Friday, April 9, 2010

Open-toe boots with zippers

As I was going through some fashion magazines, I noticed that open-toe boots and boots that are actually more like sandals in structure seem to be in at the moment. So, naturally, I had to try and see what I could come up with. I decided to make boots for the American Model as I couldn't find small enough zippers that would have fit Sybarite or 16" Tonner dolls.

The picture below shows the leather parts (first drawn on paper, then copied on the reverse side of the leather using the paper pattern, and then cut with small scissors) and a 15 cm zipper, which I narrowed a bit and treated the edges with Fray Stop.


Next step was to glue those parts together.


It is better to do this first and cut the zipper to correct length after gluing. Before cutting the zipper, I made a stopper by placing glue on the part of the zipper where I was going to cut it. To hide that, I glued a thin strip of leather over the end of the zipper (see pictures of finished boots at the end of this post).

The next step was making the insoles (cardboard and leather glued together in shape) and gluing the lower strips under them. This actually makes these boots fairly easy to make as you don't need to go around curves, if you plan the width and placement of the strips carefully.


Then I cut two narrow, long strips of leather (a bit longer than needed to be on the safe side; you can trim them in the end), glued their ends under the heel and trimmed and glued the rest of the strips to these vertical strips. This is fairly easy as you can make the boots tight fitting. There is no need to consider how you'll be able to get them off the doll's feet, because the zippers are there for that.


The leather I was using was thin, but I still decided to fill the underside of the insoles to get smooth outer soles and neat edges for the soles. The heels are carved from wood and covered with leather.


For the outer soles, I wanted something different, so I decided to copy Louboutin and used red leather.


Finally, here are photos of the finished boots from several angles.






An alternative way of making something like this would be cutting thin strips of leather and just wrapping them around the leg and gluing the ends to the edges of the zipper. That way, you could use very narrow strips and make intricate patterns. Of course you could also make intricate patterns with the method I've used, if you've got the patience to cut four pieces with a lot of little holes.

15 comments:

Jennifer said...

Absolutely gorgeous. To be able to copy directly from a fashion magazine is AMAZING. You have such talent!!

Tarja said...

Thank you. Actually, I didn't copy these directly, just used the photos of actual shoes as a starting point. Many of the shoes I make are inspired by photos in magazines and books.

CC said...

These are fantastic! Brava!

nana said...

How clever you are ! Have you ever designed an asian split toed sandal for the Tonner Geisha doll with flat feet? I can't find sandals to fit her anywhere ! Your blog is just amazing !
Marilyn

Steve said...

You do a great job making these shoes. These look really tough to do. Can I get you to maybe make some maryjane shoes for a Barbie doll my daughter has which has the flatter feet? They don't make any shoes for these dolls which is sad. I'd pay you if you could do it. Here's the link for the barbie she has. If you need photos of this doll's feet, let me know. http://tinyurl.com/y8p3mp8

Tarja said...

Marilyn, I don't have that doll or any other of that size with the big toe separated from the rest, so I haven't even thought of the possibility of split-toe sandals.

Steve, making the kind of doll shoes I make isn't that hard, but it's very time consuming. And that's the reason why I stopped making them for sale. I'd have to ask very high prices to not make them at loss. I've got two Barbie dolls with those bigger feet (California Girl Barbies) and I have tried making shoes for them, but even though their feet are big for Barbie, they're still a bit too small.

Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

You are brilliant! These are awesome, right down to the red soles!!

nana said...

do you SELL these boots completed? or in kits or the patterns? I would love a pair for the Tyler sized Tonner dolls !! Thanks

Tarja said...

Nana, as I said in a comment above, I do not make doll shoes for sale anymore. As for the pattern, I do have the pattern in American Model size, but I haven't scanned it. If I do, I suppose I could include a resized one for Tyler size. Making these boots in Tyler size, which is 32% smaller, would require very small zippers.

princesita de paris said...

You did an amazing work!!!
There are so cute boots!!
I love them!

claudia said...

thank you for visiting my blog,have a nice day from Tenerife!!!!

D7ana said...

Very impressive! Thanks for sharing.

Erika Alexandra Parra Bernal said...

I love your work! I think you do such an amazing shoes! Would like to ask you where do you get your notions ? And what kind of zippers you use? Thanks!

Tarja said...

Many of the ideas come from real life shoes and then I just make modifications to make it work in miniature. Also, sometimes I find material that looks interesting and makes me wonder if it could be used for doll shoes. The zippers in these boots are normal size, originally meant for trousers, I think.

OrangeBangkok22 said...

I started getting hooked on miniatures just recently and I've managed to come up with cute slippers and bags(orangebangkok22.blogspot.com).
This one is the best I've seen, so well-made and what a fit! 2 thumbs up and hats off to you.