Monday, July 22, 2013

Learning to make shoes

  I have wanted to learn to make shoes for a long time. When the doll is made with barefeet, it is, while not necessary, nice to have them a pair of good shoes to wear to finish off their outfit. Most of the people like the barefeet, so that is what I make the most. There is a pattern I found that makes a cloth shoe that looks like the old fashioned hightop boot. By changing the pattern some, I made it smaller with snaps on the inside to close the flap securely for putting on and taking off the boots. The buttons on the outside are for show,  and do not work.  I wanted to use the old shoe buttons, but they have to have button holes. The snaps are easy, hidden on the inside of the shoe and it is so easy to put the shoes on. One of the dolls has on the first pair of shoes I have made, the other doll will get some too, but maybe a little shorter on the calf of the leg. It took me days and days to figure out the adjusted pattern pieces and I know I can improve on these with time, but atleast I have a start. The pictures of these two dolls are dressed up for the UFDC National Convention. The little shoes are not really hard to make once you get the pattern right. You cut two pieces of each part, sew together, turn outside in and sew up the hole. there are 4 pieces, the sole, the flap, the heel and the toe piece. I did put in a hard cardboard sole on the inside of the shoe that sits on top of the cloth sole. It was smooth white and looks good and keeps the shoe sole rigid and correct. The inside piece of cloth is your liner of the shoe. I made my shoes black this time, but in the future, they can be brown, white or mixed colors, also I learned to gesso the outside of the shoe white first to keep the acrylic paint from bleeding in to the liner. the last step is to polish your boots with regular shoe polish that you put on, let dry and buff off. This needs to be done several times. this gives a soft skin and the look and feel of real leather.

 I do think that most people would like for their dolls to have a pair of shoes like this, especially the Izannah dolls, so I will have to keep working to make different size patterns to fit larger feet.