I’ve made some boots! or kind of like, shoe-boots, really. Desert boots.
Ok, I have to be honest; I’m so proud of these I think I might just explode with happiness!!! Finally, a pair of winter shoes in which I have complete satisfaction and pride and joy. I’m so so so so SO immensely pleased with how these turned out!
Ok, calming down a little. The lowdown.
Materials; my friend Megan had given me a few small bits and bobs of sturdy fabrics, including some thick and stiff, paprika coloured suedette upholstery fabric. I immediately envisioned boots of course, hehehe; my mind nowadays almost totally taken up with thoughts of shoes and how I can bend whatever materials I catch sight of into making them. I used the paprika suedette for the outer, and the boots are lined completely with faux chocolate suedette, a far more flowy and lightweight fabric, the leftovers from this little cropped top. The outer and lining lightly glued together; plus I covered a pair of insoles with the chocolate suedette too. This fabric originally from the Fabric Store in Melbourne. Laces and insoles from Coles, all glues and the black rubber from which I cut the soles and heels from Bunnings. I cut an interior layer and one layer of the stacked heels from some thin cork placemats. Do you like the one layer of brown in the heels, from the cork? I did this on a whim, and while my husband and family thought it looked a bit weird, like a mistake; I absolutely LOVE this little feature. Kinda gives my own little touch :)Topstitching; I used upholstery thread, in a shade of burnt caramel. I like the contrast and that it doesn’t match the paprika.
Eyelets; rather than add metal eyelets, I left the holes raw. Most of the desert boots I’ve seen are like this and I prefer that look.
Pattern, I drafted my own, using my new (old) vintage lasts. It looks like this:
For my own future benefit, since this procedure actually worked very well with these particular materials: a rough run-through of the construction…
Glue uppers and lining pieces together leaving the front of the vamp free so as to create the toe puff later, and back part separate so as to sew the back seam together later and then create the heel counters… topstitch edges, punch eyelets, sew pieces together.
Sew quarters to vamps with some sturdy reinforcing at the point where the eyelet closure joins on. By the way; this style of shoe in which the eyelet closure sits OVER the vamp is known as the Derby style, as opposed to the Oxford style in which the eyelet closure sits underneath the vamp. My previous lace-up shoes have all been in the Oxford style, except for the yellow ones which were also Derbys. Learn something new every day, no? 🙂
Sew the back seam of lining and upper separately, sew the lining to a fabric underfoot piece, glue the upper and lining together behind the heel and topstitch the upper edge, back of the heel.
Create the toe puffs and heel counters. I used stretch cotton denim and several layers of PVA glue. My heel counters (not seen) stretch around to “just” join onto the toe puffs here.
Glue uppers to the lining, stretch and shape the fabric over the toe puffs and heel counters as much as possible. I spent an evening in front of the TV just stretching by hand. Then stitch the uppers to an underfoot layer of self-fabric (if sturdy) or leather. When stitching leathers and leather-like fabrics in any project, be it shoes or bags or anything; a double up-and-down stitch with two threads is employed. So, stitch a running stitch one way all around, then return and stitch back over the same stitching, in the same holes, completely the double row of stitching. This can also be done with the stitching going in one direction and employing two needles, doing each stitch twice, one at a time.
first row of stitching, sorry for the blurry picture, I swear it didn’t look blurry when I took it!
aaand, the second row of stitching, complete.
Then I trimmed away the excess, cut a cork inner sole and glued it to the under-foot layers with contact adhesive, then made a bias binding strip of black quilting cotton and glued this all round the edge (PVA glue). You can leave the stitching and edge visible and raw and unbound, which is a more authentic desert boot look; but I wished for a neater finish plus visually to have a stronger black line here to tie the touches of black in the shoelaces and (future) soles and heels together more visibly.
Up until now, most my glueing has been using PVA glue, but for the stacked heels and to glue the soles to the underneath of the shoe I used contact adhesive.
Last step was to cut foam inner soles to fit, cover with the lining fabric and insert into the shoes…
The height of the heel was determined by the fact that I will wish to wear them with my favourite flared jeans… my lasts are not reeeeally designed for a high heel so I went as high as I dared while not destroying the line of the shoe. I’m very happy with this height as it looks with my jeans! 🙂
They are a little loose-ish on my bare and stockinged/tight-ed feet but fit nice and snugly with my hand-knitted socks. I will want to wear it with both tights and with socks, so this is perfect for me 🙂
Yes, I knit all my own socks too. Well, been making my own clothes for years so I’ve built up a supply of literally everything.
I’ve kept a few old shoeboxes from old rtw pairs for my self-made shoes, so they stay nice and unsquished by other pairs of shoes in the bottom of my wardrobe. Here they are, all snuggled up and ready and waiting for winter. I can hardly wait to wear them!