Sunday, February 26, 2012

Now I'm a Cobbler Too

This doll hobby has me really stretching and learning new things. I think the challenges have been good for me.

New Lady's shoes

My newest doll, the Minifee, is hard to find shoes for. Dale Rae, a company that used to stock the right size, has discontinued the line. I know of only one other dealer that stocks the right size of shoe and she doesn't ship to Canada. Another option would involve the hassle of having a US citizen forward shoe orders to me but that just doesn't seem worth imposing on friends I only know online through the ball jointed doll hobby.

So that leaves me with only one option. Making my own!

Now a Cobbler Too

I made these shoes (real leather!) using a free tutorial I found at the AntiqueLilac website, but I made a few changes.

A while back my daughter and I purchased a step by step lesson package for making Pukifee shoes. Not long after the purchase we found an inexpensive eBay source for shoes of that size. My Pukifee has 14 pairs of shoes! Does she really need any more? (well.....maybe, but they are easily purchased....heh, heh!)

The poor "New Lady" wasn't so lucky. She only had a pair of white pumps and a too tight pair of sneakers that were a real hassle to get on. I had to come to her rescue! So using a few finishing tips I found in the Pukifee lesson package I made improvements to the AntiqueLilac technique and walla! New Minifee Mary Janes. They remind me of the old "Earth Shoes" of the '70s.

The changes I made to the basic MSD shoe tutorial were as follows.
  1. I rounded out the shape of the toe slightly so it is less "big toe" shaped.
  2. I used crafting foam for the sole of the shoe.
  3. I created a bit of a heel using doubled craft foam cut to shape.
  4. I covered the gap between the sole and the foot of the shoe with elastic trim.
  5. I used stick on Velcro for the fastening.
  6. I added a decorative stud in place of the buckle.
  7. I padded the end of the toe with half of a cotton ball so that it would not lie so flat.
  8. I trimmed the opening for the foot ever so slightly larger.
They're still pretty flat and leave much to be desired, but I'm quite happy with my first attempt. I'd really like to do a proper "shoe last" for shaping the shoes, and also make proper, thicker soles cast from a mold.

So much to be learned and experimented with!


Fran said...

wow, you are amazing Marlene. The shoes look fantastic !

Jen said...

Oh my goodness! Like the small clothes aren't impressive enough!

cailyn said...

cute shoes! i'm hoping to eventually start making some of my own, so loved your hints