Friday, July 15, 2011

Georgie Girl

I finally received my "Georgiana" 18th century shoes from American Duchess the other day in the mail! Yay! They will join such illustrious historical shoes in my closet as my red "Titanic" boots, my mid-19th century side-scallop boots and my hand-made leather ghillies! Mr. T thoroughly approved of them!
I got the round buckles, but I think I may get some square ones too, just for a different look...Or I'll try the "ribbon lappet" thing.
I had a hard time deciding what color to dye them! Pink? Blue? Green? I decided on blue, with green grosgrain trim around them, so I fearlessly jumped into the whole dyeing thing with reckless abandon! Was I afraid of ruining them? You bet! But I figured the worst I would have to do is make them some sort of darker color or maybe try dye remover. At any rate, I decided to try the tutorial on dyeing shoes by The Dreamstress I picked up some royal blue dye at Walmart - it was Tulip brand - less than a buck - and I wasn't sure how well it would work, but it was either that or Rit and I wasn't really sure there was that much of a difference except price.

I heated up some water on the stove, poured it into my stainless steel sink, added the dye and stirred it up. I then took a paint brush - all I had was a 1" wide paintbrush, not the wide one that is used in the tutorial, and I crossed my fingers that it would work. First, I tried it out on the swatch that was included with the shoes (what a freakin' awesome idea! Thanks, Lauren!), I let it dry and it didn't look half bad, so I dove into the shoes. Here is one shoe after one coat....Not too shabby! I was definitely impressed with both the dye and the ease and results of the technique of "painting" the dye on as opposed to "immersing" something in dye.
The lighting was a little dark in my kitchen, and the shoe was a bit damp, so it looks a little darker in this picture than it actually is after one coat. It looks a little closer to this picture:
I'm really excited about this! I think I'll give it one more coat after it dries good and call it a day! I've never dyed shoes before - I've been in weddings and had the shoes dyed, but this is so easy and SOOO much cheaper, that I would recommend this method to anyone who wants to dye a pair of silk shoes!

Here are a couple more photos of the finished product with different looks to the shoe. After I finished the dyeing process, I hand sewed green grosgrain ribbon around the edges. I also made a green and blue cockade and tried both the round buckles and square buckles.

The lighting was a little different on the last two pictures, so they look lighter blue than they actually are - The color is closer to the blue in the first picture with the round buckles.


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