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:
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
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.