Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Regency Slippers From Modern Ballet Flats

When I left off with my slippers, they were stripped of their casing and drawstring and dyed a pale blue, and I had just received my ribbons in the mail.  Now for the fun part!  I gathered up all my materials and got ready to paint.


I was inspired by several images found on Pinterest, of patterned slippers - usually stenciled leather.  Mine are neither stenciled nor leather, but I was going for an overall feel based on some of my favorites:

1795-1805
1790-1800
1800-1810
ca. 1800

I mixed my paint, approximately two parts royal blue to one part silver:


I tested the color on my dye swatch to see how well it would match my ribbons.


I liked how it looked, so I played around with different designs, starting with tiny crosses and five-petaled flowers.


Finally I settled on a simple three-petal flower, and practiced a few before starting on the real thing.


Starting at the center of the toe area, I spaced them in an approximately 1" grid with alternating rows of single dots for variety.


I drew a light pencil line where I wanted the "seam" to end up:


And stopped when I reached it to re-orient the design to give the impression that the shoe upper was actually made in two parts, like the first extant example above.


I painted the second shoe in the same manner, let them dry overnight and sprayed them with two coats of Scotch Guard.


Next I added the binding, using my 3/8" petersham ribbon at the "seams" on either side, and covering the one real seam in the back.  I used the 5/8" petersham to bind the top edges, securing it all with Fabri-Tac glue.



(I messed up the paint on the heel of the right shoe, and without thinking used a wet paper towel to try to wipe it off - of course that left a water mark where it disrupted the dye.  At least it's on the back of the shoe!)

Next I cut my yard of 5/8" silk ribbon in half and pleated each piece with tiny knife pleats, then sewed them around the front of each shoe.


For variety, I also made big double bows according to a tutorial I found on Pinterest, which I will attach to clips so they will be removable.


I got quite a few comments on my slippers when I wore them to the Regency Ball on Saturday!


I didn't get the bows done in time for the ball, but I like the slippers just as well without them.




(I'm early on this challenge - can you believe it?)

The Challenge:  #7 Accessorize
Fabric:  None
Pattern:  None, but I followed an American Duchess tutorial pretty closely.   
Year:  The shape of my slippers - rounded toe with no heel - puts them between 1810-1820, from what I've seen.  However, the painted pattern hearkens back to earlier styles of the 1790s-1810.  I'm going to call them a transitional style (the earlier slippers mostly had very pointed toes and a small heel) and say they're from 1810.  
Notions:  1 yd 5/8" & approximately 1 ft 3/8" petersham ribbon in French Blue, 1 yd 5/8" and 1 yd 1" wide silk ribbon in Indigo, shoe dye, royal blue and silver acrylic paints
How historically accurate is it?  Like I said, I'm calling these a transitional style between the pointed-toe patterned shoes and the plainer rounded-toe slippers with ribbon trim.  So 90% accurate.  
Hours to complete:  6 or so.  
First worn:  March 23rd to a Regency Ball
Total cost:  I spent $16.23 on ribbon at Britex Fabrics, and otherwise everything was free or (in the case of the paint) already in my stash.  

19 comments:

  1. Drat on you for getting ahead with the next challenge. I'm still languishing in the "planning stage."

    In other news, I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!
    http://threadheaded.blogspot.com/2013/03/id-like-to-thank-academy.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, it's only because I wore them to the ball. Otherwise they'd still be in the planning stage, I assure you.

      Thank you so much for my nomination! This is my first blog award! :D :D :D

      Delete
    2. Also, I'm pretty sure I found the Historical Sew Fortnightly through your blog, so this is all your fault. :p

      Delete
  2. Bwwaahaha! I'm so glad I dragged another person down the road to perdition with me. It's worked to my advantage with the shoes since you rocked yours out so quickly. I love the way you "turned" the pattern at the side seam. I would have never thought to do that and I am TOTALLY stealing the idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steal away! After all, dragging each other down - I mean, the spirit of collaboration and community is what this is all about, right?

      Delete
  3. I am so impressed! They look *excellent*. Good idea to paint the pattern in acrylic paint over the satin. Very charming indeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I've managed to impress the Shoe Goddess herself! AND I got a blog award today! I'm pretty much over the moon right now. :)

      Delete
  4. They're very good. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! Well done. I am inspired!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your skills and breathe-of-fresh-air attitude blow me away. Thank you for sharing with neophytes as myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, thank you! I'm still rather a neophyte myself, but I'm glad to share my experiences and mishaps. :p

      Delete
  7. Marvelous! I love what you did with your ballet flats! I may have to do this! Thank you for the inspiration!

    Blessings!

    Gina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I had a lot of fun making and wearing them, which I think is the most important thing. :)

      Delete