Tuesday, September 27, 2016

COSTUMES: Doomsday 2016

Every August is Doomsday at a local goth club. The club is transformed into a post-apocalyptic world. I've gone almost every year. I typically throw together a costume at last minute, but this year I actually planned ahead! Halloween is just around the corner, and this particular costume can be altered for your ghoulish needs. It's minimal sewing, which I know everyone will appreciate. You can use hot or fabric glue, but stitching is clean, faster, and more sturdy. No one wants to lose part of their costume, mid party or candy collection.

This post will include mostly Amazon Affiliate links, but mostly just for your reference. If you purchase anything using my Amazon links, Amazon will pay me a small commision. I'm not going to be upset if you buy everything in stores...cause that's what I do. Also, DecoArt provided me with the paint I used for this costume. I was not paid to create this post. I just know you all like these sort of posts.


From top down, my costume is a bloody draped vest with a tank underneath, a stretchy belt, a bloody skirt thing, a stretchy black skirt, cheap red stocking that I cut, and black boots. The boots are a recent Target purchase, should you want them too. I already had the black pieces and red stockings. I made the bloody pieces and shredded the stockings.


1) I cut a rectangle of gauze fabric long enough to go around my waist and tie, by about 6". I folded that in half, centered and tied it around my dress form. I took about 4' length of gauze fabric, and gathered it along that waist band, set the selvage edges slightly towards the body front. I removed the skirt panel from the dress form. I straight stitched along the gathered part, and along the ties to finish them. I cut the bottom and sides jagged.

2) I took a yard of gauze, and draped it on my daughter, to figure out how much of the fabric would be the hood. I then draped it on my dress form and cut the arm holes. I cut all the outer edges jagged, for an aged appearance.

3) I laid a plastic tablecloth outside. I laid the vest and skirt on the plastic. I splatter painted them with watered down DecoArt red, black, and brown acrylic paint. Gauze fabric is great for this technique, as the paint bleeds well into the texture.

4) I carefully hung it up to dry overnight. By morning, the colors were paler, which was disappointing. The effect was still good.


I will say, makeup wise, I don't know how you would adapt it to other skin colors, but I'll let you figure that out. I'm already super pale, but went paler. If I was to do this makeup again, I would add veins. The idea is to look almost dead and diseased. 

1) I applied NYX face primer to my face and neck, so my makeup would stay in place all night. A little goes a long way.

2) In my palm, I mixed my foundation with cheap white cream makeup, until I got the color I wanted. I applied that with a foundation brush, but found rubbing it into my skin with my fingers worked better.

3) I set the foundation with a white face powder. I dusted off some of the powder, so I wasn't as stark white. White powder is how I set my last two skull makeups. This keeps the makeup in place, and not sweating off your face.

4) With a fluffy makeup brush, I applied Sugarpill Bulletproof to my eyelids, blending it to my brow bone and outwards. I used a small flat makeup brush to apply and blend Bulletproof under my eyes. I added mascara, but no eyeliner.

5) I used a grey eyeshadow and contouring brush, to contour my cheekbones and jaw. With that same grey and the smaller eyeshadow brush, I contoured my nose, and neck. 

6) I left my lips for last. I applied NYX lip primer. I covered my lips with the foundation and white mixture. I powdered my lips. Nyx make a white lipstick, but I don't have it. My makeup stayed on all night.


My friend Carlton, of Spiderbite Studios, was taking photos that night. This is the photo of just me, that he took. The background is just a snippet of what the entire club looked like. In other photos, with friends, I turned the vest upside down, and wore it long, without the skirt thing. By the end of the night, I'd rolled up the gauze pieces, and tied them to my purse. If you look carefully, you can spot my Separated Triangle Earrings, that I made years ago. The tank top I made is actually something I made for an old band costume. I hope you have an awesome Halloween...or any other costumed occasion. Happy Makery!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

ARTWORK: Deer Head Faux Taxidermy

I've mentioned a few times in previous posts, that I've been busy making artwork and home projects, that I haven't posted. I'm trying to find some normalcy and flow back in my life again. Back in July, I painted a paper mache deer head, with DecoArt products. The base is a Walnut Hollow wood slice, I repurposed from this project. I needed a creative release and this deer head had been lingering around for about a year. Faux taxidermy has been a big thing over the past few years. However, like many craft trends, it has been oversimplified to deer heads in all white or gold. Blahhhhh!!!! I wear a lot of black, but I love my artwork to be colorful and whimsical. The bigger and brighter, the better really. Years ago, I saw a few deer heads that artist Hope Perkins painted and embellished. Now these are real deer heads, but her makeover style was great inspiration for my paper mache deer head.


