The Strawberry Shoes

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My 18th century shoes had been in a dire situation for a long time! I have a pair of black Fugawees, which I love, but I actually prefer to wear them with everyday clothes than with costumes. I had also tried covering shoes using Loren’s fantastic tutorial and had made two pairs using the Dyeable Grace model, but they are more or less…sloppy. So I knew I needed a beautiful high heel to wear with my pretty new dresses in France.

Then this lovely shoe kept popping up in my Pinterest feed:

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Shoes, 1740-1760, Hampshire City Council Museum

And I remembered this glorious silk brocade I had seen in the Garment District:

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And thus, an Evil Plan was born! I once again used Loren’s tutorial, but with much better workmanship this time. For the base, I used a dance shoe from Apple Dance Shoes. The heel isn’t perfect, it’s a little too skinny, but I could always go back and thicken it up with some Sculpey and cover it with fabric. But I’m pretty happy with the results. I just wish I had some honest-to-goodness shiny shoe buckles–those are just oval buckles I found for cheap in the Garment District. The brocade was a beast to work with, as all the fibers making up the strawberry motifs are not secured at all. If I do these again, I might consider stitching around each strawberry to secure them.

But I’m pretty happy!

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This entry was posted in Chateau de Pys 2013 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Strawberry Shoes

  1. Loren says:

    Wow, they are just stunning! I adore that fabric, where in the garment district did you find it, if you don’t mind my asking.

    • J. Leia Lima says:

      Thanks, and I owe you big time for the tutorial that made these possible! I have no clue what the actual name of the store is called, but I know exactly where it is–it’s always like that with the little holes-in-the-wall shops in the GD.

  2. Maggie says:

    Ooh! That’s the famous Rubelli strawberry fabric! It has been used in Marie Antoinette and Dangerous Liasons, among other things! http://costumersguide.com/ma12.shtml

    It looks great on shoes! American Duchess has gorgeous repro paste buckles if you’re looking for pretty buckles. 🙂

    • J. Leia Lima says:

      Ah! I’m so glad you had more information on that fabric! And I can confirm that the fabric is indeed brocaded–it is SO HAIRY on the reverse. I’ll be sure to share pics of the wrong side when I make a jacket out of the remaining yardage.

  3. I wish I could find some of that fabric for myself! The shoes are beautiful even if the heels are a bit too thin. I like your idea of building them out.

    I’m learning to make 18th century shoes using period methods and boy is it a lot of work! They will be worth it in the end though! I have a few pictures on my blog and will be working on posts for the future as I recently met with my instructor and have made a little more progress.
    I’m in love with those strawberry shoes too. I came across those I while back and have my own “evil plan” to produce them at some point. 🙂 Based on the shape of the heel I would say they are closer to the 1760s date.
    -Emily

  4. Pingback: An 18th Century Outfit on a Budget, part one | The Old Everyday

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