DIY: Flapper Shoes

A few months ago, I got it into my head that I wanted a flapper birthday. Or, more specifically, a Gatsby-esque birthday, complete with cloches, bottomless champagne, and an attentive Leonardo DiCaprio. I told my sister my great idea, telling her that everyone can wear cute hairbands and glittery skirts with fringe and bob their hair (extreme, but still) and she says, “Um, isn’t that a little weird? Like, for all of us to go out dressed like flappers like it’s Halloween?”

And so, with her judgmental reaction, my dreams were crushed. But it had gotten me thinking about the outfit I wanted to wear on my birthday, and the shoes. In the Twenties, and even until the Forties, designer shoes were custom-made, and the heels were specially ordered by style. These heels were made from celluloid to create a marbled look and came in all colors, jewel-tone and pastel alike. Oh, and they were also bedazzled to the extreme. The amount of detail on these heels are so phenomenal that particular ones are featured in fashion-related museum exhibitions and carefully preserved.

I wanted them.

Here are some examples:

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So I collected all these pictures and prepared to make my very own flapper-inspired shoes. (Seriously, I need an intervention.)

I started with the heel:

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I found these for $25 at my local Easy Pickins (Modcloth had them for $40 + shipping!) and then I ordered two sample-size swatches of fabric from a fabric website. They were 3 x 5″ swatches, which was the perfect size for the back of the shoe.

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Then, I ordered a beaded appliqué piece from Etsy that I tore apart to reveal only the jeweled parts, along with some blue rhinestones from a craft store. I also picked up white paint.

Photo Oct 01, 5 54 28 PM Photo Oct 01, 1 15 18 AM (1)I started by making patterns of the back of the shoe with muslin, then cutting out the correct size fabric:

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Glued it on with simple fabric glue.

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Lovely! Now the heel…

I used white paint with a little shimmer in it to duplicate that shiny, celluloid effect. It’s not perfect, but I like the way it came out:

Photo Oct 02, 2 30 04 PM Photo Oct 02, 3 33 44 PMI put two coats and then cleaned up any “coloring outside the lines” with a toothpick. Then it was time to bedazzle!

Photo Oct 02, 11 23 08 PMI glued the appliqué on the heel with E-5000 glue, the strongest thing known to man. I also used it to attach little blue rhinestones to the outline of the heel, shown below!

Photo Oct 03, 1 05 09 AM (2)Here they are! My very own bespoke Twenties-inspired heels.

fashion: Lily Bart

I love when literature and fashion make friends; for example, this blouse from Modcloth named after the main character in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth–the “Lily Bart Blouse.” I read The House of Mirth in high school, but I think I’m definitely due for a re-read. In the meantime, I’ll wear pretty things:

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fashion: witchy

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Love these boots so much! Beware of dancing, however. Pointy toes are v. sharp.

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top Garbage shoes Jeffrey Campbell for Nasty Gal purse Charming Charlie shorts Forever 21 lace cover thrifted

fashion: frozen

Yes, I was frozen when I took these photos outside! But it’s okay, because I love the cold. I wore this snow-inspired outfit to a Christmas party this week!

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This old skirt from H&M was far too long; I bought it a couple years ago but only wore it once or twice, but I decided to hem it so I could wear it this season. My sister cut the skirt because I can’t be trusted with scissors.

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This skirt makes me wish I could be a ballerina, if only I had the smallest amount of dance talent!

IMG_2518Blush pink and burgundy is my absolute favorite color combination; I must wear some form of it every other day!

skirt H&M – heels Tobi – lace top Garbage – tattoo tights Etsy – fur vest Charade – coat Modcloth

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My Christmas Lit & Fashion Haul

As you can probably expect, I got plenty of clothes, shoes, jewelry, and books for Christmas. Not too shabby:

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I love the print on this skater skirt, and the slight steampunk vibe of the statement necklace.

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Gilmore Girls on DVD, and some great books I’ve been salivating for: The Lowland, The Valkyries, The Alchemist, Neverwhere, Bellman & Black, and The Moonstone. January will be a month filled with great reads, so stay tuned!

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shoes from ModCloth and Jeffrey Campbell! Evangelina mesh booties, Flair-y Tale Boots, and Haute on Your Heels Booties

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And the coat from Modcloth I was waxing poetic about just a few short weeks ago…

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Haul ^ I’m ready for a long, cold winter filled with reading by the fire, plenty of scarves and boots, and some great hot chocolate!

fashion: you're makin' me blush

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Blush pink is one of my favorite colors, and I love the bat sleeves on this blouse. You might recognize these shoes from a post I did a while back–they’re actually solid tan boots covered in fabric! They were really fun to make.

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shoes DIY (click here for the tutorial) pants Charade necklace Joyce Leslie top Charade

Merry Christmas everyone!

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fashion: we grow up all at once

Wednesday

I love unusual color combinations. I wish the lighting on these pictures were better, but it was 7AM and still pretty dark out, and 20 degrees!

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Photos courtesy of my long-suffering sister. Her house is very festive nowadays, hence the Happy Holidays pillow!

skirt from Urban Outfitters tights Betsey Johnson blouse from Garbage necklace borrowed