If you partake in the art of doll-making or collect dolls, then chances are you have experimented with designing clothing for your dolls. A beautiful pair of shoes can complete an outfit. To make your own professional leather doll shoes, you only require basic sewing skills--much of the process is completed using white glue to secure the fabric of the shoe. For this project, you can use any small scraps of leather, including leather from an old pair of gloves.
Knead a piece of sculpting clay until it is soft enough to form. Use the clay to make a replica of the doll's foot that is the same size and shape up to the ankle or calf. Measure the doll's foot carefully. Bake the mould in the oven until it is hard.
Use a second colour of sculpting clay to add length and shape to the toes. Apply clay to the heel so it has a nice gradual arch. Bake again.
Place the mould onto a piece of paper and trace the bottom of the foot to make a pattern for the sole. Cut out several soles. Use a glue stick to tack one of the paper soles to the bottom of the mould.
Cut out reinforcement pieces for the toe and heel of the shoe. The heel should be a half circle that fits comfortably around the heel of the shoe and extends underneath the sole by 1/8 of an inch. The toe reinforcement should be fit over the toe and extend 1/8 of an inch under the sole. Make several of each shape for later use.
Make a pattern for the shoe's upper. Take a large rectangle of paper and make a slit down the centre of the sheet---don't cut all the way through the centre, stop at about ¾ of the way through. Put the material over the mould and pin it in the back.
Outline the vamp of the shoe. To do this, you will need to pin the fabric of your shoe to the paper sole and then use a pencil to draw around the top of the shoe. Draw other marker lines that indicate where the fabric meets the sole and where the fabric meets in the back. Once you have drawn your guidelines, remove the pins and lay out the fabric. Cut out the shape you drew, making sure to leave a 1/4 inch seam allowance. This is your shoe pattern--flip the pattern over to create a shoe for the left foot.
Use your pattern to cut out two shoe uppers---one from leather and one from organdie. Place the right sides together and sew along the perimeter of the vamp. Open the seam and sew the back seam, with the right pieces together. Trim off the excess fabric from the curves.
Put the fabric shoe back on the mould and make sure the back seam of the shoe lines up with the centre of the heel on your mould. Pull up the leather layer of the shoe so it is out of the way. Use a piece of masking tape to hold the seam centred and use more tape to position the shoe correctly on the mould.
Paint white glue onto the paper sole and glue the shoe lining to the sole. Clip off any excess material so the shoe is smooth all the way around. Dry the shoe using a blow dryer.
Apply white glue to the reinforcement heel and toe pieces and glue them in place, over the shoe lining (the leather layer should still be pulled up out of the way). Use a thin layer of glue so it doesn't soak through to the mould. Use the blow dryer to dry the pieces.
Pull down the leather layer of the shoe and pull down so it is smooth. Glue the leather to the sole of the shoe, trimming off any excess material so the shoe surface is smooth.
Form the heel for your shoe out of polymer clay. Carve and save the clay until it is the shape you want. Glue the heel onto the shoe and allow it to dry. When dry, pry the shoe off of the clay mould.
Things you need
- Sculpting clay (Fimo or similar) in two colours
- Sewing machine
- White glue
- Paint brush
- Hair dryer
- Polymer clay