Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lace-Up Boot Cover Tutorial



Buying a new pair of lace-up boots just for cosplay is pricey and impractical(i don't exactly wear boots on average days) for a thrift cosplayer like me. I did consider looking into thrift stores and second-hand shops but none had lace-up boots for my Setsuka Heel cosplay so I had no other choice but to make one myself. I already had most of the raw materials lying around so the total cost in making them didn't exceed 100Php.

It was tedious and nerve-wrecking since it was my first time and I couldn't find any guide/tutorials close enough to what I wanted to do so I had to plan everything from scratch. But despite much groping in the dark, they turned up quite alright so for those who are looking into spending less and willing to slave away precious nights for it, hopefully this tutorial will provide you at least with ideas in crafting similar-type projects.


Materials:
  1. Base shoe (specifically covered w/ non-wedge heels)
    If you don't have any covered shoe, any close-toe shoes will do. Cover the open area with this technique.
  2. Really long shoelaces (If it's not long enough, buy two pairs and sew two pieces together).
  3. Vinyl/PVC (I'm not exactly sure what I used since I'm brilliant enough not to ask what type I bought. But it was something along between the two)
  4. Rubber Sheet (the thinner the better)
    If your PVC/Vinyl is strong enough to hold the stress of stretching and wide range movements then there is no need for this. Mine's a little unreliable(it was a left over from my Lisette cosplay) and I'm really scared it'll tear up over time so I had to use rubber sheet as a base.
    Also, this will only work out if the desired length of the boots is at most below the knee. Any higher and you obviously will not be able to bend your knees.
  5. 0.5"-1" thick fabric strip/ribbon
  6. eyelets
  7. velcro or any detachable devices(like snap buttons)
  8. hot glue
  9. super glue or any strong glue
  10. tape measure
  11. pencil
  12. ruler
  13. scissors/cutter (better if both)

Note: the pattern structure was inspired by this image


STEP 1:

Take the following measurements:
  1. Boot length (top of how high you want your boot to the floor)
  2. Length to the ankle
  3. Upper Boot Circumference
  4. Ankle Circumference


STEP 2:

To create the pattern, first subtract two to three inches (or depends how wide you want the front opening) off both the upper and lower circumference measurements. I couldn't explain the rest properly into words so here's a diagram.

hopefully I made it as understandable but if there are anything unclear, feel free to ask me


Transfer your pattern on a rubber sheet. Trace and cut.

STEP 3:

Glue one side of the rubber sheet into the PVC/Vinyl. Cut into shape with at least 1.5cm seam allowance.
If you're only using the PVC/Vinyl, then just sew two pieces together for thickness (if you prefer).

DO NOT USE HOT GLUE. The bulk from the glue will show

STEP 4:

Make guidelines to place your eyelets. It's completely up to you. Mine's 1.25in appart and 1cm away from the edge.

This is how I marked mine. The intersections are where I'm gonna be placing the eyelets

STEP 5:

Fold the seam towards the back and seal it with hot glue. 


Don't worry about the air pockets. I was stupid enough not to use a stronger adhesive so they loosened up after several test uses but they disappear when you actually wear it because of the stretch so it's all good.

STEP 6:

Place the eyelets. I did mine manually since I don't have a device that does it so it was very tedious and took two nights to finish.


STEP 7:

Add the strips on the bottom. Make sure the length is enough to wrap around from under to over the shoe with an extra space to sew in the velcro or any lock on clips/buttons. The locks will help keep it in place.



STEP 8:

Next is the shoe tongue. For the width the upper should be wider than the lower but make sure the they're both wider than the excess you cut off earlier from the circumference measurement. 
The length should be at least 1" longer than the length of the side where the eyelets are placed. No need to use the rubber sheets, it'll only bulk up the entire thing. 
Glue/sew two pieces together for a little thickness.


STEP 9:

For the base of the tongue, make a strip about one inch wide by (figure x). Repeat STEP 3.

figure x: length = marked orange


STEP 10:

Add strips on both ends. This time make sure it reaches until the bottom of the shoe with extra space to sew in the locks.

STEP 11:

Hot glue the bottom edge of the tongue to the back side of the base, centered. It should look like the letter "T"

FINAL:

Wearing:
It's possible to do it alone but it's better if you have someone for help. First, lace up the boot cover. Ask someone to hold the cover for you while you fix the shoelaces. Once you're done, do not tighten it yet. Insert the tongue starting from below and gently push up then lock in place. Tighten the laces.
That's it, you're DONE.

If there are some parts that aren't clear, feel free to ask me and I'll try to answer as clearly as I can

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