red velvet… shoes!

Have I mentioned (recently) my addiction to velvet?

I bought some shoes at the thrift store a while back with the intention of remaking them into 18th century-style shoes.  They’re not perfect, but they had a decent heel shape and were my size.  Last night I finally got around to tackling that small-but-n0t-so-small project.

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Here’s the before – not too shabby, actually.  They almost worked as they were.  I had an idea of removing and saving the lace appliqués because they were fairly nice, but they were glued on pretty solidly and I had to hack them off.

First step was to remove the heel cap and the under part of the shoe.

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I was a little too enthusiastic and I tore one of them (oops!)  Not unsalvageable, though.


The underside of the shoe with its skin removed.

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I traced a rough pattern out of some muslin and then cut it out of my red velvet.  My original plan was to redo the shoes in a more neutral color – I was thinking a white brocade or something pretty similar to how they started out – and that way I could simply switch out the ribbon to make them match any outfit.  I found to my dismay that I didn’t have anything in my stash that would suit… but I did still have most of the red velvet dress I previously cut up for my Dark Odette costume, and once it caught my eye, it refused to let go.

I used some scraps of denim as well to reinforce the tongue and the side tabs.



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And… covered!  To be honest, up close, they’re not as pretty as I’d like.  The perils of using hot glue.  Instead of covering the heels with fabric (I couldn’t figure out how to remove the heel and it was past midnight so I didn’t want to risk making a bunch of noise) I painted them with black fabric paint, which unfortunately gives them a plasticky look close up.  But from a distance it doesn’t look horrible.

I used a buttload of glue to get the bottom shoe piece reattached, and spent a good hour fighting with the heel caps to get them back on.  I imagine the process would have been a lot better with the aid of a hammer.


Here they are plain as they come, before grommeting.  They’re not actually as big and bulky as they look, they just make my ankles look tremendously skinny.

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Turned out I had left my grommet tool at my mum’s, so I had to stop over there today to get the grommets put in.  Ta-da!  I tied them with some white ribbon and I love the color combo, but I love even more the idea that I can use any color ribbon I want to tie them to whatever outfit I’m wearing!  And let’s be honest – red velvet shoes are so fabulous that it doesn’t even matter if they don’t match my dress, right?


My goal for tomorrow is to get the hat to match my blue round gown done.  The trim on that dress is still in progress.  I may have the whole outfit finished this week. 😀


Rolling Girl

Not much to report on the costuming front, I’m afraid.  I was out of town all last week and I’m going out of town tomorrow for a week as well.  I’m off to Seattle with my little sis to see Lady Gaga with Hatsune Miku!  (on a side note: I’m starting to get a handle on this Vocaloid stuff.  Rin is my favorite I think, I like his voice the best.)

We thought it would be fun for the concert to do a little Vocaloid cosplay; nothing fancy, as our time and budget are both short.  So we’re both doing the “Rolling Girl” video cosplay, a really easy costume to thrift.  I went out and got mine today:


and after experimenting with some makeup:



(Ignore my dirty mirror; I was cleaning my makeup brushes and I always make a mess.  Then I didn’t feel like retaking pictures after I got undressed and took my makeup off.)


As for the convention costumes – haven’t made much progress since last I posted.  I’m still waiting on my jewels to come in the mail for the gown’s collar and cuffs.  I did, after days of scouring the internet, find exactly the perfect crystals for Black Lady’s earrings, so I’m like really pumped to make them.  It’s rare that I find exactly what I want when I have a particular picture in my head of something.  I did get all the chiffon hemmed today – the shawl and the skirt piece.

After I get back from Seattle, it’s time to go full throttle on these convention costumes.  So I’ll have some more updates then!

Peacock pierrot – part one

I think I mentioned a while back that I was working on a pattern for a 1780’s-style pierrot jacket.  I did develop the pattern a couple months ago, and I was just waiting for the right fabric to drop into my lap to start on the real thing – and here it is:


I scored this floor-length half-circle skirt at a thrift store for about two bucks.  It’s something like a heavy taffeta – the tag in the skirt declared that it is 50% poly, 20% nylon (what’s the other 30%?  no idea!) and also that it retailed for $158 at wherever it was bought – huh!  the color is just lovely, and ranges from bright teal to dark teal with flashes of hot pink and purple.  I had no choice but to dub it peacock!

I generally don’t sew during my work week, but I really felt like starting on this project, so I’ve just been working for fifteen minutes or a half hour each day on it.  you’d be surprised how quickly something comes together with just that much sewing.

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this was my rough pattern.


cutting the pieces of the lining, which is a medium-weight white cotton with a striped pattern.  I know it’s hard to see what’s going on in this pictures, but there are five pieces to the pattern – bodice back, bodice front, zone front piece, shoulder strap, and collar.


I cut all my pieces out except the bodice back, which I wanted to pleat on my dress form.  I studied a few different looks and had decided that the one I wanted for my jacket was back pleats going into a little ruffled tail, as opposed to the tail being a separate pattern piece.  I pleated it the same way I did my emerald gown way back, only a little less crookedly!


stitching down pleats.  I took my time doing this – sewed one or two pleats at a time, over the course of about three days.


all my pleats!


I pinned my back lining over the pleated back piece to make sure they were all lined up properly before cutting the back into shape.  there is no lining piece for the tail because I planned on just hemming it; I thought the weight of a lining might disrupt the nice ruffled look of it.


next, I lined the zone front pieces.  I pinned these to the bodice fronts and from there on, treated the two pieces as one.


the bodice stitched together.  it’s starting to look like an actual thing, right?

at this point, I threw on my stays to do a fit check of the bodice… only to find it was quite a bit too big.  so I had to take it apart at the sides, and move the bodice fronts in about an inch, as well as cut away about an inch from the neckline because it was too high.  I always seem to overestimate how much room I need in the chest… I blame this on the fact that I had to spend years always adding inches to the chest area whenever I sewed.

as of right now, the lining has been assembled and is ready to be attached.  then I have to draft a sleeve pattern, attach sleeves and the collar, and then finish the front of the bodice, which will close with hooks and eyes but have buttons going down the front.  my next post will (hopefully) cover all that, providing I can keep up the pace I’ve been working at.