Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Drawing and designing shoes

I don't draw any of the shoes I make, I just picture them in my head and then make them. The reason is simple: I can't really draw and it would take too much time to get anything useful on paper. However, the shoemaker in the next video certainly knows how to draw.

The drawings are the best part of this video, although making a pattern using adhesive tape was also interesting. I might try that, but I think the plaster castings wouldn't like the cutting stage. Maybe if I removed the tape after drawing the lines and then cut the pattern.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wedge soles for Barbie

These shoes are a variation of one of the pairs I made for the Monster High doll. In the photo below, you can see the plaster castings of Silkstone Barbie's feet, a pair of wedge soles I have made using casting resin (these soles can be seen in the second row from left in the picture showing all cast soles), and a drawing of the insole. When the sole is ready before you start making the shoes, you need to draw the insole pattern using the sole, not the doll's foot as is normally the case.

Here are the insoles with the leather insoles glued in place and small pieces of leather glued underneath (but not yet trimmed) to guide the straps and make the toe part of the sole even. The crosses on the cardboard soles are there to help keep the right side down. As the wedge soles are uniform soles (right and left are the same), but not exactly symmetrical, it is important to make sure the cardboard soles won't turn over unnoticed before they get glued to the leather pieces. 

Here are the uppers, which are almost identical to the ones I used for the Monster High doll's shoes.

The next photo shows the uppers glued in place. All that is left now is to glue the wedge soles in place, paint them and glue leather outer soles in place.

Here are the finished shoes. The reason why I painted the sides of the soles last is that the edges of the leather pieces glued underneath the insoles need to be painted as well, so they will not stick out. The leather pieces at the bottom of the wedge soles are there to cover the unevenness of the surface. As the soles are cast so that this part is in the opening of the mould, the surface is different from the other surfaces. Another solution would be sanding, but it is much easier to just glue leather outer soles in place.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Black and white sandals for Barbie

I haven't made shoes for Barbie (except for California Girl Barbie), because her feet are so small, but I decided to try and see how hard it really is. I eliminated some steps from the process of making larger shoes, so these shoes don't have leather insoles, just three layers of cardboard glued in shape. The ribbon I used was the narrowest one from a set that had four different kinds of black and white ribbons.

I was making the shoes using the plaster castings for Silkstone Barbie feet, so I decided to add ankle straps. That way, the shoes can be used on other Barbies as well. The ring between the two pieces of strap is actually thin rubber band. On one piece of ribbon, I made a loop where the rubber band can move freely. On the other piece, the ends of the rubber band are glued in place and the end of the ribbon glued on top of them (so it is like another loop, only glued shut). I used rubber band so the strap would stretch a bit, if necessary, when putting the shoes on the doll's feet.

Here you can see all the straps glued in place. You can make the ankle strap a tight fit, but do not stretch the rubber band when gluing the straps in place.

The heels are tiny bits of balsa wood covered with leather.

Here are the finished shoes. The outer soles are made of the same leather I used for the heels.

I was surprised to find out that these were not as difficult to make as I had imagined. Leaving the separate insole out helped keeping the edges neat and it occurred to me later that using different colored cardboards for the different layers of the soles could be a good idea.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

stormclouds gathering

[ :: AE scallop hem dress :: Michael Kors leather jacket :: We Love Colors tights :: ]
[ :: Guess booties :: Arden B bag :: Swarovski earrings :: ]

Yup. It's totally pouring out but I took photos anyway! I've been waiting for ages for the weather to cool down enough to wear these tights from We Love Colors. They're so soft and comfortable, and I love the blueish tint of the charcoal tights. They also have a fab style blog that shows many different bloggers styling their items. So cute! I'll definitely be wearing these again on a day where the weather is more forgiving so I can take some better photos of them!

Back to packing! Remeber, today is the last day to enter the SimplyBe Giveaway! :)

Yours, Etc.

P.S. This bag is going up in the shop! Email me if you're interested! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

New items at CurvyGirlShop! :)

I uploaded 30 new items to CurvyGirlShop today! :) There are a bunch of great fall pieces, including some fab outerwear like the full skirted trench and houndstooth jacket. I'm also kicking myself over the Banana Republic flared skirt that I can't fit into anymore. :( It's the perfect color for Fall!

