Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The book is now available

It is a surprise to myself that I actually managed to finish the book and it is now available for Kindle devices and readers on the Amazon web sites. It's called: Techniques for Making Doll Shoes. The link takes you to the web site. The links to the book on the other Amazon web sites are as follows:

For some reason, the listings do not show a cover photo, although there is one. I hope it is just an update problem and the cover will be shown later. This is what it looks like:

The book has 309 pictures (photos and a few drawings) and almost 42,000 words. It is a reference book, describing techniques for making various parts of doll shoes and combining them. You can find much of the information in this blog, but the book has everything organized in a (hopefully) logical order. It also has lots of new photos, which look a lot less cluttered than what I normally have in the blog posts.

Edit: If you want to check the book's table of contents, you can get it in PDF format by clicking here.

Note to Finnish readers:
Suomenkielinen versio on työn alla ja toivon mukaan ilmestyy jossain vaiheessa, mutta käännettävää on paljon, joten mitään tarkkaa aikaa on mahdotonta luvata. Jos ja kun se valmistuu, se tulee todennäköisesti saataville myös Amazonin kautta, koska kotimaiset e-kirjojen verkkokaupat ovat tehneet julkaisusta todella monimutkaista (ainakin ne, jotka olen tarkistanut).

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book update

It's finally happening. I just wrote the last missing part of the book (Introduction) and submitted a request for ISBN as I want to do this thing properly. The submission form asked for publishing time and I stated March 2015, so it is set now. The book will become available some time next month. I'm aiming at the beginning of the month, but cannot promise that for sure.

The book has 223 pages (that's what MS Word shows) and the current word count is about 41,000. That will probably change a bit due to some editing that I still need to do, but it'll give you some idea. Additionally, there are over 300 photos as I believe that illustrating the steps is crucial in a book like this.

I will let you know when the book becomes available in Amazon. Remember that you do not need a Kindle device for reading Kindle books as you can download the free reader for your PC from Amazon's site.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

New use for Christmas decorations

I had covered resin wedge soles with black leather to illustrate the process and then I needed to figure out what to do with them. I decided to try a new strap design. The straps are black cotton treated with sealer. The three straps are glued to a small strip of fabric on the reverse side to keep them together.

I glued leather insoles in place and then glued the straps to the sides of the wedge soles with the ends going under the soles.

The final pieces came from this plastic Christmas decoration. I suppose you could use it in straps as it is, but I am always worried about scratches, so that's why I decided to use fabric straps underneath. Also, the plastic straps stay in their correct places better when they are glued to a stiffer structure.

I have used something similar once before and then I left the ends of the string visible, but this time I decided to glue the ends under the soles. This required removing some plastic beads to get just the thread inside. You can use pliers for that. Put the string between a flat part of the pliers and crush the beads, then remove the plastic pieces, so only the thread remains.

I glued the strings to the straps on the entire length to ensure they won't slip out of place and then glued the ends under the soles.

Then I glued the outer soles in place. The light-colored thread remained visible in some places, so I painted those parts black.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Shoes on shoes

When I found this fabric, I knew I had to get it for making a pair of shoes. Usually, the biggest problem is that all instances of a certain picture are facing the same way, but in this case, I found one that had a mirror image. It is the pair of green shoes, which became the main focus of the design. Also, the single floral shoe is the mirror image of one of the shoes in the pair.

I had made wedge soles for Tonner's Jessica Rabbit using polymer clay and they were big enough to accommodate the green shoes. The fabric had to be cut in two pieces to get as close to identical pieces as possible, which meant there would be seams on both sides of the soles.

One of the handbag pictures also had a mirror image, so I used those for the insoles. The pictures around them were different, so the tips of the insoles are different, but I decided to let that be.

This is the pattern for the strap. I used an actual picture for making it as it was important to get it just right. The pattern is a bit frayed as I did not treat the fabric with sealer before making it. However, I did treat the actual straps with sealer before cutting them out of the fabric using the pattern.

Here are the straps and insoles in place. I also used additional pictures from the fabric to hide the seams. I first treated the parts of fabric with sealer, which helped cut the pictures out accurately.

I also added pictures to the front of the soles, because the triangular pattern in the green part of the fabric was crooked in one of the soles Finally, I applied sealer all over the soles and glued the leather outer soles in place.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Slingbacks for Miss Piggy

I have spent almost the entire weekend with projects related to the book. Chapter 10 is basically finished now and chapter 9 is about 2/3 done. One of the projects contributing to these two was making yet another pair of shoes for Miss Piggy. It is so much easier to get good photos when you make things in her scale.

I started by making wedge soles combining wood and card stock. Making the wedges out of card stock in this scale would have required quite a lot of work, so wood was a better choice.

The next picture shows all the parts for the shoes: uppers (fabric treated with sealer), card stock insoles covered with fabric, painted wedge soles, and leather outer soles.

This time I decided to glue the ends of the straps together first and then glue the uppers in place as it is easier to position the uppers this way.

The finished shoes also got decorated with stickers. I applied sealer after attaching the stickers to make sure they will stay in place.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Old project finished

I have a lot of unfinished projects, which may or may not get finished one day. This one was from 2010 and the shoes were only missing the heels. The first three photos are from 2010 and the rest were taken today.

The straps are connected together by a short piece of ribbon underneath, which ensures that the decorations remain in correct positions in relation to each other.

The insoles are covered with pieces of fabric.

Here are the soles with straps in place.

The heels are made of polymer clay. They were originally made for a different doll, so they were much too long and needed all sorts of other adjustments as well.

As I needed to carve the heels quite a lot, I decided to cover them with leather to hide all the marks left by carving.

Here are the finished shoes on Sybarite Savoy.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Silver shoes for Miss Piggy

I haven't been making any shoes for months due to too much work, too hot weather in summer and a general lack of energy and motivation. However, I am trying to continue writing the book, so there will probably be some blog postings as well.

The shoes I made this time are made of silver-colored leather. As leather is thick material, making a neat toe part requires some stretching, so I decided to use polymer clay to make fillers for the toe parts to help them keep their shape.

The leather pieces for the toe parts were easy to cut as only one edge need to be finished at the cutting stage. The rest goes under the insole and will be trimmed during the gluing process.

When gluing the uppers in place, the first parts to glue are the tip and the first flaps on the sides. Then cut flaps in the middle of the sides and glue them in place. These will anchor the uppers in place and the rest of the flaps will be easier to cut and glue.

Here all flaps are glued in place. The most important thing is to ensure there is no overlapping as that will show as bumps in the outer soles.

The heels are pieces of round wooden strips covered with the same leather and enough excess left to reach to the edges of the insoles. Usually there is no need to have this much excess, but these heels were a lot narrower than the width of the sole. The only way to find out the right amount is to try the heels in place, cut a little, try again, cut more if necessary, and repeat as many times as needed.

Here the heels are in place. The seam is a bit higher than I would normally place it, but I had to cover some unevenness in the part where the upper was turned under the insole.

I used leftover pieces of the leather to fill the underside of the insole. This ensures that the outer soles will be even. The leather I used for the outer soles was fairly thin, so any depressions would have shown if I hadn't done this.

The finished shoes have a hole in the strap and a small bead in the opposite part to close the strap.