keskiviikko 21. syyskuuta 2011

C. 1770's shoes

The shoes are made of white duchess silk satin and lined with soft leather. The insole and outer sole are both leather. They are hand sewn with linen thread.

After first wearing:

The construction:

(I apologize my possible lack of professional / correct terms. I hope I can be understood regardless.)

I have wanted high heeled 18th century shoes as long as I've been interested 18th century clothing. However I never found anyone who would be willing to make well over two inch heels professionally. And so I had the idea of making a pair.

I was aiming to achieve the heeled silk slipper look that I adore as opposed to a sturdy, more utilitarian shoes. I'm quite happy with them, although there's of course always something I want to improve for my next pair (high italian heel, pink and black like the ones in Bata shoe museum). After all this truly was a learning process. The hardest part was having no-one to ask advice from or help with the pattern or anything, but I survived. And the shoes seem do their job well. They are surprisingly comfortable and they haven't deformed in use. Not that I have gotten to wear them a lot yet, but I've been testing them on several evenings out of curiosity.
First came the heels. My husband carved them from a dried block of wood for me. In this picture they are almost in their finished shape.

The first thing that needs to be sewn are the uppers. I decided to line them in soft leather instead of my first choice linen. It made them act less like a sock and more like a shoe. 

Then I sewed the front part of the outer sole inside out.

Next came the insole. It was sewn to the rest of the uppers and heel cover simultaneously after the shoes were turned right side out.

Then I fitted the wooden heel inside the cover and determined the final shape of the outer sole.

After that the heel was secured by stitching it to the sole.

And then they were finished.