Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fitted English boots

Ah, the long awaited boot blog. I meant to do this post awhile ago but kept forgetting to take the photos while I was making the boots. So today is the day. Let's just jump right in. This first photo is of the basic supplies I use to make the boots. I have my cutting board, scissors, super thin leather, tooling leather, a pen (this one happens to be from the International tattoo supply company, lol) pattern pieces and a prismacolor marker in black. The first step is to trace the patterns onto the backside of the leather. Next you cut out the pieces. The boot shaft should go all the way around the leg...
...and meet so there are no gaps. It is best to dry fit the piece with no glue to make sure it will fit properly.
The next step would be to cover the toes with the toe piece. Of coarse I forgot to take photos of that step so you will just have to imagine it. That step was a bit more challenging for this doll because the customer wanted slightly extended toes. So I added a bit to the toes with some medical tape, trimmed and voila! Longer toes. There are a million ways I could have done the toes but this was the one I picked today.
After the toe leather is on, glued, trimmed and properly in place put some glue on the heel piece. Roughly center the heel with a bit of leather hanging down.
Next all you have to do is smooth the leather up both sides of the foot, wait a few seconds so nothing slides and fold up the leftover bit you have. Trim the sides so nothing is sticking out in funny places and you are ready for the soles.
Again, as with any project or piece of a project there are probably a million ways to do the soles of the boots. This just happens to be the way I do it. Cut the basic shape from tooling leather and then check it on the bottom of the boot. You don't want it too long, too wide or too small. This one I started with an extra large piece because I needed to allow enough matieral for the longer toes. I have already done the side trimming and now just need to trim the toes.
I use prismacolor markers to make the boot soles black. I could use leather dye, paint or even just start with somewhat thick black leather, but this is the way I do it. The only part that is esential is the marker needs to be prismacolor. If you grab a sharpie you will end up with an irridescent sheen on the soles. Prismacolor has a much more pure color to it and it will actually come out black with no rainbow effect. Like most things you get what you pay for and the markers are about $4 each.
Once you are done coloring the sole glue it on. Check to make sure all the pieces that should be under the foot have not popped out to make a mess of your finished piece.
The last step is the heel. It's just another piece of tooling leather in a heel shape. I try to make sure they match up the the back of the heel and the sides so it doesn't look silly. Then I color it and glue it on. Make sure the heel doesn't shift before the glue dries.
And that's it. That's all there is to making fitted boots. The doll should stand as well as be able to go heels down for riding. This particular doll will now be a fairly versatile casual English doll.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any other blog ideas or are interested in any other parts of doll making please feel free to let me know. Thanks for reading!

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