I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Foray into Footwear...Yes, I Made Shoes!

If you have read my blog before, then you know that I love all things vintage, especially relating to sewing and babies. I have a strong interest in historical reenactments, but I have never participated in one. It is something I'd like to try someday. I'd also like to take an old-fashioned photo of my 2 youngest boys in historically accurate Edwardian outfits. I'm still working on the 1919 romper for Andy and I have looked at the high button shoes on ebay to go with it. They are very expensive and are often quite worn out. You have to pay over $100 to get really nice ones. So, I thought, I could make him some leather baby shoes. You can find directions for almost anything on the internet, but apparently, there aren't a lot of people making their own shoes! Undaunted, I read my Make Doll Shoes book by Lyn Alexander. She gives excellent directions and has several patterns for doll shoes. I started with a simple button-bar baby shoe pattern from flickr. I had to enlarge it quite a bit for Andy's size 7 foot. I printed the patterns several times and compared the sole to Andy's foot. When it was right, I printed the two pieces and assembled a shoe from paper to be sure they would fit together. I cut up a leather jacket from a yard sale ($1) for my material. (My first attempt a few weeks ago was unsuccessful due to the fact that the "leather" yard sale purse was not leather!) You have to use real leather because it stretches and molds to the foot. I bought a scrap bag of thicker leather pieces at Hobby Lobby to use for the soles.

After I cut out the upper, I machine stitched around the edges for added strength, then I seamed the back and stitched it open flat. I also ran gathering threads around the toe to give it a better shape. You might think that the soles were stitched on, but I followed the method from the Doll's Shoe book and glued the upper to a leather inner sole, then when it was dry, I glued the outer sole to the inner sole. 
 You can see that I still need to add the button to the ankle strap. I am amazed how much these look like little 19th century shoes! I will take pictures of them on Andy when he gets up from his nap and post them tomorrow. This was a really fun project and each shoe only took about 1/2 hour to make. I would like to enlarge the doll pattern for high button boots and make those next. What is the craziest craft project you have ever tried??


Goosegirl said...

Oh my! These are darling! But crazy project......I can't think of any. But I did build my one ottoman once from a mattress sample and some left over dresser feet from a furniture store where I worked. In fact, I need to recover it. I need to get busy with that.

Elisabeth Rose said...

I can just picture those mattress samples. They would make a perfect ottoman! I think that's a crazy kind of project!

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

Terribly cute! No, I don't have any crazy projects.

Janice said...

These shoes are precious and will be perfect with the vintage romper. My craziest project was a Halloween costume for a dear friend, something I would never have put time into but for friendship. Her husband was the opthamologist who brought radialkerotonomy (laser surgical fix for nearsightedness). She wanted to go as a cataract! I covered a hula hoop with what she called "ripe cataract" colored vinyl to emulate a cornea. It was lightly stuffed, giving it curvature. There was an opening near the edge through which she slipped her head. She wore a black leotard and tights and wanted her husband to go as a laser beam. How's that for crazy?