Friday, October 8, 2010

A Shoe-torial!

Dear Readers, I am going to try to get a tutorial up at least once a month, so to kick things off I bring you the wonderful wisdom of my local shoe repair guy. Every lolita should have a shoe guy, for the little repairs and the big ones. Having a shoe guy one can trust to good work and to tell you when there is nothing they can do is a huge money saver. Which leads me to today's tutorial.
I had gotten a pair of Bodyline Heart Buckle shoes in white as an exchange with a close friend for some sewing work. After several failed coordinates, I decided they would serve me much better in black, so I took them to my shoe guy. He told me that since the shoes were synthetic there was nothing he could do that would for sure work, but he recommended that if I wanted to give it a shot, to try sharpie and shoe polish. Here is the result:

Allow yourself 2 days for this project because it helps to let the shoes dry over night before polishing, but in a pinch you could do it in an afternoon. You will need some nail polish remover, black and green sharpies (I used the big ones to save time, but you will need some fine point and ultra fine point black for the details later on), tape, and shoe polish. For the shoe polish you can use the stuff in the squeeze applicator bottle, but I already owned the tin, so that is what I used. Also, please do this in a well ventilated area. I take no responsibility for headaches for the fumes from markers. I did this on my porch.

First you will need to remove any parts you don't want to color, and cover any parts that can't be removed with tape. Then clean the shoes with the nail polish remover. A quick once over will remove any gunk from the shoes, especially if they have been worn. Also, it is good to keep around to get the sharpie off your fingers later on.

After everything is covered, start in with the green! The green doesn't have to be perfect, but you will need to get a pretty good coat on, or else the black will appear blueish.

Start covering with the black. The coat with the black needs to be pretty close to perfect or the green will show through.

Once the black has totally covered the green, let it dry over night. The sharpie will feel a little tacky feeling, and will stink. Letting the shoes air over night will set the sharpie and let some of the smell dissipate.

The next day, take the tape off of the shoes. You may need a knife to do this. Then apply shoe polish and buff to a shine. The shoe polish will not correct any color problems; that has to be done beforehand, but it will seal the shoes and protect the color. You may find you will have to touch up the shoes from time to time but the color will not crack or scrape off.

Good Luck and Happy Crafting!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fabric Surprise!

Last night I was looking for my glue gun, and found a wonderful surprise - two bags full of wool fabric! Upon further inspection I have about a yard of a natural black coat weight wool, and 7 2/3 yards of a navy and gray wool suiting. I have a pretty good idea of where the black wool came from, but I'm at a total loss where the suiting is from. Ah well, the good news is that this seems like the perfect opportunity to make a winter dress and matching jacket. I am leaning towards this design from a set of scans uploaded onto the live journal community about a year ago. The shape of the skirt, with the pleats, and the cuffs on the sleeves really lend its self to becoming a matched set of dress or jumperskirt and jacket.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

An Apology for the Delays

Dear Readers, I do apologize for the lack of posts these past 2 months. I have had a slight onslaught of real life that has kept me away from the computer most days. I have a job again, and am taking more sewing commissions than usual (expect some tutorials in the next weeks), and then there is Marcus and Fritz. Within 2 weeks I have gotten two new men in my life.

Marcus, who has been a good friend for years, has become my boyfriend. Dear little Fritz has been too cute for words, which is good, because we are still housebreaking and if he wasn't cute...

I now return you to your regularly scheduled postings.