Thursday, September 11, 2008

Boots for American Model

I had tried making boots for Cissy once, but they did not succeed and had to be converted to ankle boots instead.

Cissy's ankle boots
I was not going to give up, though, and tried another pair, this time for the American Model.

The boots are made of leather and there is a zipper on the back. I did not even try to sew the zipper, I just glued it in place. The front has eyelets for the strings. This way, the boots fit tight, but you only need to loosen the strings a little when putting the shoes on the doll's feet.

Boot legs with eyelets and zippers
I'm sure the neighbor downstairs was not happy when I started banging those eyelets in place. There are 48 of them in total and each required a couple of hard hits with the hammer.

I would have preferred metal color, but I only had the required amount in pastel colors and pink was most suitable of them.

There wasn't enough of that dark purple leather, so the boots ended up having two colors. Actually, that was a good choice considering the color of those eyelets.

Boot soles and uppers
Then I made the heels using modeling clay. The outer soles are made of leather and the strings are made of cotton yarn.

Finished boots for Tonner's American Model
The boots are shown here in plaster castings of the doll's feet.

Original Finnish posts: March 2, 2007, and February 16, 2006

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sybarite's feet

Handling an entire doll is always a bit difficult and there is the risk that the doll will be stained by glue, paint or some other material used in making the shoes. That is why I usually make plaster castings of the doll's feet. I was a bit hesitant to do this with the Sybarite as she is made of different material than the vinyl dolls. Finally, I decided to try making a latex mould.

The latex I had used previously had become clumpy so I had to buy more of the stuff. Unfortunately, the new brand turned out to be almost unusable. The brand of latex shown below is not suitable for making tubular moulds. It is too thick and will rip easily under the sort of stress the mould is subjected to when removing it from the doll's leg.

Latex for mould making
As I could not get better latex right now, I decided to try this stuff anyway, although I had already found out how unsuitable for the purpose it was. I felt awful spreading the stuff on the feet of the doll that had been so expensive. It probably would have been a good idea to try the latex first on some part not usually visible, for example, the scalp.

Sybarite's feet covered in latex
I'm happy to tell that the doll suffered no ill effects from the latex. And I even managed to get the moulds out in one piece. That was probably because they were short and the hole was quite large.

Finished latex moulds of Sybarite's feet
Then followed casting the plaster. I used soles I had made for Sybarite to support the moulds. They helped to keep the moulds in correct position and also to keep the shape of the arch correct.

Casting the plaster in the moulds
So now I have a pair of Sybarite feet. Their surface is not perfect due to the poor quality of the latex, but they are good enough for making shoes.

Finished plaster lasts of Sybarite's feet

Original Finnish post

Shoes for Sybarite

This is something between a wedge sole and a normal sole. The picture shows (from top to bottom) the inner and outer sole patterns, inner sole made of leather and cardboard, outer sole made of leather, pieces that come in between, and outer and inner soles for the other shoe.

Parts of Sybarite's shoes
The next picture shows the structure of the soles better. I got the idea for these shoes when I found those little curved pieces of wood that had been left over from some earlier project. The straight part of the sole is made of cardboard and the curved inner sole is made of four layers of cardboard.

Soles for Sybarite's shoes
Here are the finished shoes in the doll's feet. The red pearls are attached to that string and I had to crush a couple of pearls on each end of a strap with pliers to be able to glue the ends of the strap under the inner sole. The shape of the soles is just right and the shoes won't fall from the doll's feet, which is rare with this kind of design.

Finished shoes for Sybarite

Original Finnish post