Truly Outrageous

or truly CRAZY. You decide.

When I was about 12 years old, there was this like totally awesome, radical cartoon on TV. I never did get to see all the episodes because it aired on Sunday mornings and it revolved around a "new wave" girl band and if you remember anything about the 80s and fundamentalist Christianity, you'll remember that the two were diametrically opposed. I remember being allowed to purchase certain Jem & The Holograms items from my own money by my parents but only under duress.

Looking back, there's nothing "outrageous" about Jem other than the hair colors (I've had blue and pink hair!) & makeup (!) and by today's standards it's quite benign if a little "retro". I miss my Jem/Jerrica and Rio dolls with the Rock Backstager speaker case. If only I'd kept them... I can't believe how they kept their value. I'd love to have a complete set for my girls but I don't have the lettuce to make that happen with original dolls, so I'm turning to Hasbro's nemesis in the fashion doll world... Barbie.

Barbie is ubiquitous and you can pick them up at yard sales and thrift stores on the cheap. I'll also take donations of any that people want to get rid of! I plan on repainting and re-rooting their hair to make them into the entire cohort of Jem & the Holograms dolls. It's something I've never done before but it's along the same lines as Gundam modeling, so hey, it's worth a shot.

My girls are "over" regular Barbies, but my middle child LOVES collectible ones. So this should be a fun project to take on in between other more important things. Stay tuned for more fun posts on this topic.

Cinderella's slippers


I'm not entirely thrilled with them, but for a first attempt, they are quite passable. They look a wee bit strange in the toes, but she who will be wearing them pronounces them "SOFTIE INSIDE". Win?

On to the how to...

I followed the instructions in the book as closely as possible, all things considered. Some of the instructions didn't make ANY sense at all, so I had to wing it. I think my biggest issue was lack of a decent last. When I make a different pair, I will definitely make a better last.

The patterns cut out on card stock

The guts cut out

The guts sewn together

The uppers sewn together

The uppers on the last

The finished product

I didn't have a heel counter, so the heels are a liiiiitle soft but I can remedy that by using the fabric stiffener. I used craft foam for the soles instead of leather or suede since these are costume and not to be worn outside. The toes could have been smoother and I think it's becuase the fabric wasn't long enough in the toe area.

Mama needs a new pair of shoes!

Actually, middle child needed a new pair of shoes to go with a "denim-wear" outfit. And as these things normally go, we don't have a "spare" pair of shoes for me to cover in denim and I'm not going to the store to buy a NEW pair to cover(!) and the realization came at midnight and nothing was open.... What's a mom to do?

Crafty moms cover shoes. Crazy moms MAKE shoes. Yes. Make. Shoes. [cue ominous music]

Theoretically, it is NOT hard. I had all the supplies on hand because I wanted to make me a pair of shoes and never got around to it. So how does it work this shoe-making thing? When I first got it into my head about 18 months ago to make shoes for myself, I googled and found this book:
Image Courtesy of
Click on the picture to go to the author's website
and Craig Corvin's blog. For the record, I have received no compensation from anyone related to either the blog or the book.

To start making shoes you need a last (foot-shaped thingy). This is the foundation that you will build the upper (fabric part of shoe) on. Since it was in the middle of the night and I didn't want to cast my kid's foot in plaster while she slept, I used the next best thing... A pair of shoes she pronounced "a smidge too small". This turned out to be excellent because by building the last around the shoes, I was able to make them a smidge larger. Win/Win as far as I'm concerned.

To make the lasts, I used a product called "Rigid Wrap" plaster cloth. Basically it's like what they use to put a cast on these days, only plaster instead of fiberglass. Cut it, get it wet, apply to form, VOILA! Since I didn't want to ruin the shoes forever, I wrapped them in cling film (aka saran wrap) and plastered only the uppers, leaving the sole free. Once the plaster stuff had dried pretty well, I cut the cling film off the shoes and popped them out. I had to stuff them with plastic grocery sacks and then plaster over that to make them solid enough to build on. I let them dry overnight and then wrapped the plaster casts in cling film because I'll be working with water and fabric stiffener later and water + plaster = mess.

Here is the result of my progress so far:
size 12 shoes, size 12+ lasts.