01 May 2014

Blue Lace Ballet Flats: Finishing

Ach! I have let this month get away from me! With two weekend visits home, and my schedule including about 3 nights a week of closing, all my usual times for blogging have been lost! Anyhow, I was able to finish my blue ballet flats, and now I finally have a chance to finish the directions for anyone else stuck halfway through their super cute new shoes!

The first thing we are going to do is to fix those fit issues! We will fix gaping, if any, at the heel. With the shoe on your foot, make sure the heel is square in the back of the shoe. To help with this, place some pins temporarily around the toe of the shoe.

(Remember, your pattern should just have the lace pinned in at this point. Once we fix the heel, for can top stitch it down. But you will just have to rip it out again if you do it earlier like I did.)

Next, grab the back of the heel and pin down so it is snug, but not tight, against the heel. Pin and mark where the pins are. Then you can take out the pins to the toe and the heel, and flip up so that it is inside out. Pin, and then stitch along this line, as seen below. Then you can flip back to the pretty sides, and place on your foot, checking if it needs to be taken in/let out.

Now sew that lace down!

When you flip the shoe inside out, the lace will still look all awkward and too big at this point. Trim this, leaving a small amount of seam allowance, maybe 1/8-1/4 inch.

We can then stitch the remaining lace down using a whip stitch. Be careful when doing this to only go through the lace and the upper lining, not the blue upper, so that the stitches do not appear on the outside of the shoe. Tie a knot to secure.

Next, we will fix the toe box shape. The pattern was basically symmetrical on both sides, which it GREAT, except that my big toe is determined to be the longest toe, which meant that he needs a bit more room than the rest of the little guys. Since I made a size up from my normal shoe size, I had plenty of room to work with! Make with your heel is square in the back of the shoe, and simple pin around where you want the actual end to be. The picture below will help explain what I mean! Stitch along this line and then try the shoe on again, checking if it needs to be taken in or out. The shoe should be snug, but not tight.

Next, we will get out our old trusty contact cement to finish her off! First glue the seams to the bottom of the insole.

Once that is dry, apply a thick layer of contact cement to both your soling material, and to the insole section of the shoe.Once the glue is tacky, carefully align the heel and toe portions together, and gently place the pieces together. If it is not aligned PERFECTLY, take them apart, and reapply. If the glue gets too dry and is no longer sticky enough, you can reapply and wait for it to get sticky again. When th two are aligned, reach inside the shoe and smooth out any wrinkles in the insole material. After everything is aligned properly and smoothed out, take about 10-15 minutes pressing the shoe together in various spots to ensure that the glue is staying stuck down.

Note: I used THIS STUFF for the soles on these shoes. cut them out to the size indicated for the insole lining section of the pattern. We can trim off any extra later, so be generous rather than super when you cut them out. (Like an 1/8 inch or so, nothing too extreme is necessary)

Now, for the hard part, waiting for the shoes to dry for you to wear them! Ideally, 3 days will make sure the shoes are really set up and dry, but after 24 hours you can take them out on short trips to try them out, as long as it isn't super wet out :)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, please leave any questions you have in the comments below! I appreciate any feedback and would like to help you with all your shoe making questions!

 Happy shoemaking!

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