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.

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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.

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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.

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It took a while…

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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.

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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!