Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crochet Skull & Crossbones Baby Sandals

I liken my crochet projects (or "experiments", I should say) to many times in life, when a person must break free of his/her comfort zone.  Last week, this happened to me, and I am so grateful for the experience.  I was brave enough to tackle a new project and create something completely unique and different than I've ever done before.

A friend/customer requested that I crochet her toddler daughter sandals that she could wear around the house with socks (as slippers, I suppose).  She wanted black, strapped sandals with enclosed toes and a button at the ankle in size 4T.  I had never made baby sandals before but had made booties, so I quickly agreed.  Furthermore, I had never made toddler-sized booties/slippers that had to fit exactly. However, I was confident that I would figure out how to make these sandals.  Knowing a bit about her husband's and her personalities, I added one more self-challenge to the project and suggested a skull & crossbones applique for the toes.  As predicted, she happily agreed.  And so I set off to create...

The sandals were not terribly difficult to crochet and assemble, but they were challenging only because it was my first time.  With the aid of my trusty shoe-sizing tool (thanks to my mother-in-law for that lovely gift!), I ensured the sizing was correct.  Then came the straps placement and ensuring the correct length.  After hours of maneuvering, unraveling stitches and starting over to get them just right, the sandals were finished.

Then came the skull & crossbones applique...  It was surprisingly easy to create with thin-gauged yarn and a smaller-sized crochet hook.  After sewing them onto the sandal toes, I realized there was something missing.  They needed a little extra element to make them "pop".  Of course!  Hot pink, girly bows would do the trick!

Also, to make them safe for toddler feet walking on hard floors, I was sure to add no-slip grippies to the soles.  I just happened to have hot pink, glow-in-the-dark puffy paint in my craft supply.  What a convenient coincidence!  I didn't take a photo of that part, however, but just imagine the soles of the sandals with small polka-dots of hot pink.

As soon as the sandals were finished, I sent my friend/customer photos.  I was a bit nervous that maybe they wouldn't exactly fit her vision, especially since my suggestion of the skull & crossbones applique.  What a relief when she responded that she LOVES them!

I am so happy that she's happy and am also thankful for having the courage to step outside my warm, cozy box of a comfort zone.  I've been doing a lot more of it lately and urge others to try it too. It's invigorating!

You'll never know what you are capable of accomplishing unless you decide to try!

PS:  These sandals are now available in my Etsy shop not only in sandal form but Mary Jane style booties if preferred.

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