Finding the perfect, affordable, shoes to go with a historical dress. That can be a challenge. Well, my sister nailed it when she found these cute old brown shoes at Goodwill for $6.
She didn't have to work to hard to convince my mom to buy them for her. They would be perfect with her 1890's dress for the Christmas play (yes, both my mom and my sister are in the play)
Thus, the shoes came home with us. My sister wore them once and the sole started to come off of one shoe. Well that wasn't going to work! I glued the sole back on with contact cement (my first time working with the stuff), but it was obvious that the thin, brittle, rubber soles weren't going to last long. Something would have to be done to salvage these cute old shoes.
My dad suggested glueing some thin leather on top of the worn rubber. Easy enough, I just had to find some leather. These old worn out, outgrown, boots of my sister's looked like they would work for the job!
So I pulled out a pair of sharp scissors (though not my sewing scissors!) and began.
The leather, heavily embroidered and lined in stiff vinyl, was surprisingly easy to cut through. In almost no time at all I was tracing out the new soles.
I cut out the new soles and then began the tedious process of trimming away as much of the ivory vinyl lining as I could.
That took some time, but eventually I had two new soles, all ready to glue on! Then I realized I'd cut out both soles for the same shoe. Oops. I had to cut out a third sole, paying special attention to make sure I cut it out for the opposite shoe, and trim away all the vinyl on it. Finally, I could glue on the new soles!
I brushed both the new and old soles with contact cement. In 15 minutes the shoes had their new soles!
And they were pretty! The heels still needed some help though. Somehow there was just enough leather in that extra sole I'd cut out, and removed the vinyl from, to cover both heels.
All done! Looking at the new soles of these old shoes just makes me happy! They're so pretty, fun, and unexpected. Hopefully they'll help the shoes to last for a while now, at least until my sister out grows them.
As you can see she's already been enjoying them, but not for the Christmas play, sadly. Due to illness the play had to to be postponed and now it won't be until January (after I'm gone) I'm sad to miss the play, but at least I know everyone will be properly outfitted (people had better send me pictures!), and my sister will be wearing the perfect shoes, with very pretty new soles!