My journal and mirror
|I finished my shoes today.
When I visited my sister at Christmas, she showed me her wedding shoes: Irregular Choice "Peach Melba". These shoes are a glittering pale pink or lilac 4-inch heel. The toe of the shoe is covered with lase and tiny cut-out blossoms. Metallic pink piping circles the top of the shoe and separates the lace sections from the 'plain' pink glitter. Two satin flowers, one pink and one lilac, perch together on the toe and the shoe is lined in something like velveteen. These are shoes on the same scale as the wedding dress.
I've never been a shoe person. I like boots in certain styles, but I haven't been the sort of person to spend a lot of money on a lot of shoes. But Irregular Choice and Ruby Shoo? Now that I know about them, the only thing keeping me in check is the price tag. I just cannot spare that kind of money for shoes. And yet I cannot get them out of my head. So I turned that energy into making some pretty shoes, or rather making some shoes prettier.
I bought a pair of canvas wedge heels online for £10 and dyed them in the kitchen sink for about 20 minutes. They're now sage green, although the dye didn't take where the uppers are glued to the sole, so there's a thin ribbon of cream there still. The strips of hessian cord covering the heel are also slightly green. I stuffed the toes with tissue paper to help the canvas keep its shape while it dried. This shouldn't be done with newspaper though: the ink can soak through and stain the fabric, which is what happened to My Darling's mother when she tried to stretch out brand new patent nude T-bars.
After some searching online and in the stash, I pulled out a wide cream guipure lace and, scarily, cut it to pieces. The top half of the lace is stitched around the top of the shoe, stretching net lace half down the sides to where a line of embroidered flowers end the lace. The bottom half of the lace has been chopped up more: a straight line of guipure arcs over the top of the toe sole to sole and I've arranged individual pieces to decorate the rest of the toe. Sewing the lace on was hard: I had to use a leather thimble to get the needle through the canvas. You can see the finished results here .
I did some internet research before I started. Sadly a lot of sites relisted the same entries from the same blogs, but there are a lot of ways people have customised shoes.
gluing fabric or lace over shoes;
painting shoes (there are specialist paints available);
using fabric pens or dye on fabric uppers;
adding brads or studs or adding eyelets;
adding appliqués or patches;
adding flowers or bows, or making removable shoe clips;
colouring the soles of old high heels with nail polish.
Has anyone else tried anything like this before? How did it work out? I admit I wouldn't have tried it if I hadn't found a nice pair of shoes so cheap.