Sunday, January 31, 2016

Stretch Boot Cover with Removable Shoe Tutorial

There are tons of tutorials out there for various types of boot covers but here's the way I made mine. It's a combination of what I've learned from online tutorials and some I've adapted on my own from years of trials, mistakes, financial conditions and time constraints.

I've made several mistakes in the past by just gluing the shoe within the cover because it was the easiest way. However, I didn't have the luxury of buying new pairs(or even pre-loved ones) every time I make a new one so in this tutorial, I made a pair where you can easily just slip off/insert the shoes so that you can still use them for other stuff. It makes for easier cleaning too.

Main Materials:
  • a pair of high-heeled shoes(preferably pumps or close to that and somewhere along 4"+ high)
  • stretchy fabric
  • snap buttons
  • any sturdy material that will work as a sole
  • hot glue or any strong enough glue.
  • an additional chair that is roughly the same height as the one you are currently sitting on as you work on this project.
  • A friend to help (optional)

STEP 1. While wearing the shoe on one leg, lay out that leg with the shoe straight in front of you and place your foot on the extra chair for support. With the wrong side up, wrap the fabric around the leg in a way that the seams will be located at the back. Make sure it completely covers the entire desired area.

STEP 2. With the help of a friend, pin the fabric in place. Don't bend your leg while doing this. Make sure to stretch it out a little before pinning so that it clings on your leg snug and tight.

Or if you're just like me who's too awkward to ask anyone for help, you can always just feel your way around. Hold both sides together then pin as closely to the leg as possible. You may end up accidentally poking yourself a lot with the pins though so be extra careful when pinning.

This cover works better with higher heels since my method only uses one fabric wrapped around a leg instead of using 2pcs with front and back seam, the bunching up of fabric around the ankle level is unavoidable. It's alright but it can be greatly reduced the higher your heels are. However, take note that wear only heels you are comfortable with and be safe.

Unless you're super flexible, you wouldn't really be able to reach until the end without bending that leg so pin until at least it reaches your calf first then mark both the left and right side with fabric chalk/pen (keeping it as close to the pins as possible). When you're done, unpin starting from the top, just until you can safely bend your leg.
Reminder: Don't remove all the pins yet. Make sure to leave at least the last two pins to prevent the fabric from unraveling from your leg.

Now that you can freely bend your leg, continue with the rest. Repeat the same method. Make sure you trace until the toe curve of the shoe.

STEP 3. After unpinning everything, the final pattern may look weird and asymmetrical but it's alright. Just follow through with it. Line up the...err... lines together as closely as you can. Doesn't matter if you can't fold it equally in half, what's important is they line up together. Pin in place then sew.

final pattern may look roughly like this

Don't completely sew everything in. Leave a small portion at the bottom big enough for the shoe to be inserted in. 
Test by slipping off the shoe from the cover then putting it back in again. It will be tricky at first but try to find a good position for the shoe so that it can easily slip out and same for inserting it back in. Try not to be too rough and avoid stretching the fabric too much. If it's impossible, try to gradually widen the hole until you become successful.

Sew in the snaps to hide that gaping hole and keep the shoe in place.

STEP 4. Now for the sole. We really don't want to leave just the fabric at the bottom. They'll will tear up from walking around a lot so we need to reinforce it with protection.

Make a pattern first by tracing the bottom part of the shoe that is touching the ground.

Then transfer the pattern to the material you are using as a sole. I don't know what's mine called since it was just given to me but even though it's thin, it's tough a.f. i feel like my fingers grew muscles just from cutting them out.

STEP 5. Glue the soles on the fabric. But before that, insert a piece of paper big enough between the fabric and the shoe to avoid the fabric from sticking to the shoe permanently because of whatever glue that will seep through.

STEP 6. Hem the top.

STEP 7. Repeat entire process to the other leg.

This is my second time making a step-by-step tutorial but I'm still having a hard time wording everything out *sweats*. So if there are any parts that aren't clear, feel free to drop a question and I'll answer as clearly as I can. :)

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