Friday, January 19, 2018

Embroidered boots

Over the summer, after my boyfriend kindly funded the purchase of a new pair of combat boots for my birthday, I suddenly had an old pair just lying around with nothing to do. I could have sold them to some poor sap who doesn't mind walking around in a big flaky mess that leaks profusely whenever it rains, but it wasn't long before I had a better idea. I would embellish them!

Resuscitating old shoes is my new favorite activity. I've recently done it to my purple slouch boots, my boring beige ballet flats, and my brown hand-me-downs. Since embroidered everything was the top trend of 2017, I figured adding an embroidery patch would be a fashionable way to wring a few more months of life out of these trusty old boots as well.

Sometimes with my crafting projects, it's hard for me to remember what was cause and what was effect, and what inspired what. In the case of these boots, I know that I purchased several embroidery patches on eBay, but I can no longer remember whether I bought them intending to decorate the boots, or whether I bought them for another reason, and then realized I could use them on the boots. Either way, I had three different styles of embroidery patches when I started this project, and I used one of them for the boots.

The set that I used was a very common motif among embroidery trends last year: two rose-themed patches, usually placed side-by-side on a shirt.  The fact that they were mirror images of each other meant that they would lend themselves equally well to embellishing a pair of footwear.

[The picture is not mine; I merely use it to illustrate a common way I've seen patches like mine used]

The patches originally were too cumbersome to fit or look good on the boots, so I cut them in a few strategic places to make several smaller patches.

I sealed the cut edges with clear nail polish.

After a couple of positioning tests, I attached the first patch to one of the boots. I used Tacky Glue, knowing that it comes out in water, because that way I could reuse either the patches or the boots or both, should I get bored with the new style.

I stuffed the shoes with fabric so they would have a smooth, unwrinkled surface, carefully set the remaining patches so that both shoes would be symmetrically aligned, then I let them dry for a day.

Then I let them dry for a week.

Then another week.

Then almost a month!

I finished this project around December 15, but traveling, nasty weather, and the winter blues (read: not leaving the house for an entire weekend multiple weekends in a row) conspired to keep these boots out of the public eye for much longer than I wished. I wore them once last week, but was unable to get a picture of them because I was in such a rush. Finally, on Sunday, I broke them out for a spontaneous evening date with my boyfriend. Why I bothered to wear fancy boots when they would be spending half the evening hidden under a chair in a darkened room, and the other half the evening allowing my toes to freeze while we waited outside, I'll never know. OK, I do know. It was so I'd have the chance to feature them in this blog!

I also wore my cropped marled burgundy sweater. You might recognize this sweater from when I combined it with another one. After wearing the Frankensweater once, I decided I hated it. I tried to clean up the joins a little bit and tighten the waist, but it was a lost cause, so finally I just ditched the bottom part and hemmed the top one for a much more cropped sweater than the original.

Cropped sweaters necessitate an underlayer, so I wore a burgundy tank top. The tank top looked good with the boots and sweater when I tried it on, but appeared much more purplish in the photos. I'm not colorblind, I swear; but I think my camera is!

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