Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I actually have progress to report!

Finally making progress on the shoes!
I finished the sewing - most of which I ended up doing by hand.  That sucked.  But the hand-stitched bits look better than the machine-stitched parts.  I guess I need to start looking into getting a better sewing machine.  Regardless, I'm fairly pleased with how the piping on the edges turned out.
 Here's how I did the piping:  I cut a strip of the black leather, and skived it down as thin as I could.  I sewed it along the upper edge, right sides together, then flipped it over, and stitched the lining to the upper along the stitch line.  (Stitch-in-the-ditch.)

And I got started on the lasting. 

I even remembered to take out all the tacks holding the insole to the last, except for one in the middle, where I'll be able to remove it after the shoe is lasted.

Since I had the glue out, I also took the opportunity to cover the heels with leather.  Still crossing my fingers that white oak will be strong enough.

 And... here they are - linings glued down, ready for the toe box and counter.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Not dead, just busy...

I know, no posts for a long time.  I haven't made any more progress on the shoes - I'm having trouble with the stitching along the top edge.

Also, I'm just back from a two week vacation.  One week camping in Yosemite, and one week visiting friends in the Bay Area.  While in San Francisco, I got to visit Britex, a really fabulous (but expensive!) fabric store.  I was last there about twenty years ago.

I was visiting a friend who was studying at Berkeley at the time, and we were exploring the city.  I ducked into a fabric store to check it out, and felt like I had walked into a magical world.  It was beautiful.  Colored bolts stacked to the ceiling in a rainbow of colors.  I didn't buy any fabric then, but I took a photo of the wall of fabric, and grabbed one of their post cards. 

That post card moved with me for years.  I might still have it.

Turns out, that store has FOUR FLOORS, one dedicated just to buttons and trim. So I went back, and this time, I spent some money.  Here's what I picked up at Britex:

Some fabrics for this year's costume - I'm going ORANGE this year!  (The one that looks brown and the one that looks red in this photo look a lot more orange in person.)

Some trim and buttons for the costume:

I don't know what I'll do with this one, but I loved it:

This gorgeous silk - very expensive, so I only got a half yard.  I think it'll make a fantastic tank top/shell.  It feels *so good*:
On the way home, we stayed one night in Ashland, and I had a chance to check out the two fabric shops in town.  Got some more stuff for the costume, and yes, that's Kaylee's tail in the photo:

In other news, I've been elected Vice Chair of Norwescon for the coming year, so I anticipate I'll be really busy.  For starters, there will be a lot of events I'll have to attend up in Seattle that I might have skipped otherwise.  Not as much time to work on the shoes as I'd like.  But - when I do make some progress, I'll post it here.