Shoe help

One of the frustrations of doing a book is some of the instructions and illustrations get cut due to space.  This was true with Helen's shoes in my book "Creative Cloth Doll Couture".  
HelenforTutorialClick on Helen's picture and she'll take you to a larger image.

HelenShoeCloseUp The shoes, and Helen's outfit, were inspired by the fashions of the 1940's.  You can't see them, but she's got silk stockings on, with garters on her camiknickers.  I would have loved being in my 20's during the 40's.  The music, hair styles, clothing, accessories were dynamite!  (That may not be politically correct today, but that was the word used for something that was outstanding during the 1940's).

For those of you struggling with Helen's shoes here's a little tutorial for you.

Following the instructions on page 36, complete Steps 1 & 2.  Cut out both pieces after you've sewn the toe and top seams, as shown in figure t.  The tricky part comes putting the shoe together.
HelenShoeStep3   Turn the shoe top, right side out (the red fabric in the photo).  Finger press the seams to smooth them.  You can see that the toe is now finished as is the top of the shoe.  The sides are still unfinished as is the heel section.

HelenShoeHeelPinned Open up the main part of the shoe top (red fabric), and the lining fabric (green) and pin them right sides together.  The sides of the shoes are still going to be left open.  You are going to finish the heel part of the shoe top in this step.  It looks odd, I know, but it works.  It would help if I had a video of it, but we still don't have a digital video camera.  Someday.                                                 Once pinned, sew down this seam.


           I've used white thread in my machine so you can see the stitches.  You will use matching thread.

HelenShoeStep6 Turn the shoe so the main fabric is outside, as shown in the photo to the left.  Finger press the seams to make them smooth.  You now have a finished top.  Next is sewing the sole of the shoe to the top.  This can be tricky, too.  More fiddly than tricky.

Follow Steps 5, 6 & 7.  What isn't clear, due to the photo, is what to do with the sole lining.

You'll need to pleat and pin the toe part of the shoe top in order for it to not get caught as you are sewing.  I think this photo will help due to the colors I used.

HelenShoeStep7 You can see the pleated toe part sticking out through the slit made in the shoe sole lining.  Follow Steps 8 & 9 on page 37.
                                When you turn the shoe through the slit the lining is right side out. 

HelenShoeStep8 You'll need to turn it again to get the right side of the shoe on the outside.  To do this, turn it through the slit that is now on the bottom, sole.
HelenShoeStep9                 You now have a shoe finished.  Except for the heels.  Those instructions continue on pages 37 & 38 and are easy to follow.

Cute shoes, right?  I may use these on my Ms. Maddie Hatter, although I think her feet are smaller.

I do hope this helps and you can make dozens of shoes for your Helen's, or whatever doll you are making.  Remember, all the dolls in my books are 18-inches and these shoes will fit any of the "girls".  But, you do have to have the Couture book for the pattern.

Happy doll making! 

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4 Responses to “Shoe help”

  1. Ah!Thanks Patti.This shoe tutorial is very helpful.Thanks.

  2. Sandra says:

    Thank you so much Pattie, I get it now, much clearer to me.
    That was so generous of you to take the time to do this, much appreciated.

  3. Thanks SO much for this tutorial.I really “get it” now!!

  4. DK says:

    I recently picked up the Cloth Doll Couture book from my public library on a whim as I passed by the crafting/sewing area. I love it! But I was a little confused about a couple things. This really helped me understand what was going on with the shoes. I’m still not certain I understand the head assembling and attaching, but I”m hoping looking around here I can find something that’ll help. Thanks!

Leave a Reply to DK