Anyway, I hope you'll take a look! :) As always, purchasing instructions are at the bottom of every page. :)

Thanks guys!! Don't forget--last day to enter the SimplyBe Giveaway is tomorrow!

Yours, Etc.

I'm making a book

I was looking at old photos, when I realized that the first pictures I have of doll shoes I have made are from August 2000. That's ten years ago.

I had been thinking of collecting photos of finished shoes in a photo book, which would have just the images. However, I thought it could be nicer to make a sort of "first ten years" book with a little more thought. So, I installed Blurb's BookSmart and started working.

The picture shows that the book has 26 pages, but that's just at the moment. I'm almost halfway through, but I don't really know how long it will be, except that it'll be under 80 pages due to the price categories. The cheapest option is 40 pages or less and the next level is 80 pages or less and that's what I aim at.

I'm not good at the layout stuff, so I'm using the ready made templates available in the program. I'm using a combination of chronological order and categorizing by the doll. The chapters have a short introduction of the doll and some other comments and then pictures of the shoes. There's one or two spreads per doll and boots will have a chapter of their own.

If I ever get this finished and if it turns out all right, I will probably make the book publicly available in Blurb in case anyone is interested.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

running out of time

[ :: Kische top :: vintage Ralph Lauren blazer :: H&M shorts :: ]
[ :: Guess booties :: brandless clutch :: H&M headband :: ]

Of course it's raining. I have a million and a half errands to run for packing/moving but it seems the weather gods don't feel like cooperating! Hmph.

Anyhow! I found this awesome vintage Ralph lauren blazer last week and have been waiting for the weather to cool down so I could wear it. I love the shiny gold buttons! hehe. :) 

Okay, gotta make lunch then back to packing/organizing/cleaning!

Yours, Etc.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Foot size comparison

My latest acquisition is Tonner's Jessica Rabbit and I just made plaster castings of her feet. Comparing her feet to the ones of Tonner's American Model prompted me to do some more comparisons. I used plaster castings for these as they were easier to photograph. The unit of measurement shown is cm.

The first photo shows the left foot of following dolls (from left to right): American Model (AM), Jessica Rabbit (Athletic Body, AB), Tyler Wentworth (TW). Considering that the TW body is 16" and the AB is 17", the difference in foot size is notable. However, what I found most interesting was that the feet of the AM and AB have exactly the same arch, only the AB feet are about 0.5 cm shorter, making it impossible to use AM shoes on Jessica.

The next photo shows the left foot of the following dolls: Tyler Wentworth (TW), Sybarite (SY), Monster High (MH), Silkstone Barbie (SB). I did this mainly to check how the MH feet differ from the other dolls. TW feet are a lot bigger, which I could see even without this comparison. SY feet are longer and wider, so no luck there either, although the arch is very similar to MH feet. The SB foot is there just to show you that Barbie shoes could not fit MH dolls. Unfortunately, I don't have plaster castings of Hi:Glam doll's feet, so I couldn't include one in this photo. However, at least their boots fit MH dolls.

The last photo is of smaller dolls' feet. The leftmost is of a playline Barbie, next is Silkstone Barbie, and the one on the right is Tonner's Tiny Kitty. All Barbie shoes fit playline Barbies, some fit Silkstones, and none fit Tiny Kitty.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

wind in my sails

[ :: Banana Republic ruffled top :: BP tank :: H&M slouchy skirt :: ]
[ :: AE leopard flats :: Banana Republic bracelet :: F21 bag :: ]

Went in search of a giant hammock today! There's some sort of installation or something made out of recycled materials. It was cool, but already camped out on by a bunch of people. It just happened to be in front of one of my favorite buildings in Boston--the Intercontinental Hotel. See how it's kind of wavy? It's supposed to be inspired by sails. :)

Anyway, I snagged this cute skirt at H&M for $18. It's comfy, slouchy, and I love the oversized pockets. I can't wait to play around this more come Fall!

