Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Make Old Shoes New

Here are my new shoes:

Since my faithful brown flats from last year finally died (and I really tried to prolong the process as you can see), I have been on the hunt for some new brown flats. I'm not the kind of person that spends money on shoes I don't love, and I have yet to find some that I love. So recently the thought occurred to me: What if I made some out of my old ones? I can blame this thinking on my husband who got me a new sewing machine for my birthday, and now I've been wanting to sew everything lately. I have my own little sweat shop in the making. But who makes their own shoes? I did!

Here are my old shoes:
You will need:
old flats
hot glue or Gorilla Glue/Shoe Glue
1/4 yard of fabric or less for inside of shoes
1/4 yard of fabric or less for outside of shoes
thread and sewing machine

1. First I decided to tear my shoes apart. It was interesting. I never saw the inside of my shoes before. I'm pretty sure they are not meant to be torn apart. The glue they use is amazing. I really had to get some muscle into tearing the soles off.
The pieces I ended up with were 2 soles, 2 paddings, and the 2 outer coverings. I put the soles away for later. 
2. Next I used my pieces as a pattern to cut out my new fabric. If you want to, you can find some new padding to replace the old padding--just make sure to make them the same size. You can use a thin foam that would work well. I didn't and probably should have, but my little boy was napping and I was anxious to get my project going.

I wanted the shoes to be brown, so I found some brown fabric (felt actually, which I probably won't use next time around, but it was the only brown fabric I had on hand) to use for the outside. Choose a fabric that has a similar stretch to the old fabric. I allowed for about a 5/8" seam allowance. You will want to cut out two more pieces just like these out of the fabric you want to be in the inside. 

I chose a dotted fabric that matched the brown fabric to cover the inside. Make a pattern from your padding too, allowing for the 5/8" seam. 

Here are the pieces you should have--I am lettering them so its easier to follow instructions.

3. Now you will start the sewing. Turn the ends of your A pieces together so the front sides of your fabric are facing each other. You will do this to your B pieces as well. Sew the ends together, allowing for the seam.

My shoes had a little strip on the back of the heel that I cut through when I cut apart my shoes, and I decided to add a strip on the brown piece for the new shoes too. I just sewed it on after turning it right side out. You don't have to do this.

Now take both an A piece and a B piece and put them together front sides facing each other like this. You will do these steps twice, once for each shoe.

Sew around what would be the top part, connecting both piece A and B together.

Flip the pieces so that the right side faces out. You may need to iron them to make more of a definition between the inside of the shoe and outside. We'll call these new combined A and B pieces the Shoe piece.
In the picture above, you can see that I then sewed around what would be the bottom part of the shoe, this time the front sides are NOT facing each other. You actually don't have to do this, if you don't want to worry about making sure this stitching does not show when you put your sole on your shoe. 

4. Now you will start gluing. I used hot glue, but you may want to use that Gorilla glue or Shoe Goo (I think that is what they are called), but you will have to allow time for that glue to dry. 

First you will glue the cover (piece C) on your padding. Take the C pieces and glue them around their coordinating left and right pieces of padding like so. 

Then you will take your new Shoe piece and match it up to the padding.  Overlap and glue the inside fabric on, and then the outside fabric, gluing right over where you glued earlier. I used my stitching as a guide, but if you didn't stitch around the bottom, glue as if you had a 5/8" seam to glue on. You may have to scrunch some fabric here and there to make it fit. Do most of your scrunching at the heel or the toe.

Now your shoes should really be starting to form! 
Now you just have to glue the soles on.

If you want, you can add a little embellishment to your new shoes. I cut out two strips of felt for each shoe and bunched them into ruffles, then hand sewed them on. 
For never making shoes before, I was pretty pleased with the end result! And honestly, I spent nothing on them because everything I used I had in my house! 

My husband came home and was in total shock that I made my own shoes. Really, he was mind-boggled that anyone would even think of that. I even heard him mention that he wants to make his own shoes :)

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  1. Okay, that is amazing! I would never be able to take on such a task...and they are down right cute!

  2. I adore these. I've got a new blog and this was featured today! I'd love if you stopped by and grabbed a button!

  3. How well did the glue hold up to wearing the shoes?

  4. They've definitely held up so far! I think because the felt glued well. I'm thinking that if it was another kind of fabric, it might need some different glue. But I bet Gorilla Epoxy Glue would work well, and it dries in 5 minutes. I would just clamp the soles on, or put something heavy on the shoe to hold the soles in place while it dried :)

  5. absolutely amazing! I would never in a million years, look at my old ballet slipper shoes and think...I can re-make these! Kudos! Adorable!

  6. That is really crazy, I can't believe how great they look! You Rock!!!

  7. Really decent post I simply unearthed your weblog and wished to say that I have genuinely delighted in searching your weblog posts. Much obliged man.

  8. Very nice I accept as true with your thoughts. Many thanks a great deal I’ve benefited therefore usually I’ll visit your website.

  9. Wow! You did it well. Job well done. Thank you for sharing this interesting blog of you. I will definitely share this to my friends. :)


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