when there is a fold (black) arrow – fold the fabric, then align the edge of the pattern piece, where indicated, to the fold. Then, cut out the pattern on all of the other sides.

  16. says

    So cute! Found this on Pinterest and it’s on my to-make list! I may have the perfect fabric. Just a note, TOMS brand has a great cause. For every pair purchased, they donate a pair to children in need. If you can, consider making a donation to them at their website toms.com or to another charity. Always good to pay it forward, even if you make the shoes your own way, they were the inspiration after all!

  17. Anonymous says

    I love these shoes!!!! I am working on finishing my first pair… assuming I can figure it out, I look forward to buying all the sizes to follow my little ones through the years!

    I am struggling with attaching the sole. Do you leave some seam allowance or try and get as close to the edge as possible? I also am finding it difficult to get a good corner on the heel where the tag is. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it easier or smoother?

    Thanks so much!!!

    • says

      Try to align the top piece with the edge of the sole as close as you can – leaning on the side of small, rather than too big. That way, when you attach the sole (at 1/4″ allowance) – they should fit together perfectly!

      Attaching the heel to the sole can be a little complicated – especially if you are making a very small shoe. Sometimes, it helps for me to only sew 1/2-1″ at a time, take the shoe off the machine, repin, and then work around in small increments.

  18. says

    I just finished my first trial pair and I am obsessed with how they turned out!! I’m pretty sure I now need to make a pair for all of my little girl’s outfits! I blogged about them and linked back to you! Thank you for the tutorial!!

  19. Anonymous says

    Thanks so much for this awesome tutorial! I made these shoes for my baby girl and they are so cute! It was a little rough since I’m a beginner seamstress but very easy to follow the steps. Thanks again!

  20. says

    This is an incredible tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing this with us for FREE! Can’t believe what I’ve stumbled upon! If I can figure out a leather sole, I may never have to buy shoes for my kids! (Well, never say never…)

  21. Anonymous says

    purchased your pattern for these adorable shoes a couple days ago, and love them so much. I was wondering if there’s an update for when the adult pattern will be available?

    trudy

  22. Anonymous says

    Thank you so much for posting this tutorial, i’ve been looking for something like this for awhile now and I’m glad i found your page. You make the instructions easy to follow and understand and the shoes turned out amazing! I made a pair for my daughter who is due is 3 months and i made a matching pair for myself by using the toddler pattern and modifying it to my size. My tag says “Mommy” and hers says “Baby” and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out! Thank you so much! And thank you for posting this tutorial for free, its a blessing! <3

    -Kiana G. of Phoenix, AZ

  23. says

    I just made the size4 and the back turned out really short. I did add a bit of elastic like in the baby pairs. I’m not sure what I did wrong. has anyone else had this problem?

  24. says

    I am constantly amazed by how creative people are!! Thank you so much for the pattern, it is so rad! I can’t wait to make them for all three kiddos!!!!

  25. says

    These are the cutest things EVER! I am in love, seriously! I will be making these for sure! Thanks for the tutorial, and thanks for entering Blog Wars! Good Luck!

  26. Taryn says

    Thank you – great pattern. I just finished a pair for my toddler, I bought a pair of elbow patches (mock suede) which were just big enough to cut the soles from. I am really happy with the result. The sole is nice and thick for walking outdoors, and grips well on shiny floors.

  27. Anonymous says

    These are too cute! Is there a way to alter it for bigger kids like size girls 1-6? Or do you know of a pattern gir big kids?

  28. Anonymous says

    Wow these are amazing!Totally making them! I’ve been looking all over for a Toms pattern, Wonder if I could even make some for myself???

  29. Anonymous says

    These are amazing! Ridiculously cute!!! Thank you for the tutorial. I cannot wait to make one for my little one.

  30. Anonymous says

    I can’t wait to make these! Did you do anything to waterproof the soles? How do they stand up to being outside?

