Meet the Artist: BuddyX designs

Introducing BuddyX Designs, the designer and artisan of handmade leather baby walker shoes. Where every pair is hand crafted with love and attention from genuine leather. From her home in Sydney, NSW, Jan crafts the most beautiful and practical baby shoes that you have ever seen!

Find out why Jan started creating and why she is so passionate about the value of handmade.

Tell us about your creations and your handmade process.

I start by taping up a shoe last (either vintage wood or plastic) that comes in different shapes and sizes. Each different size generally means a new size pattern. I transfer that taping to paper to make a 'block pattern' which can be used to make different designs from.
Think making a block from a dress form. I either make a basic flat pattern to use for the felt shoes or a pattern to 'last' a shoe. this is where Leather pieces are cut out, sewn together and stretched over the last, finally sewing or gluing the sole on.

I make my shoes to be soft but supportive and with 'zero drop' soft non slip soles. Its important that toddlers sense the ground beneath to help them gain confidence in those first new steps.

Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming a handmade artist.

I studied fashion, historical costume, working doing vintage clothing restoration and shoe making and have been making garments and shoes since I was a teen. I started making kids shoes when my daughter was 3 and found it hard to find unique shoes that would fit her narrow foot.

What is your inspiration or where do you find inspiration?

I adore period garments and 20thC fashion and find a lot of inspiration there. I love the proportion and scale of kids shoes and find you can 'play' more with the designs and colours and have a bit of fun.

Where did you learn your craft?

Having a good knowledge of garment construction and being able to sew helped a lot. I have worked with a few bespoke Sydney shoe makers over the years and I've learned a lot from trial and error of construction and a lot from my mistakes. The learning doesn't stop.

Why is handmade artistry so important to you?

Hand made to me, means made with care and made to last rather than the fast throwaway fashion we get bombarded with today. The idea that a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes can be looked after and handed down to siblings and generations is really satisfying and sustainable.

Jan is a much loved member of the Madeit Collective, posting regularly in our Facebook Group ~ The Home of Australian Handmade ~ and sharing her new creations as they are released. If you haven't connected with BuddyX designs already, make sure you join our FB Group and say hi!

Buddy X Designs
Click here to discover the handmade leather creations by BuddyX Designs.

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