"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Thursday, April 10, 2014

HSF 2014 - Challenge #7 - Tops and Toes (shoes)

The Challenge: #7 Tops & Toes
Pattern: none. But did use a combination of several tutorials. I was inspired by combination of American Duchesses 'how to decorate pemberley shoes tutorial and the image below.

Year: 1790's-1810
Notions: Acrylic Paint, Ribbon
How historically accurate is it? The Materials are all wrong...but I'm going for the impression. So the shape is right pointed toes very small heel. Secured on foot by ribbon.
Hours to complete: Because of drying time a couple of days.
First worn: For photos
Total cost: paint was 2 for £5, Ribbon was about 50p metre. So wouldn't me more than £10 Max.

Started with my original shoes...which I wore the first time I went to the jane austen festival.
But they now look scuffed and the ribbon frayed. The perfect candidate for a makeover.
First thing I did was look up every tutorial I could find and images of 1790's shoes.
It seemed the way to go was to use acrylic paints. First I removed the ribbons. Then I cleaned the shoe in preparation.
I had purchased two acrylic paints a white and a blue. I started by painting a layer of the white paint as a base. This was clearly not going to do. So after it had dried painted another layer. Still not complete coverage. So a third layer was needed. I then left it for 24 hours to thoroughly dry.

I then mixed a very small amount of the blue with the white. Painting on the final layer. The brogue indentations in the shoe were as disguised as I could get them.
I then began work on the trimmings. Pleating grosgrain ribbon.
Glued on to the front. Then made two bows with a cameo in the centre.
Wasn't sure about how to place the bow...but after a little experimentation.

Put the bow and cameo on the front. I also used the same ribbon I used for the decoration to tie closed the 'latchet' type closure.


  1. Beautiful shoes. They are such a great colour, like a cloudless sky (not that I have seen one for a while). What a lovely revamp, they really look the part.

    1. Thanks. I've learned a few things making these shoes. So would try doing it again. Its quite easy to do.
      The blue is to match my dress lining. :)