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.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Polymer clay soles with stiletto heels

The latest video shows how to make soles using patterns with polymer clay. It is actually one of the easiest ways of making soles I have figured out so far, if you don't count the trouble of making the card stock supports. Then again, you can reuse those and make more than one pair of soles before using them for shoe soles as well.

Here are the finished shoes, which are also shown at the end of the video.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Foot lasts

I have shown how to make foot lasts for dolls by casting their feet using latex molds, but this is the real deal. These are real-life foot lasts for making shoes. They are made of wood, which is the usual material for foot lasts. I assume these are very old, and they were among the old items the previous owner left at the house my brother and his wife currently own.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Plaster casting continued

I used the molds for plaster casting and also experimented on using a latex mold to make polymer clay heels. I had never done that before, but thought it was worth trying.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Flat soles using MoldMaker

In one the old videos, I made flat soles for the Baha Cat using polymer clay with a mold. This new video is about making flat soles using mold making clay and polymer clay. The doll for which I'm making the soles is again Baha Cat, although near the end, I'm also showing a mold for male Monster High dolls and some soles I made using it.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Making a mold for heels using MoldMaker

The following video shows my attempt on making heels using a mold made of mold making clay and also an experiment on making a two-part mold with the clay.

By the way, the word "mould" or "mold" is really bugging me, because of the two ways of writing it. I have decided to stick with "mold" from now on as that is what I am using in the book and because the clay is called MoldMaker.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Painting resin soles

The latest video is about painting resin soles. I'm painting a pair of Monster High soles with gold color and towards the end of the video I'm telling a bit about how the book project is going.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Heels for Miss Piggy's boots

I finished the boots I was making for Miss Piggy. They were only missing the heels and the video below shows how I made them. It's a long one, because I didn't do the usual cuts for when I made the same steps for the other shoe.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Fixing the problem in the metal shoes

I have uploaded the second part about making the metal shoes. I figured out a way to fix things in a satisfactory manner, but although the video is really long, there is still more to do later.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

When everything goes wrong

The next video is now in YouTube and this time things didn't go as planned, because I was using new material. The first experiment with it was a tunic for a Monster High Create A Monster doll, but I wanted to try it also for shoes.

This video is a more realistic view on how the doll shoe projects often go. The tutorials before this one are about subjects I know really well, so things can look easy. Trying new things is always different.

Here is a photo of the shoes as they are now. I have a plan for the ankle straps and will make a video about that soon.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Making boots using the pattern, part 2

Gluing the uppers to the soles took longer than I expected, so the video got really long and I had to divide it into two parts. These videos show the process all the way to the point where only the heels are missing.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Book update

I just want to let you know that I am still writing the book. The current word count is about 12,500 and there are lots of photos already. I have been taking new photos to get better quality than in the ones I have used in the blog, but due to the uniqueness of some photos, I will be using some old ones as well.

The structure of the book is now set and shouldn't change much after this. Chapters 1–4 present some tools and materials, chapters 5–6 are about different casting methods and making foot lasts of your doll's feet, chapters 7–9 introduce different ways of making soles and heels for shoes, and chapters 10–13 describe making uppers for different kinds of shoes.

It is really great that I don't have to worry about the length of the book or the number of photos, because there won't be any printing involved. I'm including a lot of example photos of what can be done with different materials and photos that show a sequence of actions for certain processes.

Finally, here is one of the new photos I have taken. I don't remember, if I have ever shown these before. These shoes are made of copper sheet using super glue and they are among my earliest experiments in making doll shoes (around 1998, I think). The thin copper sheet I used bends really easily, so these are purely decorative and cannot be used on a doll.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Making boots using the pattern, part 1

This is the first part of making boots using the pattern created in the previous video. The video was getting quite long and I didn't have the time to finish the boots, so I thought it was better to upload this in two parts. I will probably shoot the second part next weekend.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Making a pattern for boots

The latest video tutorial shows you how to make a pattern for boots with open toes and heels. The reason for the design is that these are the easiest boots to make. I'll try to shoot the video about making the boots this week.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

The many uses of sealer

No proper blog post this time either. I'm just making video tutorials at the moment and here's the latest one:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Making insoles covered with fabric

The next video shows how to use the pattern made in the previous one. I usually use leather on both sides of the card stock construction, but this time I decided to cover it with fabric.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Making a pattern for doll shoe soles

The next video tutorial shows how to make a pattern for soles. I have explained that before, but I thought a video might still be a good idea.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New video tutorial

This video shows you how to cast foot lasts using the latex moulds made in the previous video.

And what happened to the rest of the resin? There was very little left, but fortunately, doll shoes can have really tiny soles. I picked two wedge sole moulds for the final castings.

As I only have one mould per design, I had to mix the resin in two batches. That wasn't easy, considering that this was all the hardener left:

And there wasn't much resin left in the bottle either.

This photo shows the tiny air bubbles you may get in the mixed resin. Letting the mixture be for a minute after mixing helps getting rid of these.

Here are the finished soles. The ones on the left are for Silkstone Barbies and the ones on the right for Pepper Parsons (a Pinkie Cooper doll).

I was curious to see how good I had been at measuring the components. The resin and hardener came in 250 ml bottles. At the time the hardener ran out, there was some resin left. About 7 ml isn't much when you consider the total amount.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

First video tutorial

I just filmed the first video tutorial of the new series. It's about making latex moulds of a doll's feet.

The next video will be about using foot moulds to make castings.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fashion Doll Shoes videos

I have decided to try making proper video tutorials in addition to blog posts. You will be able to find them on my YouTube channel, but I will also be posting them here. The first video is just an intro to let you see my face. If I sound a bit unnatural, it's simply because I was reading most of the stuff from a paper. The future videos should be more natural, i.e. contain much more pauses, problems with selecting the right words, getting sentences all muddled up, and other fun stuff like that. Anyway, here is that first video:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New foot lasts

Going through the stuff inspired me to do something else as well. I decided to use the rest of the casting resin before it goes bad. The latex is also getting a bit thick, so it's better to use it as well. So, I'm making some more foot lasts.

All this has been done before and posted in this blog, but here are some photos anyway. The first one shows Sybarite's feet with flower tape around the ankles and several layers of latex applied.

The next one is Tonner's Jessica Rabbit (17" athletic body). First with flower tape covering the ankle joints...

...and then with latex applied.

Here are the finished moulds for both.

And here are the resin castings made with the moulds. You can see the flower tape clearly, but it is much neater than saran wrap.

As you can see in this photo showing the earlier plaster castings of Sybarite's feet and the new resin castings.