Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Party Prep

I haven't sewn a skirt for a couple of days. I hope to catch up this weekend, but right now I'm in the middle of party prep. On Tuesday I will be having four women and their 8 teenaged daughters over for a sewing bee and Mother-Daughter Spring Lunch. The girls will be participating in The Hundred Skirts Project and making a skirt each. I've been planning the menu, table setting and making the thank-you goodie bags for the girls as well as setting up tables, machines, cutting mats, tools and such. I love the Grandmother Apron fabrics from the 30s as well as the table linens from the 40s, so I'll be using those as my inspiration for the table decor and party favors. I also wanted to have a little gift for the mothers. I decided to make vintage baby shoe pincushions for them. I have some adorable vintage shoes in my craft stash so I dug those out and started dinking around. I had so much fun making the shoes below. I thought I would go ahead and offer a tutorial in case you'd be interested in making some of your own. They make great little gifts for a seamstress. Would also be adorable as baby shower game prizes.

Vintage Baby Shoe Pincushion Tutorial

Step One - Secure a vintage baby shoe. These are getting harder and harder to come by as various magazines, craft books and style shows have been featuring them in a variety of crafts and home decor applications in recent years. You can find them on Ebay, but the bidding can get pricey at times. They can also be found in antique stores, auctions, garage sales and thrift shops. I found the shoes below at a Salvation Army. They weren't what I consider cheap at $5.50 a pair. But when I figure that the rest of the supplies for the craft are coming from my stash, that's only $2.25 for a hand-crafted pincushion. I think the basic starter tomato pincushions are at least that!

Step Two - Clean shoe if necessary. I prefer to leave mine looking a little rustic, but some gals like them nice and buffed and polished. You can remove the shoelaces and substitute ribbon if you prefer. I think the tiny baby laces are so sweet and left mine in. Stuff shoe firmly with fiberfill. If you are a purist, you will want to fill yours with emery sand or horsehair instead.

Step Three - Cut a square of your chosen fabric large enough to cover fiberfill and tuck deeply around edges of shoe. Fill with fiberfill. Make a poofy little "ice cream cone" scoop shape with it. Tuck it into the top of the shoe, pushing the fabric edges down into the shoe and rounding things nicely at the open top of the shoe. If necessary, you can run a bead of glue around the edge to hold things in place.

Step Four - Tuck in a bit of vintage lace, rickrack or other trim around the edge. I like the look of the lace because it looks like the shoe has one of those cute ruffled and lace-trimmed socks in it.

Step Five - Embellish your shoe as desired. Bits of millinery, buttons, beads, jewels, pearls, tiny charms and keys. Anything the magpie in you has collected and has laying around the house. Attach with craft glue.

Step Six - Add a sprinkle of straight pins and a little papercrafted tag.

ENJOY!!! You can also turn these into sachets by filling the toe with lavender, potpourri or your favorite scented filler.


Anonymous said...

Very, very cute! I like your tutorials!

Your lavender sachet idea gave me another idea: Stuff the toe of your pincushion with some lavender before adding the fiberfill. Lavender is a natural moth repellent, so that's probably a good thing in our sewing rooms! Lavender also promotes calmness, which be good too!

Alexandra said...

Wow, what a neat idea! I love your pincushions! Great tutorial, as always - thank you!

Sequana said...

I'm so excited about this. I have my very OWN baby shoe just sitting out there on my dresser. This will be such fun to actually use it again. *S*....It's 68 yrs old now.

Anonymous said...

That is soooo adorable! I LOVE that idea! Karin

Tex said...

So cute. And what a great way to re-cycle and preserve baby shoes in the family.

Melissa said...

Those are so dang cute!!!

The Gathering Room said...

Nicely done! Cindy

Anonymous said...

WOW I FOUND IT !!!!!!!!! have been looking for days and days trying to find something for baby shower favors for my nieces shower[shes having twins]i do not know how to the norm,and this will be so nice,better hit the thrift stores lol thanks so much for sharing