In the finished photo, you can also see my growing gallery wall. If you've followed me since the days I was making mostly skull art, you'll notice a few familiar pieces. The big pink and green painting is #34: Pop Art Skull. The four little paints below that are #69: Skull of Seasons. The wood pieces are Geometric Wood Trivet, floral coasters, Sugar Skull Trio, and USA Road Trip Map (which needs additions from our Hawaii trip). The two landscapes, my daughter and I did at a painting party for my eldest niece's 18th birthday. The little striped lady painting, I bought from Jennifer Perkins (Hope's sister). Beside that is a Frida Khalo sugar skull portrait, my friend KT made for me. Above that is a Nazca skull piece I made back in 2010, before I learned how to paint. I used a paint marker and crayons for that one. Beside that is a cat silhouette of Pippi I made, inspired by Meg Allan Cole's Dog Silhouettes. At the very end is #12: Skull with Flowers, which was one of first nice acrylic paintings, and the start to the crazy painting adventures that have followed.


Here are some progress shots. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see lots of progress photos from all my projects. Including the bathroom demolition that's happening as I type this. We hired professionals to remodel our two terrible full bathrooms into one glorious huge bathroom. The half bath got a new toilet. It will get some DIY love soon. I left the master bathroom to the pros. Anyway, back to the deer head. Above, you can see the scale. Below, you can see the process of adding details. Striping those horns took a long time. I should also mention, I used layers of white gesso on this deer, before painting, so the colors would all pop. 


A wonky front shot. The wood round is gold and metallic brown. You can also see the shiny metallic and glittered horn stripes. We're going for whimsical folks, so a little shimmer is always good.


The purple disconnected chevron pattern, goes from the nose, around the back, to under the chin. You can see the slivers of where that all connects. 


That's all for now. I'm over here working on Halloween costume pieces, and listening to the noises of a destroyed bathroom. It's intense. There will be posts about this huge makeover, but not for a while. I want to have some pretty photos of the final bathroom to include. Right now we have photos of two boring white and cream bathrooms (or as my mom's best friend called them "vanilla"), and the destruction stages of both. Ok, enough chatting. Time to work that sewing machine for all it's worth...or um not that hard. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

HOLIDAY DIY: Dia de los Muertos Coffin Countdown Calendar

You all know I love Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) about as much as Halloween...if not a little more. Instead of a Halloween countdown, I decided on Dia de los Muertos, which is right after Halloween. Dia de los Muertos is traditionally a Mexican holiday, but like it's people, the holiday spans the globe. It takes place on November 1st and 2nd, as a celebration of departed loved one's lives. I found an awesome wood piece that looks like an old style coffin top, at JoAnn. I had DecoArt paints and clear chalkboard coating on hand. The key to this project is using the clear chalkboard coating over a darkish paint color. Otherwise, you can chose any colors and wood shape you want. If the wood is rough, sand the chalkboard area smooth, before painting and coating. Onward with the tutorial.


SUPPLIES:
These links are Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases made using these links will result in me earning a small commision. The links are mostly for product references. Feel free to the supply list to your local big craft store, and shop there with lots of coupons. That's what I do. DecoArt provided me with some of their products for this project. Most of the paint, I bought myself.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Paint the coffin interior with Purple Pizzazz and Bluegrass Green. Paint the top edge with Fawn. Paint the outside Carousel Pink. Let the 1st coat dry. Repeat with a 2nd coat. Paint over the Fawn with Champagne Gold, to add shimmer.


2) With a white pencil, write the lettering. Use a ruler as a guide if needed. Sketch out the skull and bones. I made my skull and crossbones stylized.

3) With Lamp Black paint and a small flat brush, paint the lettering. After dry, add details with various colors of paint and a thin liner brush.

4) Paint the skull and bones Snow White. Let 1st coat dry. Paint a 2nd coat of white. After dry, paint details with a liner brush.

 5) With black and a liner brush, add a simple design around the outside of the coffin.

