Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shoe Redo

 I have a new favorite pair of shoes

When I saw Alison Dahl's tutorial for covering shoes with fabric on Burdastyle, I knew I had to try it.  I've thought about it before, how some fabrics I had in my stash would make a really rad pair of shoes, but I always pictured covering flats.  When I saw the fabric covered wedge,  I was sold.   I recently got rid of a large portion of my shoe collection that I didn't wear very often in an effort to simplify (read: no more room in closet).  So, I went out in search of a pair to try it out.   


I went to about five different thrift stores and found nothing.  Not a single pair of wedges in my size.   On my way home I passed a Shoe Carnival and thought hmmmmm...... maybe I should check the clearance rack.   I was determined to find a pair.  I found these beauties on clearance for eleven bucks.    I feel a little guilty that I didn't actually give an old pair of shoes new life but since this was my trial run and they were so cheap....  From now, I'll be on the lookout for shoes to recover secondhand.



It was an interesting and fun process.  I used some spray adhesive and spritzed some scrap fabric lightly so it would stick to the shoe while I traced the pattern pieces.  Initially my pattern had about seven different pieces.  I covered one shoe with the multiple pieces, folding under and pressing the seams, but it ended up looking pretty sloppy.  The fabric I used is a home decor weight cotton from Anna Maria Horner that I had in my stash for a some time.  It was a bit heavy for having so many seams to fold under.  I put my pattern pieces together for the second shoe and cut the upper pieces in two pieces and the bottom piece as one piece.  So much better.  I ended up ripping off the fabric from the first shoe and redoing it.  I recommend using as few pieces as you can for a neater finish.



I covered the upper first.  I spread around some fabric glue, laid the fabric on top and used my fingers to smooth out any bubbles.  Then, I applied glue around the edges of the uppers while I folded the fabric over.  I snipped curves to keep the fabric laying flat.  I used a pair of jewelry pliers to poke through the lacing holes while the fabric glue was still wet.  Before I applied the wedge piece, I folded the top edge of the fabric under and glued it.  I was unsure of what to do about the bottom edge of the shoe.  When I did the first shoe, I used a sharp pair of scissors to cut right at the bottom edge but I couldn't keep the edge straight.  It was uneven and the fabric frayed in places.  The second time around I wrapped the fabric under the shoe and glued it well.  The next day when it was dry, I used a razor blade to cut the fabric right at the edge of the shoe.  I cut in to the shoe a little, but since it was on the sole it didn't matter.  It's not beautiful underneath because of the glue residue.  I also avoided covering the stretchy elastic parts of the shoe on the side and back strap.



I found the perfect color leather cord at Hobby Lobby for the lacing.  I am super pleased with how they turned out.  I have quite a bit more of this funky fabric.  What do you think?  Is a skirt in order to match the shoes?  I kind of like Alison Dahl's idea of being matchy-matchy with something so outrageous.  I haven't sealed them yet but I think I'm just going to use some Scotchguard.  And avoid walking in puddles.

 Pretty wild, huh?



17 comments:

  1. That would be really, really useful for hard to match dress fabric. Thanks!

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  2. Groovy Baby! It's amazing what a few little bits of fabric and some ingenuity can do. Love them.

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  3. these are beautiful! i wouldnt go matching skirt though.. maybe a belt and bag?

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  4. I love these. The fabric is adorable and you found the perfect style shoe!

    I saw the Burda Style page about these and I already had an old pair of wedge sandals that were in the thrift store donation pile. I rescued them and am now waiting for the right fabric. Thanks for your detailed tutorial and the advice. I can't wait to try these.

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  5. Oh, how gorgeous!! I saw the tutorial on Burda but thought it would be too difficult to try, but now I saw yours I might have a go at it.

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  6. Yea, thanks everyone! I highly recommend trying it out. This makes me look at thrift store shoes in a whole new light. I'm sure it won't be good for my shoe habit, though :)

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  7. Hey! Fabulous shoes. So striking. Who needs fancy accessories when you're wearing these on your feet!

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  8. Just... AMAZING!! I'm in love with these. GREAT fabric choice x

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  9. So very fabulous! You must make the matching skirt. I would be so impressed if I saw somebody wearing such outrageous shoes with a matching skirt.

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  10. Go all out and make a matching minidress. =D

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  11. Just found your blog via Casey's Elegant Musings and just had to say these shoes are fantastic!!!!!!! I'm totally inspired! Catherine

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  12. What a great idea, I am so going to have to try this at some point. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  13. Ooh, Happy, I think you may be spot on ;)

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  14. amazing! I've mentioned them in my blog post here:

    http://blog.groupon.co.uk/2011/02/18/curious-crochet-sparkling-stitches-and-yes-to-yarn-a-yarn-art-post-for-your-friday/

    truly amazing shoes!

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