Thursday, October 30, 2014

ZOMG! Shoes!

I've been wobbling about shoe making for ages now.  It's sort of a phobia with me.  Early sometime last year, I finally tried a tutorial as a challenge to myself to just get over it. The felt pair I made for Kiki (MSD Dragon Doll Girl) were good for a start; until after one day on her, the felt relaxed, frayed, picked up lint, and ended up looking like hairy puddings.  Before they went too far, I had to stitch embroidery floss around the top and tie bows to keep them on for her dress photo shoots. Felt: Bad.

Having little cash to spare, I went shoe shopping last month for a pair of flats I could push a wheelchair in, and discovered something.  I hate everything I can 'afford' and love everything I can't.  Plus, what I can afford, I've been fooled by before.  Cute and CHEAP as Payless Shoes are, they aren't meant to last more than 3 months.  Such is the way of the Evil Shoe.  And I have shoe envy from looking at doll shoes.

So I came up with an idea.  I'll make myself some doll shoes.  Using the tutorials, and having a good look at my now sadly worn red plaid cutie pie shoes, (you are spared the horror of a photo) I hacked it.

So the prototype I've been fretting at a bit every morning for two weeks is ready for the first batch of rubber cement work (upper to inner sole stack) tomorrow morning.

See, photos are great, now I can see the left shoe upper needs to be forward  a bit more. >.<;;
Good thing it's only pinned for now.  
Now I just need to figure out the mysteries of rubber cement. They used Barge brand at the theater costume place for redoing soles on shoes, so we'll see what Best-Test brand will do.  So far, with the 40% discount coupon every day at Hobby Lobby, along with everything I already have at home to work with, I've laid out a whopping 5$ for stuff that will make at least 2 pairs with left overs for half another pair.  Plus, Fishcake taught me the foo of using old purses and things for doll stuff.  ^_^  And there were my old boots in the garage toss all bin.  Soles for 2 pair of flats!  Just to be safe, I'll wear them around the house for a few days and on the local sidewalks and tarmac to see how the rubber cement holds up, before actually going anywhere in them, in case of a blow out.

Then when I've got it down to a science, I'll make my dolls some shoes.   If I can make them for me, I can certainly get over my doll shoe phobia. O_o

Oct 31, 2014

Rubber cement doesn't glue finished leather, so my plan to stack up pieces into more of a heel was foiled by my not roughing the finish off the pieces.  I think it's too thin to do much of that anyway. However, I now have a nice warm pair of slippers, that are slightly too wide now for some odd reason.  Or maybe I'm just used to too tight shoes?  They don't fall off or anything like that.  I'll adjust my pattern accordingly.  I can wear them around the flat and go to the post box, so that's good, and the red plaid jobs are in the trash bin.  The fact that I got a wearable pair the first time around makes me very happy, but we will see what happens after a week of wear.

I learned quite a lot; one thing being that I actually CAN make a decent pair of doll shoes.  Secondly, I need to buy good thick suede leather, not the kind with a finish on one side, or plan around it.  And I need to think about wooden heels.  Even a thin piece of wood shaped to fit under the heel as a wedge would be nice.

Nov 1, 2014  Update

I think I'll look around for a small can of Barge Rubber Cement, the Best-Test is coming off in places, like the tip where the fabric is gathered. Next time I'll cut out wedges and glue the fabric flat, but I'm having my doubts about the Best-Test.  I'll re-glue when it stops raining and see what happens with a second layer.
ON the other hand, rubber cement is preferable to hot glue for smaller projects, so the bottle stays.  Too bad Gorilla Brand doesn't seem to make a rubber cement.

November 7, 2014 Update

After a second re-gluing in 'stress points' every few days, the shoes have been okay for days.  And that's with me wrapping my monkey feet around chair bars, sitting with them folded under me and everything else you could do to abuse a soft sole shoe.  I think the problem is the 'gathering' around the curves.  Next time I'll clip rather than gather, but the gathering helped fit the initial pattern. Now for time to make a serious pair. 


  1. That is amazing! They look great--and remember that dolls do not walk around on them, so you can make them less sturdy!

    1. Thank you! I'll do a tutorial next time, but I wanted to get them sorted out first. There won't be much difference between a doll and a people shoe, lol!


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