Sunday, September 30, 2012

Making shoes!

Have you ever wanted to make your own shoes?  I always have, and the thought of it used to be quite daunting.  But then, some months ago I was browsing my favourite blogs and the lovely Lisa and Sarah over at A Spoonful of Sugar were hosting a unique giveaway -  generously donated by a talented shoe designer by the name of Cheri Paxton.  Cheri sells her sweet designs in her Etsy store, Shoeology.

My interest was piqued and I entered the giveaway and was so delighted when I received Lisa’s email to say that I had won it!  I was the very happy recipient of a $50 voucher to purchase patterns and materials from Cheri’s Etsy store.  And I didn’t know where to start!!  So many wonderful patterns to choose from! 

Shoeology everyday loafers


My first choice were these women’s Everyday Loafers.  Don’t you just love Cheri’s fabric combination?  Next up were these ladies slouch boots – they look so comfortable and toasty!

Shoelogy slouch boots


These winter warmers are actually sewn on a sewing machine – you wouldn’t think so with those thick soles would you?  Cheri sells the exterior soling in her Etsy shop – and I received some of that, too! 

The third pattern I chose is the one that I have made first – and it is these children’s Mary Jane shoes:

Shoelogy kids mary janes


The fantastic thing about Cheri’s patterns is that you are provided with a comprehensive tutorial for each shoe design.  There is advice and diagrams on how to custom-fit your shoes, there are notes on fabrics and soling, and how to sew through the thicker fabrics without breaking your sewing machine needles!  Lots of photographs guide you clearly through each step along the way.  There is also instructions for making your own co-coordinating innersoles!

I took Cheri’s advice and made a test shoe first, to get the fit right for my daughter’s slim foot, and to practice sewing through multiple layers, easing in curves around the toe shape etc.  It really paid off.  It’s like anything, once you’ve done it once, the second time is much easier.

Rosie chose her own fabrics and buttons.  She decided upon a red fleece for the lining, and although I wasn’t sure at first, I think she did a pretty good job with her combinations!!  Here is the finished result:

Rosie shoes 1

I used some exterior rubber soling so that Rosie can wear them outside.  She tells me they’re her ‘best shoes ever’!!

Rosie shoes 2

Because I love to coordinate... I also made Rosie a belt out of the same pink corduroy fabric, it looks really cute on her denim skirt… but she wouldn’t let me photograph it because she was wearing it on her head whilst pretending to be a Ninja!

I am absolutely delighted with the results and can’t wait to start making some shoes for myself!  But I am so taken with Cheri’s kids shoe designs… I mean, who can go past these cute slippers??

Shoelogy kids slippers


I’d like this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Cheri for her generosity – but also for her patience.  I won the giveaway just days after Dad passed away and it has taken me quite some time to blog about it… I wanted to make some shoes so I could endorse Cheri’s patterns – which I do WHOLEHEARTEDLY!!!  Cheri was so gracious and accommodating, and her service is fantastic.  I received my patterns within hours of placing the order.  I’d also like to say a big thank you to the gorgeous duo, Sarah and Lisa over at A Spoonful of Sugar… for always treating us to such eye candy and introducing us to new and exciting designers and crafty online stores!

If you would like to make some shoes for yourself or a loved one… Cheri’s patterns can be found at SHOEOLOGY  and SWEET PEA KIDS

Till next time!

Vikki xo

Monday, September 3, 2012

Vintage Charm–sewing caddy–my latest project!

I think its old news to way lyrical about how much I love vintage toy sewing machines, but when it came to designing a project for Creating Country Threads I couldn’t help but share my enthusiasm for them in this design:

Vintage sewing caddy 2

“Vintage Charm”

Vintage sewing caddy 1

A portable sewing caddy that sits really nicely over the arm of  a chair… great for an afternoon’s sewing with everything you need all in the one place.  There is a handle conveniently located on top so you can carry it around - just in case you feel like changing seats!  And it is a decent size for holding all the the things you need for a weekend project, measuring in at approx. 7.5 x 10 inches.

Vintage sewing caddy sneek peak


Vintage Charm caddy inside small

Inside there is a centrally located pin-cushion, and plenty of storage for keeping your sewing notions and supplies organised.  The scissors are secured in place with a ‘ruler’ trim that’s sewn on to the fabric of the caddy.

Vintage sewing caddy 3

A vintage white crocheted doily decorates a second pocket, and although it’s not on this version of the caddy I made, the one published also has a needle-keep.

Vintage sewing caddy in CT

You can find my sewing caddy together with lots of other gorgeous projects in the current issue of Creating Country Threads (Vol 13 No 4).  which goes on sale in Australia this Wednesday 5th September.  I’ve just finished writing a quilt pattern for a project being published later on this year… so no more deadlines at the moment – which means  - it’s time for something completely different!


I’ll fill you in on the next post!!!

Love n hugs! Vikki xo


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