6) Seal the painted coffin with clear chalkboard coating. The purple area needs 3 coats, in different directions, for the best chalkboard finish. Let cure for 24 hours.

7) Rub the blank purple section with the side of chalk. Wipe off the chalk with a paper towel. Write the countdown day.

Check out my other Dia de los Muertos tutorials for more related project ideas. I made this countdown calendar for Dia de los Muertos, but this concept can be used for any celebration. Countdown to Halloween, birthdays, prom, graduation, Christmas, other holidays, Winter, a birth, a vacation...you get the idea. Whatever you're celebrating, have a wonderful time. Happy Makery!

Friday, September 16, 2016

HOLIDAY DIY: Day of the Dead Skull OlyFun Rag Wreath

This Day of the Dead Skull OlyFun Rag Wreath is a no-sew kid friendly project that can be adapted for any decor and holiday. I used Fairfield World OlyFun for the rag wreath. I painted a wood skull with DecoArt acrylic paints. OlyFun and paint can be combined to suit your personal style choices. OlyFun doesn't fray and cuts like paper, making it great for a rag wreath that won't fall apart over time. The strips are looped onto a wire wreath base, which is something kids can easily help with. I used a wood sugar skull, but this would be cute with a pumpkin, turkey, or snowman, for upcoming holidays. Head over to Fairfield World to make your own. Day of the Dead Skull OlyFun Rag Wreath


Fairfield World and DecoArt supplied me with their products for this project. Fairfield World paid me to create this project. I'm a master maker for Fairfield World and a blogger outreach program member for DecoArt. This project is my own creation.

Monday, September 5, 2016

ARTWORK: Floral Arrangement Paintings

I've been working on more floral paintings, just to experiment with flower styles and improve my decorative painting skills. I cruised through my photos from the last few months, to find SIXTEEN painting projects I haven't shared. Three aren't finished, but THIRTEEN are. I've been meaning to write more, but there's something cathartic about painting things, that I haven't found in writing. I've been dealing with some personal stuff, hence why there are so many painting projects, including FIVE canvas paintings. What is this madness? Who is this person? I started this blog as a way of documenting my artwork. It's morphed in a tutorial heavy site, which is still cool, but seems more formal and perhaps a little colder than my past looser creative posts. Fashion sets, where did those go? To be honest, I gained a bunch of weight...over thirty pounds...ditched a bunch of my wardrobe and have been trying to figure out how to dress this bigger curvier body. I love my body still, and perhaps more than before, as it's booty and boobilicous. So anyway, changes have been happening, both bad and good and somewhere in between. I'll stop rambling, and get onto the canvas art. I'll make separate posts for some other projects. At least one has a tutorial. I SWEAR!

I'd been admiring abstract & floral art from various artists on Instagram. I started with an abstract background, but I wasn't feeling it at all. I stared at it a while, unhappy with it. Then, I decided it might be a cool background for a loose floral arrangement. I threw on a purple vase. Then, pulled colors from the background, plus red, and created layers of flowers, leaves, and sticks. I hung this one by my front door. It's so cheerful and colorful.

"Abstract Floral Arrangement"

I mentioned having some unfinished artwork. This is one. In being unfinished, it's symbolic of the personal stuff that was ongoing while I worked on this painting. A seven year friendship disintegrated quickly, and I didn't finish the painting. Until last month, this was the last painting I did for a while. I stopped working on this painting, a day after our friendship ended. I might finish it one day. The skull is supposed to look like stone, the table cloth (and table) are missing, and half the leaves lack shading. Instead of focusing on what I left unfinished, I should be focusing on the awesome flowers and leaves I created, and the new style of painting. Though when I look this, with each stroke, I see tears. Moving on...

"Floral Arrangement in Skull Vase" (Unfinished)

So the above one was back in May. The below one is August. There are no canvas paintings in between. In that time, I also lost my grandmother, who had Parkinson's, dementia and cancer. In August, we went to Myrtle Beach, SC with friends. We rented a house, and I brought the craft supplies. Sadly, Alex left the big box of DecoArt paints, and painting brushes at home...by mistake. Off to Walmart, we went in search of paints, brushes, and big canvases. About mid-week, I broke out the painting supplies. Us ladies each worked on a canvas. Rachel, came up with the idea to include each person's fingerprints in our paintings. Alex's and Rachel's paintings have our names. Since mine was a floral, I didn't want to put names, so instead I had people use the glitter paints to add their fingerprints. Oh, and this painting started off as a beach scene, which I hated! I painted grey over the whole thing, before the underlayer of blues and tan had dried. 

