DIY: Lisa Makes Shoes

Didn’t I promise pretty shoes? Apart from my book obsession, I also tend to like the shoes a little too much. A couple years ago, I found tapestry floral heels online but I was about a season too late and the shoes had sold out in my size. I looked everywhere, for weeks, to find lookalikes or even secondhand pairs. I haunted Polyvore, eBay, Poshmark, etc., all to no avail.

Finally, I got the idea that I should just make my own.

They’re tapestry, right? So all I have to do is buy the shoe, cut the fabric, and somehow fuse them together. I did some research and found this great article at BurdaStyle which walked me through the whole process. Luckily, my sister has an undergraduate degree in fashion design from FIT. So I knew what “seam allowance,” Modge Podge, and muslin were, and it also meant that I had most of the supplies just laying around the house.

For the fabric, I shopped at my local fabric stores but couldn’t find anything I liked. Instead, I chose to recycle an old floral skirt that I didn’t think I’d wear anymore. I buckled down one evening, slid in a disc of Gilmore Girls, and the things were finished in a couple sittings.IMG_1909

I began with a discounted pair of black heels I found at DSW. They’re JellyPop shoes and made of synthetic materials, which I found conducive to craft/fabric glue. I also had X-Acto knives lying around which was useful to cut away any gluey bits after the fabric was adhered. I also bought Matte sealer but found that the fabric turned dark and pill-y when I sprayed it on one shoe to test, so I had to redo that shoe.


The shoes have this lovely scalloped trim on the edges that I chose to preserve, so I carefully covered the trim with some Scotch tape.


Then I had to measure each portion of each shoe, from the side left and right, to the heel, and the toe, in order to make muslin patterns. I measured each shoe separately to make sure it was accurate and gave myself about a centimeter seam allowance to account for any mistakes and to make sure the edges were smooth after I glued.


It took a while…


Finally, I got the fabric pieces measured and cut to proper sizes, and I could start gluing. I folded down the seam allowance and used a clothing iron to flatten the edges to make the shoes look seamless.


My sister said they’d fall apart but it’s been almost two years, and I’ve worn them dozens of times (though never in the rain) and they still look great!

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