Okay. I'm off to pack and watch TV! hehe :)

Yours, Etc.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

new finds on a dime

[ :: H&M vest & shorts :: Gap tank & jacket :: ]
[ :: Forever21 boots ::  Melody's Addiciton earrings :: ]

On one of my recent forays into Gap, I was lucky enough to snag this jacket on sale for $26. Considering that I'd wanted this when it was full price ($69.50), I didn't need to think twice when I saw it was my size! 

Another recent acquisition is the pair of earrings I'm wearing. I saw them at a stall in Brooklyn Flea--Melody's Addiction--and completely fell in love! The sis bought them as a birthday gift for me. Thanks jie! :) I love big earrings but don't like the weight, so these fabric/lace ones are perfect! There were also some gorgeous leather strap ones as well. So fabulous! If you guys are interested, she sells her gorgeous pieces at Brooklyn Flea as well as on Etsy. Support handmade, guys! :)

In a trip filled with good deals, I also found these awesome boots at Forever21 for $28. They're exactly what I've been looking for, and at a very good price point. Can't wait to wear these into Fall!

Yours, Etc.

P.S. Don't forget to enter the SimplyBe Giveaway! :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Simply Be Giveaway!

Hi lovelies! The wonderful people at Simply Be were kind enough to sponsor a giveaway for you awesome readers. :) 

One lucky follower will get this awesome ruched leather bag and some cute accessories!

The bag is available on their recently launched US website, and retails for $91.
I love the pouchy/bucket-y/slouchy shape of it, and the hardware is nice an rich, just the way I like it! :)
It can also be worn with the strap attached to the secondary loops and the top folded over.

The leather is super lightweight and soft. I love the pebbled texture!

The winner of the giveaway is also going to get two super pretty scarves--they're both tissue thin with colorful prints and metallic threading.

All you have to do to win these three items is be a follower and leave a comment on this post with your name and email address! :)

The contest will run for a week until Tuesday 08/24/10 at midnight! :) Winner will be chosen via

**EDITED: In the spirit of fairness, please only enter once. Any duplicate entries will NOT be considered.

Yours, Etc.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

nocturnal for a day

[ :: Faith21 lace top and skirt :: BP tank :: Guess booties :: ]
[ :: Banana Republic necklace and bracelet :: ]

Stayed up till 4:30am helping my sis pack last night. She came to Boston to steal my furniture (and some of my clothes!) before I leave for Cali. It was awesome having her here and I'm totally going to miss being able to hop on a bus to go see her. :(

After she left, I proceeded to PASS OUT for the rest of the day, waking just in time for dinner and a movie. :) The top and skirt are from my recent trip to NYC--the Forever21 in Times Square is like a miniature mall! It's a must-see if you're in the area. I snagged the boots at an awesome price at DSW--they're super easy to walk in and I love the zipper and buckle detail.

Hope you all had an awesome weekend! :)

Yours, Etc.

A lot of rubber bands

I continued my experiments with rubber bands. The picture shows the middle layers of soles made of two layers of cardboard glued into the correct shape, and leather insoles with additional leather pieces glued under them to guide the straps. 

I put an insole against the doll's foot and wrapped rubber band around the foot and sole, gluing the band in place. The straps need to be a tight fit, but not stretched.

When the straps were in place, I took a piece of metallic thread, put it around the lower bunch of straps, made a knot, took both threads through a tubular bead and then around the next bunch of straps, and made another knot.

The last bunch of straps goes around the ankle and is glued to a narrow piece of leather behind the heel. I added another bead and then wrapped the threads around the third bunch of straps. Then I made a knot, took both threads back through the bead and used some glue to keep them hidden inside the bead. When the glue was dry, I cut off the extra length from the threads. The picture also shows the cardboard pieces glued in place. The soles would probably have been fine without those, but I didn't realize at this stage how thick the soles would finally be.

This picture shows better the leather strip behind the heel. The outer soles are made of leather and the heels are made of wood and covered with the same leather.

The sides of the soles didn't look very nice, so I painted them. The picture below shows the finished shoes. They are a bit tricky to put on because of the beads between the straps, but if you don't stretch the straps when gluing them, they will stretch enough and it is possible to get the shoes on the doll's feet.