"Floral Arrangement in Glass Vase, with Friends Fingerprints"

The last night of our trip, I still was in a painting mood. I caught the painting bug big time. I started this painting our last night, and finished it my 1st week home. It's much more energetic and simplistic than my past paintings. A big difference from the previous paintings. I'm still working on finding my style. I'm definitely all over the place still. They've all got very positive feedback. I might sell this one. I know, actually selling a painting! Such a weird thing for me. 

"Floral Arrangement in Water Pitcher"

Technically, this one is unfinished too. However, I just need to highlight the leaves. I got tired of looking at this painting after a week of working on it. There are parts I like and parts I'm enthusiastic about. This one I'm definitely selling, for a few hundred dollars, because of the scale. Actually all three of these paintings are about 20" to 24" at the longest/widest. I did buy some smaller canvases. My motto about painting is that bigger is better, because I can cram in more details. This one is very detail crammed around the outer edge and not so much on the big flowers. Still, people liked it. I cater to my personal likes, more than others. With my crafty and teaching job being a mixture of both my style and the abilities of others, I'm finding it difficult to just throw myself into a painting without holding back on the complexity.

"Floral Arrangement in Wood Crate"

That's all for this post. Like I mentioned way at the beginning, there are other art projects I've completed and a couple that still need work...or um UFOs...unfinished objects. If you like seeing my process of creating these, and other pieces of art, check out my Instagram. I like to post projects as I'm working on them, which quite often have at least one cat hanging about. Our dear Aurora moved away with her family, while we were on vacation, so sadly our outdoor projects will be without our fearless black squishy sweetie, always mewing, getting in the way, and sneaking inside to be nosy. Oh and I won't consider this a sponsored post for DecoArt, because I bought most of the paint...about 95% at least. Whatever you're making have fun with it. Happy Makery!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

SHOE DIY: Printed Ankle Wrap Espadrille Sandals

These Printed Ankle Wrap Espadrille Sandals are made with upcycled espadrille soles, cotton fat quarter fabrics (outer from P & B Textiles), Fairfield World interfacings, and Dritz supplies. This is a great way to take old espadrilles and make them into new fabulous sandals. There are endless options for cotton fat quarter fabrics, which could lead to an obsession with making your own shoes. This is less of a warning, than a reason to make things. Head over to Fairfield World to make these Printed Ankle Wrap Espadrille Sandals.


Fairfield World, Dritz, and P & B Textiles sent me their products to use. Fairfield World paid me to create these shoes. The project, opinions, and tutorial are my own.

Monday, August 15, 2016

HOME DECOR DIY: Oversized Lap Desk For Mermaids

I made this oversized lap desk with an abstract mermaid pattern, for a Fairfield World Poly Pellet's challenge with our Master Makers team. I use lap boards every day. I sit on the couch with a lap desk to work on projects, paint and eat. Quite often the ones I find aren't large enough to sit big projects, which leads to me having to move to my work table, and out from under my pile of blankets and warm cat snuggles. I have a stash of thrifted finds to use in projects. My daughter found this old oversized tray in my thrift stash. I looked at it for a while, in the correct orientation, unsure if it would work. Then I flipped it over. The back is nice and smooth, perfect for work on large projects! For the artwork, I chose an abstract mermaid scale pattern. You could paint any design you want. I used black cotton fabric, reinforced with Fairfield World Smooth interfacing, for the bottom.


SUPPLIES:
Most of these are Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases using those links, will result in Amazon paying me a small commision. Fairfield World and Dritz provided me with their products for this project. DecoArt provided me with some of the paint. Fairfield World paid me to create this project. I use these links as references to show you the products I used, if possible.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) My tray has black handles that are screwed on. I unscrewed the handles. I set them aside with the screws attached to the handles. If your tray doesn't have handles, skip this step.

2) Flip the tray over. Using the wide flat paintbrush and white gesso, paint the tray back and sides. Let dry and repeat in a different direction. Let fully dry between layers. Once fully dry, sand the surface, to remove any bumps. Use a paper towel to remove the dust. Rinse and dry the paintbrush.

