The Strawberry Shoes


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:


Shoes, 1740-1760, Hampshire City Council Museum

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


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!





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!

    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.

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

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