Backstory: When making ballet flats or indoor/outdoor slippers, the main issue I have is what to make the soles out of. Leather or upholstery vinyl are okay, they just aren't very sturdy (ever stepped on a sharp rock wearing them?). Leather isn't very waterproof and vinyl wears down quickly and can tear.
I wanted to find something durable and flexible that was also inexpensive.
Solution: Buy individual, self-adhesive vinyl floor tiles. Usually they're anywhere from 75 cents to a dollar at any home improvement store. They're also 12" by 12" standard, which means you can get a pair of soles out of a single tile. If making larger men's sizes you can use 2 tiles and cut then out on the diagonal.
The best part: Since they're self adhesive (with industrial grade stuff), you don't have to use shoe glue or epoxy ot anything. You can just sew up the shoes, stick the soles on and pop a pair insoles in them (for comfort).
Also, if the soles do start to wear out, it's really easy to just cut another pair of soles and stick them over the worn out ones. If you double- or triple-layer the tile soles, it makes the shoes that much sturdier and that much less flexible.
I just thought I'd share this in case anyone else has the same difficulty with handmade shoe soles. Now all I need is to find some time to make them. In a few months I'll probably have 30 pairs made with matching purses, lol.
It started as a boxy, plain Gap hoodie made out of lightweight knit fabric. I used to wear it all the time about 3 years ago, then it got kinda worn out and dull and had small holes in the elbows. No before pics, I suck at remembering to take them.
Anyway, I stenciled on some branches (with better placement than my cherry blossom hoodie) and then hand sewed about 75 or so leaves on. The leaves were cut from 2 different colors of green t-shirt scraps that were too small to really do anything with, but that I couldn't justify tossing out.
On to the After!
There's one branch coming down from the shoulder and one wrapping around from the back at waist level.
The branch wraps around and goes over the side seam and pocket opening (a tiny bit messy there but who's going to be looking under my arm, right?).
This branch starts where the other pocket opening is. The one lone little leaf that you can see on the bottom hem was added because I snipped a little of the hoodie while I was trimming a thread.
These were just to patch the tiny holes that were there. I think they really add to it.
And a blurry closeup shot to show my crappy hand sewing skills:
This may be my favorite thing to wear this spring! What do you think?
Thanks for looking.
PS:Sorry for the crappy camera phone pics, my digital camera passed away recently.
So, recently Urban Outfitters had a 75% off the already reduced clearance merch. Wow! I went a little gonzo on the t shirts there. Some were marked $20 and some were marked $10, which means after the discount, they were $5 and $2.50 respectively. Sadly, most of them were size small or medium. I can wear a medium (as long as it doesn't shrink at all) but prefer a large.
I bought a bunch of them anyways. I've reconned 2 so far (have about 6 more to do, lol).
$5 queen of diamonds shirt. Size medium. Added black strips (which you can't even tell are there) on the sides and bright blue sleeves (which I cut from a thrifted blue shirt with an embroidered snowman on it). It was going to be a hoodie originally, but I liked it without so I left it off.
$2.50 fysko shirt. Size small (fit like an extra small). Added black stips to the sides all the way from the hem of the sleeves to the bottom hem and then added red to make the sleeves longer. Both the red and the black came from the t shirt graveyard (aka my scrap pile). I heart this shirt. The black sides make me look a bit slimmer through the waist. Very flattering.
So here's some of my first stencils. As you can see, I am not very good yet, lol. I like simple stencils that aren't sharp or precise lines.
Onto the pics!
No idea where this little guy came from, I actually got the pic from someone's post on craftster about a year or so ago. Couldn't find it again, so if it was you, give yourself props. I heart this little emo guy. It's black ink on a dark grey t shirt.
It's a weird little elephant. Yay! Someone had it as an avatar somewhere so I lifted it and slapped it around in photoshop. It's black on pink (stupid camera).
I should probably find out where these images are from, huh? I'm totally going to jail for copyright infringement or something. Maybe I'll find a nice murderer or arsonist to make my b!#ch, lol.
So, nothing fancy here, but the BF loves the show Scrubs. I stenciled one shirt for him and then fought with the stencil for the other one until I finally gave up and did an inkjet iron-on. I know the second one should prolly go on another board, but I wanted to keep them together and the stenciled on is far cooler in my opinion.
Anyways, here's the stenciled one:
I won't attempt to explain the story behind it. If you wanna know, just google "Dr. Acula" and "Scrubs". I guess there's a band by the same name. Neat.
Here's the one that I ended up using the iron-on for: This shows the placement:
This shows the detail:
The stencil was just wayyyyy to small and detailed and the letters needed to be precise to look right. I think this actually looks better, but it won't last as long. Again, if you wanna know the story behiind it, just google it.
Made from a too-small dexter t shirt that I got for free (it was a small, I'm more of medium or large). I added red side panels, long red sleeves and a red hood all cut out of plain red t shirts and scraps from other projects. I then made one for my BF as well which is almost identical to this one except it's bigger and has a kangaroo pocket. No pics of that one tho.
Made from a too-big thrifted t shirt with a pic of thailand's floating market. I thought it was cool (it was also brand new and 99 cents - can't pass that up) and I had a surplus of these spring green t shirts (I love it when Michael's has the 5 for $10 deal).
This one I made for my BF. It was a size L Bruce lee t shirt that I got somewhere on sale over a year ago. He prefers an XL or bigger so I added side panels, sleeves and a hood from plain black t shirts the same way I did with the dexter hoodie. It's pretty awesome.
IMPORTANT HELPFUL TIP: I cut the sleeves, side panels and hoods out of plain t shirts so that the open edge (the edge you would normally hafta hem) is lined up with the already hemmed part of the t shirt. Maybe I'm just lazy, maybe I'm a genious.
I've made many many more from thrifted tees, just have to get pics of them. Maybe next I'll do some with zippers or slap some zippers in these.
So I took a plain grey hoodie made of t shirt fabric (not the normal sweatshirt kind) that I got on clearance somewhere for around 5 bucks. Sorry, no before pic.
I added some branches with a stencil and some fabric paint (which I will never use again as it is already chipping off lame). Not really loving the placement, but the next one I'm doing is much cooler. I'll post it once I finish.
Then I wanted cherry blossoms, but didn't really want to paint them on (as my painting skills are uber lame) and I didn't want to spend hours cutting out tiny pieces of pink fabric that I didn't even have and would have to go and pick out anyways.
Easy solution? Buy 2 stems of pink baby's breath at Michael's for a buck apiece, take them all apart and just sew the little fabric blossoms to the hoodie.
On to the pictures!
the whole thing (hanging on my wall with black thumbtacks on the sleeves)
detail of the front
Sometimes I think this is really frickin cute, other times I think it's dorky. Either way I'll wear it a bunch. Whaddya think?