I LOVE ikat fabric, whether it’s simple black and white or multicolored. I don’t understand how it’s made, no matter how often I read the explanations, but that’s okay. If you’re not familiar with the term, skip the explanation and go straight to these results via Google Images. The visuals tell the story best.
When I saw that some companies were making canvas slip-ons out of ikat, I decided to do my own, with a twist. I found TOMS-like shoes at Payless and went digging through my collection of ikats. (What fabric addict doesn’t have stacks of unused but fascinating fabric around?)
I already knew I wanted to do a collage of several patterns, and I decided to stick mostly to black and white, with two antique ikat patterns thrown in for variety. The red fabric is actually silk, the multicolored is a vintage sarong.
I also had the (not so good, as it turned out) idea to make the patches have frayed edges. So I cut long strips, put them in a lingerie bag and threw them in the washer and dryer to make them fray. (Okay, to save you the suspense, the reason using frayed edges wasn’t such a bright idea is that when the shoes were done, they looked sort of fuzzy and thready, rather than cool and frayed. You’ll see in the pictures that come later.)
From these strips, I cut squares, rectangles, rhomboids (rectangles that don’t have parallel sides), narrow strips and other shapes. I also cut some small pieces of black leather for textural variety. Then I got out my preferred fabric-to-fabric glue, Fabri-Tac, and started gluing the pieces to the canvas.
You don’t need to plan this, just alternate pieces and snip the edges as needed, flush with the black rubber sole and the top of the shoe. The glue on each piece prevents ravelling.
The toe area takes a little more imagination as it’s bigger. For that I laid the pieces down to get an effect I liked before gluing. I will confess that fabric collage is slower than painting shoes, but it’s not difficult. I happily watched several episodes of “The Good Wife”(courtesy of my library) while gluing.
Can you see what I mean about looking a little too… fuzzy?
Even so, I’m happy with my new TOMS-alikes. They look great with black jeans!