Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Louboutin Barbie shoes

The Louboutin shoes for Barbie finally arrived. The first photo shows the contents of the set: 9 pairs of shoes, 9 shoe boxes, 9 shoe pouches with print, and a stack of silk paper. As you can see in this picture, also the insides of the shoes are painted, which is unusual. The outer soles have the signature red of Louboutin shoes.

My favorite pair is the red one. It is also one of the two pairs that fit Silkstone Barbies as you can see in the picture.

The blue pair also fits Silkstones and is almost as nice as the red.

The rest of the shoes only fit regular Barbies. Here they are shown on a Fashionistas Barbie. I didn't even bother to try the shoes on my Hollywood Royalty Lana Turner doll, as her feet are wider than Silkstone Barbie's. As you can see from some of the thinner heels, these shoes are made of fairly soft plastic. That means bending heels, but otherwise the shoes seem more durable than the ones made of harder plastic.

The black pair with ribbons is my third favorite.

The ankle straps of the shoes have an opening to get the shoes on the doll's feet. I'm not sure which Barbie these were designed for, but the straps won't go all the way around Fashionista's ankles.

The straps of the pink shoes are closed, but it was fairly easy to get the shoes on the doll's feet. When I saw the first photos of the set, I didn't think much of these, but they are actually quite nice.

The upmost strap of these shoes is open on the back and the opening leaves a huge gap.

The opening in this pair is similar to what is used in boots and looks much nicer than the way the black pair was made.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Making the left shoe

I haven't yet found the optimal doll foot for making shoes. A close one would be the Monster High doll foot in American Model size. I have also sometimes thought how easy it would be to just make one shoe, instead of having to make a pair of shoes that need to be mirror images of each other. I was thinking that especially with the recent cardboard experiments. So, I decided to take a slightly different point of view on making shoes. I am going to try to make some as purely sculptures and make just the left shoe.

For that, I still need a foot last, so I bought some air-dry modeling clay and made a last that will be good enough. The most important part is the arch of the foot for forming the shoe sole.

Another good thing about this sculptural approach is that I won't need to think about how to get the shoe on and off the foot once it is finished. All I need is to remember to take it off the foot last before adding any parts that would prevent me from doing that.

I think this is going to be fun.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Real shoes

I saw these one time as I was window shopping. Wouldn't mind having them myself, if only I could use them. Now I just took out my phone and snapped a photo.

I've been thinking of making similar doll shoes. It shouldn't be too hard, although bending six identical figures from metal wire could be a challenge.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Monster High doll shoes with cardboard soles

These shoes for a Monster High doll are a variation of the Barbie shoes I made earlier. The pattern for these can be found on my web site.

The main difference is that I finished the outer sole structure first. The first picture shows the untreated cardboard structure.

Then I painted the soles, except for the bottom, which does not need paint as it will be covered with leather.

Then I made insoles from two layers of cardboard, attached the straps to them, glued the outer sole and insole pieces together to form a finished shoe, and glued the leather outer soles in place.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Barbie shoes from Mattel

Here are a couple of particularly nice pairs of shoes from Mattel's Barbie fashion sets.

First, ankle boots, if you can call these boots. The doll wearing them is a Fashionistas Barbie and these do not fit Silkstones.

These came with Barbie fashion worn by the Alvin Ailey Barbie in the next picture.

The next pair came in a set of three outfits. The doll here is a Silkstone Barbie and the shoes fit very well.

The set these came in is shown in the next picture. The picture is small, but you can see the dresses well enough to recognize the package, if you come across it. The other pair of shoes in the package is also very nice.

Of the dresses, the blue one fits also Fashion Royalty dolls well.

Update: The set seems to be available in Amazon: Barbie Fashion Doll Clothes - A Night out on the Town!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fashion Doll Shoe keychain

I made a keychain using a photo of a doll shoe. The round design of the keychain meant that I had to use just one shoe, at least for this particular design. I may make more of these, if I manage to take photos that I'm happy with. Click the picture to go to the item's page at Zazzle.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lasting a shoe by hand

I found a series of very informative videos that show the lasting of handmade shoes. I would never do something like this in miniature scale, but knowing how real shoes are made does help in developing techniques for making doll shoes. There are three videos, about 24 minutes in total.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The MSF Charity Drive

I promised to explain the reason for posting additional pictures of the wedge sole shoes for Barbie. Here it is. The shoes are available in eBay as part of the charity drive for MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors without Borders). The full price goes to MSF and I will pay for the shipping.