3) Squeeze a little of each paint color, except black, onto one or two paper plates. I used two, because I had too many colors for just one plate.

4) Paint an abstract patchwork using all the colors. I try to balance out the shades. Some colors might need multiple coats until the color is opaque and not streaky. Let the paint dry between coats, for more even coverage. There's no wrong way to do this.

5) Squeeze some black paint onto a paper plate. With the liner brush, paint alternating scales. These are basic curves like you would do to form a D.

6) For the sides, continue the edge colors down in stripes. Rinse and dry the paintbrush between each color. With black, paint semi-evenly spaced stripe lines. I segmented the colored stripes with black lines. The line don't need to be even. We're going for whimsy, not perfection. Rinse and dry the paintbrush. Let the paint dry completely.

7) Shake the Krylon Clear Polyurethane can for 1-2 minutes. Spray a thin even coat on the top and sides. Let dry for 15-30 minutes. If it's humid outside, bring the tray inside to dry. Give the tray a second coat.

8) Screw the handles back onto the tray.

9) Measure the outer tray edge. My tray is 18" by 21.75". Add 5" to each measurement. That made mine 23" by 26.75. On the black cotton, with the ruler and dressmaker's pencil, mark out a rectangle that is the exact tray measurements and another than is the increased measurements. On the Smooth fusible interfacing, mark out a rectangle that is slightly larger than the increased measurements. Cut out all piece.

10) Iron the cotton rectangles flat. Fuse the bigger rectangle to the Smooth rectangle. Fold in the edges 1/2" and iron into place.

11) Load the sewing machine with black thread. Straight stitch 1/4" from the folded edges.

12) On the Smooth side, with the black marker, draw squares 1.5"-2" in at each corner.

13) Fold the corners along those lines, like a dart. Straight stitch down those lines. This boxes out the fabric. Trim the bulk back to 1/4".

14) Center the smaller rectangle inside the Smooth rectangle. Straight pin in place. At the sewing machine, straight stitch around the smaller rectangle's edges, leaving a 6" gap. This is a separation for the Poly-Pellets, so they don't mix with the Poly-Fil.

15) Cut one corner of a Poly-Pellets bag. Pour the pellets into the separation, through the gap. I used three full bags.

16) Straight stitch the gap closed.

17) Center the tray onto the smaller rectangle. Plug in the hot glue gun and add a glue stick. The glue is a temporary hold, before adding nails. Work one side at a time, lifting the tray slightly. Hot glue the fabric edges along the tray sides, overlapping about 1/2"-1". Leave one side open.

18) Stuff the tray and fabric with Poly-Fil.

19) Hot glue that last fabric edge to the tray.

20) Prop the tray up on one side. Starting by a corner, hold one decorative nail with your fingers or pliers. Using the tack hammer, hammer the nail into the wood tray. Repeat by the other corner. Then, the center. I continued to divide the section with nails, to make the nails as evenly spaced as possible. If you wanted these exactly even, measure with the ruler and mark with the dressmaker's pencil. I eyeballed it. Next time, I might measure.

That's all for this project. All week, the Fairfield World Master Makers will be posting their Poly-Pellets challenge projects. I'm currently on vacation and unable to link to those for you all. I'll throw their project links on here, if I can, when I return. Like I mentioned before, you can choose any design and colors you want. I think this design is pretty simple and imperfect, which is great for beginner painters. My tray is oversized, but your tray might be smaller. This project can be scaled to any size. Just remember that smaller trays may not need as many Poly-Pellets to weight the bottom, so use less bags for a small tray. Whatever you're making, have fun with it! Happy Makery!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

CLOTHING DIY: Rocking Rainbow Unicorn Appliqued Jean Jacket

This rocking rainbow unicorn appliqued jean jacket is perfect for the 1st week of school, whether you’re a student or a teacher. I gave my old jean jacket a makeover, with a motif my teenage daughter chose. I did all the artwork and applique, to cheer her up. It came out better than I expected. Now, this is a design I custom created for my daughter, but you could pick any design you wanted. If you aren't artsy, use a simple coloring page to make pattern pieces, focusing on adding smaller detail pieces to a larger background piece...like I added the head details to a big head piece. I plan on making a different version for myself, with "Let's Get Crafty" on the back and other design elements. Head over to Fairfield World to make your own rocking rainbow unicorn appliqued jean jacket.

