Hey everybody! It’s officially the season for summer dresses. This time of year I always stock my closet with versatile, lightweight, and girly summer dresses that make getting ready, whether for work or play, a total breeze. I played around wit mixing patterns today, pairing this beautiful, fit-and-flare blue striped dress with pink floral heels, combining some of my favorite style elements: florals, full skirts, and a contrasting color palette. Hope you like!
There’s nothing better than a little black dress. It’s always in style, it’s always flattering, and it’s always versatile. Here’s one I just bought that is flattering for my body type and even incorporates some trendy touches that I happen to love, namely, the tie at the neck and the billowy sleeves! The skater skirt is perfect for night and day, and I can even pull this off at work, maybe with a structured blazer?
Welcome to my third DIY shoe adventure. Back in April, I came across another pair of black heels in DSW that were too plain to be borne, but they had these gorgeous cut-outs and a ribbon tie. They were the cousins of the floral shoes I upcycled last year and I got so excited at the prospect of creating another beautiful pair of shoes! I knew that this time I should do something other than a floral pattern, even though it was hard to keep myself from reaching for another piece of floral fabric. I ended up choosing a black fabric with white polka dots, fabric that was actually a romper from Forever 21!
This project happened to coincide with my discovery of New Girl. I had never watched it faithfully before and I took the time to marathon-watch it, and it became one of my favorite shows! Now, whenever I wear those shoes I think of New Girl: they even remind me of Jess’s polka-dot heavy wardrobe and her whimsical wit.
Here’s the before and after:
As you can see, I couldn’t stop myself from adding little panels of floral fabric! I cut out a couple pieces of floral lace from an old skirt (again) and glued them to the inside panels of both shoes, so they’re almost hidden. I like how it turns these normal (ish) polka-dot patterned shoes into something a little more unique. I also used the buttons from the romper as accents on the sides of each shoe.
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.
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!