Monday, March 14, 2011

A Challenge Met

My husband has a large extended family. His maternal grandma, who was told, I believe, she'd be unable to have children, had seven of them. And since each of those children had kids of their own, we're talking cousins galore. And since, growing up, I didn't have a single cousin on either side of my family, I admit I was slightly overwhelmed by the boisterous Brown clan in the beginning. But, now, I see Brown family get-togethers posted on Facebook and lament that we aren't close enough geographically to be a part.

One of the numerous cousins is a fantastic woman who wears so many hats it tires me out just thinking about it. She's a wife, a mom to an irresistible rascal with the bluest eyes, a hair dresser, a graphic designer and a photographer. It was in this last capacity that she contacted me and asked if I would like to make her a pair of baby boots for a photo shoot she has coming up. But, could I make them cowboy boots, something in neutral/nature colors, something modern though, not classic western?

Talk about a thrilling challenge. The first difficulty would be the pattern. I searched, but was unable to find one to buy online. So, I bought a new pattern that I thought I would be able to alter into a cowboy design. I made three different attempts all to no avail. They were awful. Not that they weren't cute, but I had absolutely no confidence that they would stay on the babe's feet. And that is one of my pet peeves as a mom. Little feet do a lot of kicking, and there is nothing more annoying than stopping every two minutes to put a shoe or sock or boot back in its place.

So, I scrapped that pattern and went back to my tried and true favorite.  But, it didn't look much like a cowboy boot. For one thing, I needed to move the opening to the back of the boot, so that the sides would be free for decoration. And then the tops needed a more cowboy boot curve, which I admit was hard to eye ball correctly. Luckily, I remembered in time that Isaac had been given a pair of cowboy boots when he was two. They proved to be the perfect template for what I needed.

I was giddy while these were coming together.

I love how they turned out, and hope Lauren will be pleased as well.  I think they;re graphic enough to be interesting in a photo shoot. The outer fabric is a dark grayish brown and I lined them with a fun khaki and white polka dot fleece.

Western with modern sensibilities...

One of the many things I love about this pattern, is that the shoes have elastic sewn around the ankle in the lining to help them stay on. And now, I love how easily customizable I can make them. I'm almost saddened that the cold weather is leaving us, and I'll have to wait all spring and summer to explore the possibilities that have now opened up to me. I'm sure I'll get over it quickly.


Megan @ Cut the Craft! said...

I LOVE these...amazing work! Saw your project on the Night Owl Crafting linky party.:) Will be following for sure.

Megan said...

These are awesome! My daughter has a pair of plain old boots that could use some dressing up so thank you for the fabulous idea.
You did a great job!