Thursday, December 2, 2010

*Knock it Off!* JCrew Flats

by Kimberlee

Point of Confession - I love clothing & home goods catalogs.  Love love love them.  I'm not a big home shopper, but I am a big fan of styling, and prefer to see objects and clothing in context rather than how they are presented on websites: usually in stark contrast to a white background.

And to make matters worse, I'm not a big fan of stores- well, that's not exactly true, I'm not a big fan of malls.  Living in Minnesota makes being not fond of malls hilarious, as "The Mall" is right up the road.  My wonderful husband has to drag me out of Target ("Look at how shiny it is!") and threatens suicide inside JoAnn's, but generally I spend the vast majority of my browsing time on line.

Back to context.  I love how catalogs sell the dream of the object - beautiful objects in lovely rooms, impossible outfits, etc.

So when I came across these gold ballet flats in a J Crew catalog, I fell in love!  (Here is another image in silver)  I wanted them.  I needed them.  They're $198 dollars. Jaw/keyboard.

It was then that I heard The Voice.  The Voice has influenced all my immediate family members over the years, leading to projects both foolish and awesome.  The Voice that says, "Sure, "supple leather" sounds awesome enough, but wouldn't these flats,  purchased from Target (12 dollars!) last year for our wedding, work well enough?  The Voice that says, "HEY!  Those are button holes on the side of those "cluster of jewels." The Voice that says, "It's dumb to buy those, I can make it myself!"

So I already had the shoes, and it was just a matter of finding the other materials.
Here's the stash!

Things I ended up using:
- no sew iron-on tape
- ribbon (I used acetate BUT if I had to do it again I'd use silk or something like silk)
- gold & black thread
- wide black lace
- scrap pieces of black fleece or black felt
- black rosettes
- a variety of sizes of sew-on jewels
- various types of chain
- velcro
- iron
- sewing machine
I liked this ribbon, but maybe you should use something more luxe

You could also use pre-pleated ribbon.  I found some gorgeous pre-pleated ribbon at the store, but none were in black.  I considered doing the embellishment is another color, but though black would be more forgiving. 

Jewels, rosettes and chains
Using the curve of the shoes you plan to use, make a template for your embellishment.

Using some craft paper, I made a template that looks like a Pringles!
If you have pre-pleated ribbon, you can skip ahead.  For how to pleat, here we go....

I've never pleated before, so I just figured it out as I went. Using my black lace as a base,  I laid out strips of iron on sew tape.  I cut what I figured would be a long enough piece of ribbon and ironed on the end.  Then I made a pleat with the ribbon, ironing the edge of the pleat slightly further on the ribbon.  You can use a straight edge if you need to.  I'm having trouble explaining it, so let me show you the photos:
Iron on sew tape laid out on the lace

Fold ribbon over previous pleat
eyeball how far you want your pleat to go, slightly past the last pleat

Iron, rinse and repeat to end

OUCHIE!  My first iron-related mishap!
Make a long enough piece to have space to use 2 templates.  After you have a long enough piece and have applied the First Aid, use both sides of your template to trace out 2 pleated pieces.  DO NOT CUT OUT AT THIS POINT.

Put the lace backing on the fleece and sew along the traced lines, using your gold thread.  NOW you can cut, leaving about 1/4 inch raw on the outside of your stitching.

Two pleated patches with jewels and chains laid out

Figure out the arrangement of your rosettes, jewels and chains.  You should sew the chain on first.  Measure how much you will need to run the chain slightly inside the gold stitch, and double that amount, then cut your length of chain.  Double over your chain and hand-stitch on both chains at a time:
The black threads pretty much disappear
Hand-sew on the jewels first, then stitch your chain pieces around the jewels.  Then cut out the centers of the rosettes, sew them in place, then sew the jewels in the center of the rosettes.  Shape up your edges and you are practically finished!

Ready to put on your shoes!

Sticky-backed velcro

I suggest that you test the velcro adhesive on a small part of your shoe.   I could just glue them on my shoes, but I may want to remove them, make some other shoe accessory, retry making them, or put them on other shoes or even a headband.

But for now, the FINISHED RESULT! Or, Glamor Shots with Shoes


This was fun to do, and my first Knock-off.  Also, this was my first embellishment of a shoe since my Chuck Taylors in high school.  Which reminds me, I want to buy these and embellish my current pair of Chuckies.

Happy Hanukkah!

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