Monday, March 4, 2013

Regency Slippers - Progress

Since my previous post on these shoes, I have done three things:  1) removed the casing/drawstring around the edge of the uppers, 2) dyed the shoes pale blue, and 3) purchased ribbon online.  The ribbon came in the mail today, so now it's time to start decorating these puppies in earnest!

Before:
Somewhat faded ivory satin ballet flats.  I should note I got these for free because they were going to be thrown away.
After I ripped off the drawstring and casing:
Oh, the carnage!

Already they look less modern and more historical, to me.

 vs

Having access to shoe dye (I work in a bridal store where we dye shoes), I used leftover portions of previous dye jobs to mix a very pale blue, with the idea that I can always go darker.

My test swatch with three gradations of dye - the darkest one at the top is the color I ended up with.
I was unsure how well the ivory shoes would take the dye, as we normally use white shoes for this process.  But nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I figured if the dye didn't work well I could always use paint to achieve the look I wanted.  However, I liked how they turned out!

They will be decorated in a darker blue, so I wanted a very light base.  
Now the grosgrain ribbon casing I had removed will need to be replaced, so I ordered ribbon from Britex Fabrics.  These helpful tutorials have shown me that petersham is the ribbon of choice for binding shoes, so I measured the length I would need and ordered a yard of 5/8" petersham in French Blue, and another yard of 3/8" to cover the back seam and to fake the side seams.  (I actually need less than half a yard for this purpose, but the minimum cut is one yard.)  I also ordered one yard of 5/8", and another yard and a half of 1" wide silk ribbon, in Indigo.  These will form the pleated trim and the double bow to decorate the toes.  My main inspiration is this pair:

1800-1810 Manchester Art Gallery
Mine will be quite a bit darker, and they won't be decorated with a checked pattern.  They will, however, be decorated.  Stay tuned!

I knew the two kinds of ribbon would be slightly different colors, but I'm happy with how they look together. 

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