Fairfield World provided me with their Stick Fusible Interfacing for this project. They paid me to create this project. The fabric, I purchased at Jo-Ann. The project and tutorial is my own creation.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

SHOE DIY: Dritz Embroidered Floral Wedge Espadrilles

Dritz came out with new wedge espadrille soles, as part of their customizable espadrilles line. I used some Fairfield World Smooth fusible interfacing to give the fabric uppers extra support for general wear and floral embroidery. To add color to the wedge soles, I used DecoArt Americana Acrylic paints, in colors that matched the embroidery floss. This is my 2nd pair of Dritz espadrilles that I've made. I wanted them more customized and reflective of my art style. My 1st pair, Polka Dot Ankle Wraps Espadrilles, are flat using the available Dritz fabrics. While I've been doing embroidery for about 30 years (no joke!), if you are a beginner, I found this awesome video that shows 7 Basic Embroidery Stitches. For this project, I used chain stitches, French knots, and blanket stitch. Blanket stitch on a 3D object...the edge of the shoes...is trickier than on flat fabric, but I found this awesome Dritz espadrille blanket stitch video on Instagram by Deepika Prakash.


SUPPLIES:
Fairfield World, Dritz, and DecoArt provided me with their products for this project. Fairfield World paid me to create this project. Some of the links are Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases made using those links, will result in Amazon paying me a small percentage of the sales.

However, I use these links mostly to show you what the products look like. You can find much of this in your local big craft and fabric stores, for less than Amazon with coupons and sales. That's certainly what I normally do for supplies I have to pay for, like embroidery floss for 40c a skein. The floss colors I listed are close to what I used, which was probably 20 years old, from my aunt, and I'm unsure of the brand. I restocked my floss with DMC brand, and tried to get close matches.

TOOLS:

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Squeeze a little of each paint color onto the paper plate. Using the small flat paintbrush, paint each braid a different color. The top and bottom braids are both Carousel Pink, because they intersect. Rinse and dry your brush between each color. From top the bottom, the color order is Carousel Pink, Banana Cream, Coral Shell, Bubble Gum Pink, Saffron Yellow, Melon, and Carousel Pink. Add a second coat of any colors where the natural braid color is still showing.

2) With Carousel Pink and a bigger flat paintbrush, paint both insoles. Let dry completely, and paint a 2nd coat. I can't promise that this paint will hold up to heavy wear. It blends the edges, so they aren't obvious later when sewing the uppers to the heel. I looked at the finished uppers on the heels before choosing to do this step. However, I'm putting this step towards the beginning, so the paint has plenty of drying time.


3) Open up the fashion outer and lining fabrics. Steam iron them both flat. Set the lining aside. Cut a piece of Smooth Fusible Interfacing the same size as the fashion outer fabric. Place the Smooth onto the outer fabric, rough glue side down. Iron the two piece together, working slowly, so the glue bonds to the fabric.

4) Remove the pattern from the soles packaging. For this project, cut out the heel and toe patterns to the size of your sole. With the dressmaker's pencil, trace these twice on both the outer and lining fabrics. Trace the patterns close together, leaving a large section without anything on it. This section will be used later for the ankle strap. Cut out the lining fabric along the traced lines, and set these pieces aside. Cut the outer fabric loosely around the lines, to leave handling room for the embroidery. Trace the dart lines for the heels onto the heel fabric pieces.

5) With the dressmaker's pencil, mark the center line of each outer toe piece. Lightly draw a design. Mine is a stylized take on flower petals. I used two strands of embroidery floss at a time. Thread the hand sewing needle with Geranium embroidery floss. Knot one end. Chain stitch along the outer arches. When your thread is running low, knot off on the back. Thread more embroidery floss, knot one end, and continue chain stitching. Chain stitch the middle arches with Light Coral. Chain stitch the inner arches and make French knots with Light Topaz. If you have trouble with French knots (they are tricky) either skip them or use single stitches. When you are finished embroidering both toe outers, carefully cut along the pattern lines, making sure not to cut through your embroidery.

