I may be a day late, challenge due date-wise, but I am SO excited to share with you all my entry for the Historical Sew Fortnightly Tops & Toes challenge! In The Dreamstress’ inspiration post for the challenge, one of the last pictures was of a pair of 1930’s wedges. When I saw that I thought, “oh, that would be neat if someone made some shoes like that!” And a few weeks later I thought, “What if I made some 1940’s shoes for myself for the challenge?” So that’s exactly what I did!
I had gotten a reprint of a vintage 1940’s slipper and shoes pattern last Summer, but never got around to using it. The HSF Tops & Toes challenge was the perfect opportunity. Originally I wanted to use some vintage Faille (I believe that’s what that grosgrain/rib type material is called?) in my stash, but decided that for my first pair (the fit of which was quite dubious) I decided to use some scrap fabric from my family’s giant stash of scraps. They turned out pretty cute, if I may say so myself, but they took a LONG time to make, since I could only get in fifteen minutes here and there. The only problem with them, and a slight disappointment for me, is they are slightly too big around the widest part of my foot. But, for my first pair, I think I did well!
On to the necessary details:
The Challenge: #7 Tops & Toes
Fabric: Scrap material from the stash = Free // Cork for soles, which technically isn’t fabric, but I’m including it because it was the main material anyway = about $4.00
Pattern: Reproduction Economy Design Slippers & Espadrilles Sewing Pattern (no longer available from the Etsy shop where I bought it, but you can view and buy it on Ebay here), size 7, slightly altered for length = Free, since it was a gift from Mom.
Year: Early 1940’s, during WWII
Notions: Petersham Ribbon to bind the raw edges = less than $3.00 //
Leather for insoles and reinforcements = About $4.00 // Plasti-dip for Soles = $3.00 //
Various Threads = Essentially free // Two bottles of Rubber Cement to glue practically everything together = $10 // Elastic, stash = Free
How historically accurate is it? I would say 90%, since in the original pattern it called for old hat or carpet felt for the soles (didn’t have any of that handy, and it would be WAY too expensive to buy new), and I used cork instead. But since the whole project was still in the spirit of Make Do and Mend, I think I deserve a 90%. 🙂
Hours to Complete: Ummm… I would say five to ten hours. I did not keep track at all!
First Worn: In their finished state *grin*, they were first worn for the photo shoot. I’m not sure I will wear them again due to the slight sizing issue that I mentioned above, but the comfort overall is nice, so I might. Depends on how silly I may look. 😀
Total Cost: $24.00. Pretty good, though a bit more than I wish it would’ve cost, for my first trial in shoe making!
Just a few more details about the construction of the shoes: The wedge soles I assembled myself from a sheet of cork I got at the hobby store (like this) with rubber cement. The upper is lined with some canvas/twill type material. The raw edges are bound in petersham ribbon. The soles are plasti-dip coated cork that were glued on with rubber cement. I did not use a last, and the uppers are sewn on to the soles by hand with heavy duty thread.