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Adorable Animal-Inspired Clothing for Kids

Brown Bear DressBrown Bear Girls Dress by Wild Things Dresses

I have seen some of the cutest little animal-inspired outfits and accessories lately. My kids would love them, I have no doubt. What kid wouldn’t? They are the perfect blend of daily-wear/play clothes and dress-up costume, all in one.

Here are a few of my favorites, including a neat DIY tutorial at the end for kitten flats that would be awesome for any age!

Fox Knit Scarf by Tre Melarance
Kids Fox Knit Scarf
Kids Fox Coat by Little Goodall
Kids Fox Coat Jacket
Girls Baby Mouse Dress by Wild Things Dresses
Gray Girls Mouse Dress Kids
DIY Cat Toe Shoes by Kate at Scathingly Brilliant
DIY Cat Kitten Painted Shoes


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Little girl clothes

I’m unwinding tonight by virtually window shopping some of the new spring lines out for little girls. Not the most productive thing to do, but, for being mindless, it is actually quite inspiring. These are my top two picks if I win the lottery tomorrow (which I don’t play, so dream on right?).

Funky Print Dress, Mini Boden

Irina shoes (in teal), See Kai Run


Water shoes for Toddler Girls

Chloe’s got new kicks! Originally, I thought we’d try to make it through the summer in the hand-me-downs that we’ve received, but after seeing Chloe play at the city park fountains and on the river’s edge, I realized a better fitting and safer pair of water shoes were in order. Her Crocs, although easy to slip on, cause her to fall a lot, and the other pair, a cheap combo of hard plastic and foam, become slippery on the footbed when soaked, and cause her feet to slide too far through the toe opening. Not good!

After doing an online search, I narrowed it down to a handful of choices, but eventually decided on  Columbia Kids Splasher. The features I liked were their modern style, that they are lightweight and flexible, have a closed toe, two points of adjustment for a custom fit, and come in a stinkin’ awesome colorway (tarte/orange pop). Plus, the modified mary-jane style make it look like more than just a water shoe, but maybe an everyday shoe, too. I would gladly wear these shoes myself! The only problem is that the two reviews on zappos (free shipping!) don’t sound promising, but I’m willing to see for myself.

Here are some other nice water shoes:

Robeez Mini Shoes Breezeez These are super-lightweight and flexible. Probably the next best thing to bare feet while still giving some protection. No free shipping available on this style though.

Salt Water Sandal by Hoy Shoes How adorable are these? Nice enough to wear with a dress, but waterproof for an impromptu sprinkler party. Expensive.

Teva Kids Tirra
More than I wanted to spend, but I love the style, color options and the multiple adjustment points.

Teva Kids Psyclone 2
More foot coverage, and possibly more comfortable than the other Teva Kids shoes above, not to mention cheaper. However, the heel height reminds me of Crocs, which is too tall in my book.


Baby shoe shopping

I think I may have mentioned this before, but Chloe has little feet. They are short lengthwise, but tall heightwise, which makes them difficult to fit into shoes. We were handed down several nice pairs (including the ones above), but almost none fit her. Since we think she may be on the cusp of walking, and with winter coming up, we wanted to get her at least one good pair. I guess we had no idea how expensive baby shoes were, because we were shocked at some of the price tags. In the end, we chose this pair from See Kai Run. They fit her really well, and will go with 99% of her wardrobe. Plus, both David and I could actually agree. As for the pair in the photo (which David says looks like little pig feet in shoes), as adorable as they are, they just aren’t meant for cold weather, or our hardwood floors. That is the thing with baby wear. So often you’ll love an outfit and she’ll outgrow it after only a few times, or it will be for the wrong season once she is finally big enough to wear it. But we’ve been very lucky to have so much given to us, so a little shoe shopping is nothing to complain about!

Here are two good guides to buying baby’s first pair of shoes from BabyCenter and Parenting.


Bloch Baby Shoes

I remember my very first pair of ballet slippers. It was preschool, and unlike the room full of little girls wearing pink slippers, mine were black. I asked my mother about this when I got a little older. She said they were purchased by my grandmother, who figured that the different color would never get them mixed up with the other girls’ shoes. A very practical decision, but not one I appreciated at the time. Needless to say, by the time I was making my own decisions, I always chose pink after that.

These memories were brought to mind by the new baby styles by Bloch, the famous dance footwear company. They have expanded into fashion footwear for women, girls and babies. I love the idea of Chloe in little flats and a tulle skirt, someday twirling around the living room (or a dance studio). Even if she doesn’t need real ballerina slippers, these pretty shoes would sure be fun.

Via Design Mom

Postscript: I emailed the Bloch rep and she replied that a few online places to try were ronrobinson.com,  madisonandfriends.com and chickdowntown.com, but I found a better web site for online viewing at Bohemia.com (UK).


Handmade Baby Boy Booties

My first attempt at baby boy booties

Introducing little Lorenzo. Isn’t he a cutie!?

