big girl shoes

Meet Matilda.


The world’s cutest {almost} two year old. She is a spunky little thing who is such a girl. One of my favorite things about her is her love of shoes.

Her birthday is in just a few days and I have found the perfect gift for her

{Rae : stop reading if you don’t want to see what  we’re giving your baby}

birdies big girl shoes

Birdie’s Big Girl Shoes is a darling story book with GORGEOUS illustrated by the talented Sujean Rim. It is right up there on my list of most delightful {and pretty} children’s books.  And just the right thing for a little girl with a shoe obsession.


Such a cute illustration. I sort of want to frame it and put it in Audrey’s room.


When Ryan saw this picture he said the mom reminded him of me. I’m totally flattered because that mommy has some sexy legs!

So I bought the book and was inspired to make a little something extra for the birthday girl.


How about a tutorial?


Here is what you’ll need:

:: t-shirt {I bought this one from Target – Audrey has it too and I love it}

:: fabric {for the shoe and for the flower}

:: image {or a book with an image you want to copy}

:: scissors, pins, needle & thread

:: sewing machine

:: tulle & beads {optional, for the flower}

STEP ONE: prepare the image


I chose this shoe from the book and photo copied it at 150%


Then cut it out.

STEP TWO: cut design out of fabric




STEP THREE: pin design to shirt


I went a little pin-crazy, but I didn’t want it to slip out of place when stitching.

STEP FOUR: stitch onto shirt


I used a contrasting thread and just did a regular straight stitch around the perimeter, being sure to back stitch at the beginning and end.


Then trim the threads and you have an adorable tee shirt.


I wanted to embellish even more with a fluffy flower. Here’s how I made it:

STEP ONE: cut out 5 circles in desired flower size and 1 small circle for the center of the flower.


I also cut out several circles of tulle to add some fluff. Simply fold the tulle into four layers and cut a rough circle about the same size as the ones above.


STEP TWO: create the base of the flower


Stack the layers of tulle on top of one circle and make a few small stitches to keep them together.


STEP THREE: add the petals


fold a circle in half, then add a second at a 90-degree angle with their centers aligned


then a third


and fourth.


Now bring the first circle end over the last one so that each circle is over-under-over-under. Does that make sense? I’m having a hard time describing it, but it really isn’t too complicated.


STEP FOUR: now stitch down to the base


STEP FIVE: add the center


layer the small circle on top of a few small tulle circles and place in the center of the flower


stitch down.

STEP SIX: add beads to the center


I used these glass seed beads and just made a stitch through each center.


STEP SEVEN: attach to shirt with a few small hand-stitches



Here is another flower I made using this same technique. Super cute as a headband.


Back to the shirt : it turned out better than I had envisioned and I so hope the
sweet birthday girl loves it as much as I do!


Click here to visit and purchase the book Birdie’s Big-Girl Shoes.

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73 Responses to big girl shoes

  1. Jessica October 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Emily! Thank you so much for the oh-so-cute post! I’m ordering this for my BF’s Christmas Gift. She’s 27 but that’s ok. I think she’ll like it just as much. :)

    Perhaps I could do a dishtowel for her doing mini shoes? Thanks! xoxo

    • emily October 29, 2010 at 8:09 am #

      such a cute idea. I love children’s books, so I would love it is a gift even if I didn’t have kids! And the dishtowel would be darling …

  2. Denise Rhoden October 28, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    I love the tshirt you embellished! I am sure the little girl will absolutley love it! You are very creative. It is a neat gift to give the shirt with the book.

  3. Mary October 28, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    I’ve read that book. As a shoe lover, both my daughter and I loved it! That top is adorable. You’re soooo creative! Love your site.

  4. Amber October 29, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    I bought that book last year and love it! I have shared it with so many people. It is always on sale at Target.

  5. Jo October 29, 2010 at 5:52 am #

    Adorable. Have you tried the iron on interfacing or whatever it’s called? you trace it onto the paper of the interfacing, iron it onto the wrong side of the shoe fabric, cut it out and iron it onto your shirt. simple and easy. then you can stitch it to the shirt, but no pins and you don’t have to stitch it if you don’t want to. very easy. this is just darling tho.

  6. cheri October 29, 2010 at 7:18 am #

    Love! Love! Love! LOVE! You have inspired me {yet again!}…

  7. bean October 29, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    OH MY. Could this be more perfect to go with my coming-in-the-mail print? I’ll have to get a slightly larger shirt to accommodate a 15-year-old, but seriously. Thank you again!

  8. Stacy October 29, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Love it! I’m going to Target and making it tonight!!! Thanks! I love your blog! Can’t wait to read it everyday!

  9. veronika October 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    How lovely! They do sell this sort of stuff in Mini Boden but this is such a cool way to update otherwise boring T-sirt. And I love love the book my little girl Matilda will love it and perhaps stop wearing my shoes :) thank you

  10. heidi October 30, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    so super cute! I want to make one!!

  11. Nuha October 30, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    that little girl is so precious!! and the shirt looks so good too!! I’m sure they’ll love the present since its packed with so much TLC!

  12. Kimberly Thompson November 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    are there any special instructions for washing shirts with embellishments like this?

  13. Hannah November 2, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Super super cute!! I used another one of your ideas to make something very similar.

  14. student loans November 10, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

  15. Kelsey Cafferky November 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    You’ve done it again Emily! SOO cute! Oh and would you mind telling me what material Audrey’s flower is made of in the last pic? And what is that headband? I get almost ALL of my baby headband idea’s from you! :)

  16. kirbie January 30, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    This is SUCH a cute idea. I have twin 2 and 1/2 yr old twin nieces that are such little divas and would be soo adorable in a shirt as cute as this. I made them the Mae dolls that you had featured on one of your blogs. They LOVED them. Thank you for all of your creativity and being so open to sharing it with all of us, especially the ones that just wish they were as creative as you (this would be me.) Thanks!

  17. Laura January 31, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    I LOVE your tutorials!!!! I CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THEM! You have such great ideas I want to copy them ALL!!!!!!!
    p.s. You can add many many MANY more tutorials! I LOVE YOUR STYLE!

  18. Shelly February 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Emily, you are truly talented and generous. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m new to blog sites and you are such an inspiration. Thanks for having me :-).

  19. Jules February 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    PLEASE more tutorials…I’ve done two already and working on the third! You have such a great eye for style and design! Keep it up!

  20. Bernie April 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Copyright laws? Is it OK to use an image from a book as long as you dont sell it?

  21. Tracey September 9, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    I just have to say that Matilda is ADORABLE!! What a perfect name for her. It just suits her. Hope she had a wonderful bday! BTW….LOVE this page…so glad I found it. When I grow up my dream is to be crafty. ;) You are an inspiration!

  22. cheap girl shoes online April 2, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    This is relly adorable! I love your eye for design :)

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