Archive for July, 2009
There’s a story behind pair #6. One day at my day job (I work in Accounting), a co-worker of mine was showing us a pair of Jeffrey Campbell beaded gladiator sandals that Kate Hudson was photographed wearing in her “People Style” magazine. We immediately Googled them and to our dismay learned that they are no longer available for purchase. Although she jokingly said I could make them for her, her comment stayed in the back of my mind all day. I printed out a copy of the shoes that I found online and decided why not, I’ll try it. If nothing else it would be a new style to attempt with lots more lessons learned along the way (can you see a recurring theme here?). Without going into all of the details, I quickly learned that beading is quite complicated.
Therefore, I decided that for my first attempt I would use the super fabulous red croco leather I purchased a while back and make just a standard pair of gladiator sandals using a similar design but without the beading. What I thought was going to be my simplest pair of shoes thus far, once again turns out to have all kinds of new complexities that I had not yet encountered.
I did not want the layers of straps to look bulky so I decided wherever the straps crossed one another I would layer them within each other (ex. the strap underneath would be placed between the top strap’s upper and liner layers, thereby giving the look that they are woven together vs on top of one another). This is not so easy to do. It requires careful measuring and attention to detail. Plus, it’s fine and dandy if you are affixing the layers together permanently but not so easy as pie if you need the straps to be adjustable.
I am happy to report that I have actually worn these shoes to work and received numerous compliments on them and even a request for a custom made pair. They are super comfortable, except for where the layering in the back is a tad too thick and slightly rubs against the back of my ankle. Next time I will do a better job of skiving the straps thinner.
Pair #5 was my first attempt at heels and at using my new sewing machine. . . .new lesson learned – it’s not smart to try something new on a fixed (tight!) time-frame (I was making them for my father’s wedding in two weeks).And again I learned another valuable materials lesson – satin does not play nice.
Heels are *much* more complicated than what I had previously worked with.Did you know that it’s not just the heel that sets off metal detectors?The heel is typically plastic with a steel rod inserted down the middle for support but the inner sole of heels also have a metal shank to keep their form.The inner soles of heels actually keep their form without the support of the heel.
Therefore, I had to drill through the metal shank to affix the heel to the sole of the shoe.Regardless of the many complications I encountered along the way, they still turned out pretty well for my first pair and thankfully held up during the wedding.
Below are some more pictures that I took of these heels in progress: