Channeling Jimmy Choo

  • On 5 May | '2014
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Someday, I’ll splurge on a pair of Jimmy Choos. And, someday, I’ll finally take that shoemaking course I keep talking about. I’m quite particular about shoes as my family will tell you and if I’m not looking, I’m sure they will roll their eyes. In fact, back in the day it was one of the determining factors on whether or not I would date someone. Luckily for Peter Goldie, his shoes passed the test, and 22 years later we are still happily together with a front entrance full of shoes.

In any case, you get the idea, shoes play a big role for me, especially when designing a complete look. Recently, I needed shoes to go with a gown I was photographing, and I had little to no budget, so I perused the shelves at Payless and DB shoes and purchased the black and gold chain heels you see above for around $20. They had the height and straps I was looking for. I removed all the studs with pliers, and since the chain was plastic, I just cracked it off.  I then unpicked the straps from the back seam of one side of the shoe being careful to chalk mark the position for restitching. With a little finesse, I was able to get the loose straps under the presser foot of the sewing machine and I topstitched grey velvet ribbon to the black straps.

Shoe Embroidery Testhoop for shoe emb

Next, I found a vintage design in a sourcebook and saved it as a .tif file in Illustrator. I brought it into Design Center of PEDesignNext to create an embroidery file for the lace applique pieces. I hooped Badgemaster water soluble topping, a layer of grey powernet, 2 layers of black lightweight tulle, added a top layer of Solvy water soluble topping, and was ready to thread up the machine.

I stitched out the file at sewnow! on our 10 needle embroidery machine. After soaking away the backings and toppings, the lace was ready to attach to the shoes.

Finally I added a few haematite beads to each lace piece and hand stitched them onto the shoes. The result is exactly what I wanted for the gown and completely unique. I encourage you to try a shoe hack too, there are so many options for transformation.

I hope you are inspired and have enjoyed a little snapshot of my creative process- your feedback and questions are welcomed!

Shoes on model