Photo credit: Heather Bailey
You don't have to settle for sweatshop-produced booties fresh off a pollutant-spewing container ship from China—with a bit of stitchery know-how you can have your wee one shod in custom-fitted, handmade slip-ons made from felted sweaters, fabric remnants, and other salvaged bits and bobs.
There's Martha Stewart's how-to, of course, but your options don't end there. Fabric designer Heather Bailey offers instructions on how to make her Bitty Booties (above) on her Web site, gratis. Stardust Shoes has a free pattern you can download (PDF) to make tiny cloth booties out of fabric, interfacing, and some elastic. And the blog On Pins and Needles has another equally lovely version for fabric lovers.
If you're able to get your mitts on some leather scraps, or have the heart to tear apart a used leather purse from a thrift store, you can try your hand at piecing together a sharp-looking pair of leather baby shoes. (Svenska-speakers can check out this leather-shoe tutorial, as well.)
Difficulty level: Moderate, but depends on sewing skills