6) For the heels, I realized after I did the embroidery and went to sew the darts, that my embroidery didn't line up at that seam and I had to redo that section. Ugh. My hindsight, and your foresight. At the sewing machine, load it with black thread. Sew the darts closed on both of the outer and lining heels pieces. Then, on the outer pieces, draw your embroidery design and embroider it. This embroidery is actually upside down. The dart side will be attached to the heel. Whoops. It still looks cool this way, so I just rolled with it, and we'll pretend this placement was intentional. That last outer row of French knots was unnecessary, as they became skewed while doing the blanket stitching later. Hindsight...but they still look pretty.

7) Pair up the lining and outer pieces, right sides together. Back at the sewing machine, zigzag stitch around the pieces, along the cut edge. On the toes, leave a 3"-4" gap, for turning the pieces. I found the gap is easiest to sew together later, if the gap is on the side. For the heels, leave 2" gaps on either side about 1" down from the top. I made one slightly larger than the other, to make turning easier. These are where the strap pieces will go later. Turn the pieces inside out. Use the Dritz point turner to help shape the corners. For the toe pieces, fold the gap edges in, and pin in place. Top stitch around the sides, close to the edge.

8) Back to the leftover outer fabric. Cut four rectangles 2" by 10". Make these rectangles longer if you have bigger ankles. My ankles and wrists seem to say the same size, even if every other part of me got bigger over time. Go figure, it's the shoes that always fit. Which reminds me of the movie "In Her Shoes". If you haven't seen it, you should, for many reasons other than great shoes. Anywho, pair the rectangles right sides together. Zigzag stitch around the sides about 1/4 from the edge, leaving a short edge open. Trim the sewn corners, making sure not to cut through the thread. Turn the pieces inside out. I found turning these tricky, because of the interfacing. Instead, I sewed one long and one short edge, trimmed the corners, turned the piece, folded in the open long edge securing it with pins, and top stitched around the closed sides. Whichever sewing mething you use, the straps need to be topstitched, for added stability.

9) Cut 2.5" matching pieces of hook and loop tape. Towards the strap end, straight stitch a rough hook piece. About 1/2" away, along the strap, stitch one fuzzy loop piece. Repeat for the other strap.

10) For the other strap pieces, cut two 2" squares. On one square, fold in two opposite sides until the meet. Topstitch along the folded edges. Slip the folded square through one slide adjuster hole. Fold over the square. Topstitch the folded fabric closed by the slide adjuster and back down the sides. Repeat with the other square and slide adjuster.

11) Slip the strap pieces into the gaps of the heel, folding in the raw edges. Straight pin all of the gaps closed. Topstitch straight around the sides, close to the edge. Backstitch where the straps are, for extra durability.

12) Center the toe piece. Use the glass head pins to secure the toe piece to the matching shoe's insole. Repeat with the heel pieces, with the slide adjusters on the outer sides. I pinned and sewed one shoe at a time.

13) To start, cut a long piece of black creative yarn. Pull it through the yarn wax several times. The wax makes the yarn easier to sew through the layers. Fold over the yarn  about 1", at one end. Push the fold through the big straight needle from the assorted needles pack. I liked using the straight needle, but if you like the curved needle better, definitely use that one instead. Knot off one end of the yarn. Use the pliers to pull it tight. I found a double knot was unnecessary for this project.

14) Pick a starting point along the shoe heel. Push the needle through the heel, insole, and upper fabric edge. Use the pliers to pull the needle, if it's difficult to pull by hand. Ok, back to this awesome Dritz espadrille blanket stitch video on Instagram by Deepika Prakash. This was super handy in sewing the blanket stitch along the shoe edges. Last time I used the rubber grippy things that Dritz makes, but I couldn't keep my grip and my fingers ached quickly. For this pair, I used Deepika's suggestion of pliers to pull the thick needle up through the layers. With these uppers having a lot of layers and sewing through painted materials, having a great grip on the needle was essential.

 For more shoe making inspiration, check out my list of Shoe Tutorials that I've done. The color combo and motif I used for this pair, can be changed to suit your style. If you aren't artsy, customize these espadrilles with your fabric choice. You can use any medium weight fabric for the outer and nice cotton for the lining, though Dritz has some nice selections. Thin canvas and denim are durable fabrics that would be great for outers. You could even add ribbons or machine embroidery to make your own fabric design. You could also use fabric paints to create artwork. Whatever you choose, have fun with it. Happy Makery!

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