I finally got around to making these felt little boy booties for Marcy & Alex’s adorable son Lorenzo. I’ve posted about handmade baby girl shoes before here and here (with tutorial links), but mary jane’s just don’t work for little boys. The template for the pair above are based on one from B is for Baby: 26 Projects from A to Z by Suzonne Stirling. A really nice book with lots of fun projects. Also, did you know that Joann’s now carries ecospun felt, made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles? Nice.


Babyness – Cutest Baby Shoe Tutorials

My friend Greta had a baby shower today. It was a stylish get together and it was so good to see her. Only 5 weeks left and she’ll be a new mommy (although, maybe she can already be considered a new mommy just for being pregnant?). I was blown away by all the gifts, some items I hadn’t heard of or even knew existed. And the adorable baby clothes! So tiny! I mostly bought a group of items off her registry, but this morning I had just enough time to whip up a second pair of felt shoes (first pair here, little boy booties here). I don’t know how long I’ve had those butterfly buttons, but I remembered them at the last minute.

Two interesting things – Mariah, who organized the shower (and who handmade the most adorable burp cloths. I wish I had taken a picture of them) held something called a “diaper raffle.” Basically, your name was entered if you brought a package of diapers, and the winning person got a prize (in this case a nice gift card). A great way to get the new mom stocked up on diapers. The other interesting thing was that, besides registering for just pink items, Greta also added solid white, yellow and green colored items, so that if they had a boy down the road the same items (bibs, blankets, burp cloths) could be used again. That made so much sense, but I doubt I’d have thought of it. So I’m sharing it here! 🙂

PS. I thought I’d respond to Aubrey’s comment/question here in the post. The pink and white felt was sewn together by machine, and then the button embellishment and felt strap were sewn on by hand. The velcro was self-adhesive, and I started to secure the ends with a few stitches, but I ran out of time, so I hope the adhesive holds!

The template I used came from a book. I wish I could remember the name of it. However, four of my favorite online felt shoe tutorials and templates are Martha Stewart’s Felt Baby Shoes, Baby Booties, and Crocheted Booties (if only I knew how to crochet!) and Heather Bailey’s Bittie Booties. I haven’t tried any of these yet, but they loof very fun and fabulous!

Martha Stewart’s Felt Baby Shoes and Baby Booties

Martha Stewart’s Crocheted Booties and Heather Bailey’s Bittie Booties


Crafty Cuteness – Felt Baby Shoes

I got my haircut today. I’ve been going to the same stylist for over a year (maybe two?) which is a record for me. She is only a couple weeks away from giving birth to her second child, a baby girl this time, and I decided a while back that I’d sew up something simple to take along with me.

Lately, I’ve noticed several cute online baby shoe tutorials. I thought it would be fun to give little mary janes a try. Instructions usually call for wool felt, because it is more durable. I decided to use craft felt because a) it’s softer, b) it comes in many more baby appropriate colors and c) I already had some on hand. Since I was sewing for a newborn, she’d grow out of them in a matter of weeks anyway.

To make the strap, I used papercrafting ribbon. It’s the kind with the adhesive strip on the back, and I hand-sewed it to the inside of each shoe. This way there is no need for velcro, elastic or snaps (none of which I’ve worked with yet) because it will stick delicately over the baby’s sock and attach to the other side of the shoe. I’d like to try other fastenings in the future, but this worked fine for a first pair. Cute, huh?

See my second pair and links to baby shoe tutorials and templates here, and baby boy booties here.


Patchwork shoes

I’ve really been loving all things patchwork lately, which is why I couldn’t pass up a sale on these patchwork shoes. Who thought to mix asian-style embroidered satin with the plaid wool and brown leather? They’re even quiet (no tapping sounds with each step like hard soles). Now I finally have a slightly more lady-like third pair of comfortable shoes to rotate between my everyday not-so-good-looking but very serviceable brown and black Dankos.

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Versatile Eco-Shoes by Patagonia

Patagonia “Sugar & Spice” shoes available in 4 colors (brown leather not shown)

I absolutely love the idea of these versatile “Sugar & Spice” mary janes from Patagonia. They can be worn two ways – the inner slippers by themselves when you want something a little less casual, or, when more durability is desired, they can be worn with their all-natural latex outsoles (perfect for rainy Portland winters). They’d also be great for traveling since both the outsoles and slippers “roll up or pack flat to fit in a briefcase or suitcase.”

patagonia mary jane shoes

Separate slipper and outsole (detail view)

This is a particularly good fit for those who are uber-eco-conscious, because Patagonia is well-known for their strong commitment to the environment. According to their website, these shoes incorporate:

  • Latex from the milk of the Hevea tree (the harvesting process is good for the tree, and the milk has a microstructure that when cured creates thousands of tiny air bubbles for natural cushioning)
  • Environmentally Responsible leather from tanneries registered as compliant with ISO 14001, a set of standards that measure how efficiently a company uses natural resources, and how closely it adherers to international and local environmental regulations
  • Glueless construction, minimizing impact by eliminating toxic glues
  • Recycled TPU footframe and piece fastener

Now, if only I could actually afford to buy a pair!

patagonia shoes

Other Patagonia styles worth mentioning: “Toast & Jam” “Gumwood” “Patrol” and “Freeflow”
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