Last year Destiny and I developed a new class on how to cover shoes with fabric. We gave this lecture and slide show to the wonderful costuming fanatics who attended Costume College last August. We also created a new kit for our store called the Sassy Feet Fabri-Kit, which has supplies and detailed instructions for covering shoes with whole cloth and with fabric collage.
Now we have developed a hands-on version of the class, which we will be teaching April 11 at the Peninsula Wearable Arts Guild in Silicon Valley. (Non-members are welcome.) Tonight, as I write, I am working on a supply list so students will know what to bring to the class.
One of the things I am recommending is an important “trick of the trade.” I am suggesting they find some narrow trim to cover any unattractive raw edges — sometimes this happens where the fabric meets the sole of the shoe. These edges don’t always turn out nice and crisp. (What DOES turns out perfectly the first time you try it??)
So, to avoid tears, you can use satin cord, narrow braid, narrow stretch ribbon (velvet or grosgrain), narrow lace, or homemade braid (see photo below) to embellish your shoes while cleverly hiding any ragged edges or uneven cutting.
Here are some examples of using this kind of trim.
This was the first shoe I ever covered with fabric — and it shows. There is glue peeking out from behind the 2mm salmon-colored satin cord I used to hide the raw edges of the fabric. The rest I am pretty proud of! (Satin cord can be found in beading stores.)
Here is another antique-looking shoe I created. This time I used an narrow white braid to cover the raw edges of the fabric. It was narrow enough that it had some stretch to it, which is VERY helpful!
I covered the wedge and platform of this slingback with a quilting square I’d created years ago using Kaffe Fassett’s striped quilting fabrics. To hide its raw edges, I glued down a narrow length of 3mm imitation suede cord. (This kind of cord can be found in beading stores.) It had the added benefit of providing a “POP” of color and mirroring the texture of the suede used on the upper of the shoe.
The last example is some braided trim I made myself to use on these booties I created for Destiny. The how-to for making this trim, which uses rayon gimp thread (found in knitting stores), is on our blog, as is the whole story of how I did this design.
Having said all this, you CAN have nice crisp edges that don’t need to be covered with trim. But that takes some practice and careful cutting….. Which is why I prefer to use trim!