I chose this pair, because I thought Barbie shoes would attract most bidders. I hope you won't let me down.

The listings can be found here:
Barbie shoes
All listings

This video tells more about the event (and about the last year's event as well) and about MSF (see the video description in YouTube for all links related to this event):

If you're not interested in the shoes, but are in a charitable mood and feel like donating some money for a very good cause, you can donate here:

Related posts:
Casting the resin soles
Making the shoes
The additional pictures

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Drawing shoes

Another video on drawing shoes. They make it look so easy, but I bet that person has years of practice in it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

More pictures about the Barbie shoes

Here are more pictures of the Barbie shoes I made earlier. The blog post about making them is here. I will explain later the reason for adding these photos.

The shoes on Hollywood Royalty Lana Turner doll:

The shoes on Silkstone Barbie:

The shoes on Fashionistas Barbie (a bit loose as you can see):

Outer soles:

View from back:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Orange silk platforms for Jessica Rabbit

These shoes look simple, but surprisingly, this is the most time-consuming pair I have made so far. In all, I estimate that I used 8-9 hours for making these shoes. These are for Tonner's Jessica Rabbit, who has an Athletic Body with high heel feet. This means the feet are almost as big as American Model's.

I started with parts I originally made for American Model, although the original masters were for Madame Alexander's Cissy. The good thing about making the sole using two separate pieces is that you can use the pieces for different dolls as long as their foot size is approximately the same. In this case, the differences are in the shape of the arch and the length of the foot, both of which can be accommodated when making the cardboard parts of the sole.

The picture shows the resin parts of the soles and the patterns for making the cardboard parts. The pattern on the right is an extra one as it turned out I didn't need it. 

These are the platform parts with the cardboard parts for the outer sole in place. I made the upper cardboard part first with two layers of cardboard, glued it to the resin part and then glued the lower parts (two layers) in place one layer at a time.

Here are the plaster castings of the doll's feet, cardboard insoles (with two layers of cardboard in each), outer soles, and heels.

Next, I covered the insoles with white satin. As glue would seep through the fabric and make it lose its shine, the fabric edges needed to be glued under the insoles where they wouldn't be visible. Usually I just treat the fabric with sealer and cut the excess along the edges of the insole.

The fabric I planned to use for covering the outer soles was silk, which has the same problem as satin. So I had to be careful not to get any glue on the fabric in places where it would be visible. Only the flaps, which were glued over and under the sole could have any glue in them.

Here are both insoles and outer soles with fabric glued in place.

Next, I made the uppers. Silk is too thin as such, so I cut the uppers from thicker fabric and covered them with silk. No part of the thicker fabric was to go under the insole, just the silk covering, so the uppers needed to be exactly the right size.

I don't usually use lining, but the flaps would have been visible without it, so I cut slightly smaller pieces than the uppers from the same white satin I used for the insoles. I glued the lining in place with Fray Stop, which doesn't get hard when it dries like PVA glue does.

Then I glued the uppers into the insoles, which were now finished.

Covering the heels with silk all the way would have been too difficult, so I painted part of them with silver color. Some stiletto platforms have this construction in real life.

In the upper part of the heels I used silk I had treated with sealer. It looks different from the fabric in the rest of the shoe, but there was no choice, if I wanted a neat result.

Here the heel is glued in place.

Then I glued the fabric to the outer sole the same way as before, using triangular flaps.

All that was left was gluing the two finished pieces together and covering the underside of the outer soles. For the arch, I used silk treated with sealer, like in the heels, and the platform part is covered with a little piece of leather.

Here are the finished shoes on the doll's feet.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wedge soles for Barbie and Fashion Royalty

Here is another pair of Barbie shoes. These don't require any special materials, just cardboard, ribbon, glue, paint, and scissors. The shoes are modeled here by Hollywood Royalty Lana Turner doll.

You can find the pattern and detailed instructions as a PDF file on my web site.