Shoe Biz: Final Thoughts

Mission Accomplished! I can now make my own doll shoes! For those of you who think this came easy for me...well let me show you one my very early attempts at shoe making. (All the rest were tossed in the garbage years ago!)
Since mid-July, I have made 64 pairs of shoes and boots! And it was well worth it. If for no other reason, let me show you this.
On the upper left hand corner: A pair of FR Shoes selling on EBay for $24.99 plus 4.49 shipping. On the right....the ones I made for pennies!!! Over time, I have spent more than $650 on shoes! So I am really looking forward to saving money! Better yet, I have finally broken my addiction to shopping for doll shoes and, consequently, have removed both the Barbie and the Fashion Royal shoe search from my Ebay feed!

As far as that "expensive" jar of epoxy clay (roughly $22)... After 64 pairs of footwear I still have this much clay left! By my estimates I figure, there must be at least a couple hundred more pairs of sole making material left in the jars!

If you have different size dolls or dolls with feet of different sizes or shapes within the same doll family, like I do, there is no excuse for any of them to go barefoot.
In my collection, I have 16" Tonners, 13" IT Color Infusion dolls, Fashion Royalty with FR1, FR2 and FR13 feet as well as Barbie Model Muse, playline Barbies and one JamieShow Demi-Couture doll. While some can share shoes, others cannot. Now, everyone can have a basic shoe or boot.

Okay, so you might still continue to buy Barbie shoes. But there are still instances when you might want to make perhaps boots, which are hard to come by or a special pair of shoes to match a very special outfit!
For anyone who has Integrity Toys' Color Infusion dolls, you are quite familiar with the challenge of finding footwear for her. They are a half inch taller than the Fashion Royalty line with large hands and big, wide feet. It's nice to know I can now include these dolls in my posts now that I can make shoes for them! But before I close, let me offer a few final tips for creating successful 1/6 scale footwear.

Don't Get Unglued!
I can't emphasize enough...choosing the right glue for this project is so very important. I use rubber cement for gluing a lining onto the insole, for gluing the interfacing around the toe area of the upper and for adhering the upper's turned down edges to the underside of the insole. This glue allows you to re-position the edges as you stretch the upper over the doll's foot without having to commit. But this is the only point you can use rubber cement. Anywhere else...your shoe will fall apart. Use your extra strong glue (but never "crazy glue") for adhering the middle sole to your completed upper. Or...if you are still working with polymer clay, use it to adhere the completed upper to the outer sole. On the other hand...the outer sole created with epoxy clay has glue built in. So it will automatically adhere to the completed upper as it dries.

Ralph Rucci inspired over-the-knee boots with stiletto heels and back lacing

Be inspired
Chanel inspired vinyl boots.

First, teach yourself to make one or two basic styles really well. Those will become your "go-to" shoes when you need something fast. Then once your confidence and skills have grown, go on...look at photos of shoes you'd like to make. But have reasonable expectations. There's not that much real estate on a doll's foot!  If you see human shoes you like, capture the essence but keep it simple! Don't get bogged down with the details. Keep embellishments to a minimum. Look at your shoe and ask yourself....would I wear all that junk on my feet!?!

Valentino Haute Couture inspired chiffon wrapped shoes
Dior Haute Couture shoes inspired vinyl stillettos with leather toe and back quarters
As you clean up after making a pair of shoes, be mindful of every tiny scrap. Is it a discard or is it an interfacing?! Sure the boots can go into regular envelopes, but if you have shoe patterns, put each pattern in it's own separate plastic or cellophane bags so the pieces don't get jumbled up!

Inasmuch as my mission was to create simple high heeled shoes to compliment my dolls' wardrobes, I did not include wedgies, chunky heels or square toe pumps. I was not more creative with the uppers because my aim was to make easy-to-make simple shoes. So is this the end? Maybe not. From time to time, should I see something truly interesting, I'll explore the possibilities and propose a new session of Shoe Biz.

Oh my much has happened while we've been busy these past two months. Fashion Month is currently in session! We'll take a minute to catch our breath, reorganize and return with our first fashion report!

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