    • says

      Linda – I offer a one-size toddler and baby pattern for free. You can purchase additional sizes for $4.50, or use the free pattern and resize it to fit what you need. You will find the free pattern available just above the instant download links in this post. Thanks!

  31. Karleigh P says

    Has anyone else encountered the problem of the top being way too large for the sole when it comes time to put the baby shoe together? I’ve re-read the instructions multiple times and can’t figure out where i could have gone wrong. I purchased the pattern so I don’t think it should be a scaling problem. Is there supposed to be a pleat in the heel that I’m missing? If anyone else has had this problem and could offer any solutions (other than sew, stitch rip, cut, sew, stitch rip, repeat until it fits) I would love to hear! Thanks!

  32. says

    I hope you leave this page up forever! Love the instructions and well-laid-out, easy-to-understand pattern. Thank you for sharing! I’ve already made my daughter one pair for my sister’s wedding (my sister wanted everyone in TOMS ). You are a sewing genius!

  33. says

    I’m not a seamstress whatsoever but this tutorial is sooo clear I think I’m gonna give these a go! I’m curious, to size up the free pattern, I see that you say the sole should be about an inch longer than the foot you’re making them for. Do I have to try and make all the other parts other sizes too? Would I just scale up the whole pattern, as in zoom in on the printer? I will buy the pattern if they turn out well, but I’d like the ones I make to be able to fit someone in my house, haha!

  34. says

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I would like to purchase the pattern, but am also wondering about scaling to size. Is that appropriate to do for any size – like even outside of the range of the pattern, which only goes to 10? Also, about how long do you think this would take to sew for a person at an intermediate level??

  35. says

    Thanks for making this pattern and tutorial! I made the infant shoes and they turned out okay. I wish I would have used different fabric(s) – they were hard to work with! Sewing such small things was also very hard. The tutorial was a little difficult to follow in spots for the infant shoes. I had issues when the tops of the shoes were sewn together and when the back was sewn onto the front (how to sew on, where to sew on, and how to make sure the opening wasn’t too small). I hope my friend loves these! Thanks, again.

  36. says

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  37. says

    LOVE THESE!!!!. Thank you for the tute also. Will give them a try. I don’t have little ones around all my grands are teen’s, but I just have to give it a try. I make crib shoes for new moms, but I love these…. Thanks… I would like to leave your link on my blog also, if that is okay.

  38. Anonymous says

    Question. For the back pieces, do I trim the lining to match the outside fabric?
    Step 7 shows lining longer then outside fabric when pieces are layed out. notes do say to trim back pieces, do I trim to make lining match outside fabric or do I trim both? currently my pieces look like the ones layed out.

  39. says

    Hi…I would like to say Thanks..for the Pattern/Tutorial.I did Purchase The Baby Full Info….But…I would like if you could Possibly Email Me. Just the Baby Pictures and Direction Alone..I found as a Beginner Sewer..These Instructions Mixed in with the Toddler one just made The Information Very Hard to understand and Made me Just give up on it for now…It also had me Questioning if I should continue to even Sew Period..IKR.. But I thought by Purchasing The Baby Information That it would of including the Baby instructions and Pictures alone. But again Please EMail me if you could a Picture Tutorial with instructions to the BABY one alone…Again Thanks….

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  41. Betty says

    Thank you very much for the pattern.
    i’ve been searching everywhere, and found on your blog.
    i’m going to make this one, for my niece. Really useful.
    Thank you.

  42. katie says

    My 1 year old wears 6.5 extra wide :) , do you know much i would have to adjust the pattern to make an XW shoe? I can’t find casual extra wide shoes anywhere! Help!

    Thanks:)

  43. says

    This is a really fantastic tutorial. I love the personalised names on the back of the shoe. The diagrams that you have used to convey each instruction are amazing, thank you.

  44. Peyton says

    This craft is just the cutest thing I have ever seen! I was wondering if it would be possible to make a larger shoe, like for a teen. I want a pair for myself! I’m a size 8, do you think I could make a shoe that big? Please reply, thanks!

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