Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Doll boots, part two

Yesterday I showed you how I prepare a doll for boots by reshaping its feet with epoxy.  Today it's finally time to make those boots!

My dress boot pattern has three main parts--the leg, the toe and the heel.  All three of these parts will be cut from hand dyed sheepskin skiver. 
I always start with the leg section.  Swagger tabs are not as common on dress boots as they are on field boots, but I like the way they look so I went ahead and added them.
I wrap the leg section around the doll's leg and carefully sew the sides together.  The goal is to get the stitches as close to the edges as possible and for the seem to be completely flat.
Once that's done, I cover the seem with a piece of 1/8" kangaroo lace which has been skived to paper thinness.   
I also glue the bottom of the leg piece to the doll's foot making sure it's not so tight that she can't put her heels down. 
Onto the toe section!  I cut out the piece and skive all the way around the edges leaving only the middle untouched. 
I glue the piece onto the doll's foot, making sure the little cut out goes right in the front center of the boot. 
Because I skived those edges, I should be able to fold the extra under the boot and glue it into place without any bulky lumps.
 The heel section is glued on next... 
Once again, the overhanging edge is turned under and glued in place.
I stand the doll on a piece of lightweight tooling leather, and trace around her foot to create the boot's sole. 
The sole is then cut out and its edges are treated with gum tragacanth.  I use this sole as a template to cut out two little heel pieces, glue everything in place and... 
Ta da--boots!
They're not perfect, of course, but I'm quite pleased with my day's work.  The boots fit nicely and allow the doll to flex her ankle when riding.
As a bonus--she also stands well! 
All she needs is a pair of spurs and she will be ready for the show ring!

20 comments:

  1. Oh. My. God. You are amazing!!!!!

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  2. They are fantastic. So realistic.

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  3. Thank you for this awesome and helpful tutorial! :D I am going to try it out.

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  4. I knew I needed to buy some apoxie sculpt. I have been carving the feet into boot shapes but that makes them smaller. Thanks for the tips, I may need to rewrite my boot making tutorial soon :)

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  5. "Perfect" or not, those are easily the best doll boots I have ever seen.

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  6. I've made boots without reshaping the feet first, and let me tell you--this is so much easier! I remember spending entire days on boots in the past and most of that time was devoted to the foot section. In contrast, these boots took maybe three hours, and the feet were the easiest part. Just glue and fold, glue and fold!

    And Anna--thanks so much for saying that but... I own a doll with a pair of field boots by Corinne Ensor and those boots are WAY nicer than these!

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  7. Wow, that's really useful - thanks for sharing! Whatever you say about them, they amaze me :)

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  8. What kind of glue do you suggest for glueing leather to apoxie?

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  9. I used Aleene's Super Thick Tacky Glue for all parts of this project. I don't know how the leather/epoxy bond will hold up long term, but honestly, I'm not worried. Every piece of leather ends up being glued to another piece of leather. The only real reason for gluing the leather to the foot is to make things easier during construction.

    Hope this helps!

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  10. You absolutely nailed it! And SEWING up the back seam instead of gluing is a stroke of genius!

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  11. Wow! Those are absolutely awesome - thank you for sharing your technique!

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  12. I am chuckling... here I exerted some brainpower wondering just how you guys were able to pull boots on over the doll's clothing and make them look so nice, and you've been busy GLUING THEM ON! LOL! Never thought of that solution. I have to say, out of all the tack how-to's I've read here so far, this is one project I know I'd be able to tackle. Maybe I can start a business "just" making boots for dolls! :-) Although I'm sure field boots are a whole lot trickier...

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  13. woo they're amazing ! :D Very good tutorial ! I tryed to make boots for my rider, for the moment I just did one and it's less realistic than you xD

    Gaëlle, from France.

    www.haras-du-chateau.skyrock com

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  14. Keep trying, Gaelle. It really does get easier with practice. My first boots took forever and looked terrible. The trick is to use really good, really thin leather and to really take your time shaping the feet. Good luck!

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  15. is there any possible way to make a boot like this that you dont have to use epoxy on their feet and glue on the boot?

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    1. There are as many ways to make boots as there are bootmakers! This method works well for me. If you want to do something else, you should.

      :)

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  16. How do you get the boots off the dolls? I have a couple of breyer dolls with full length plastic boots, and I have *no* clue how to remove them.

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    1. I have a beautiful Indian Dal with a beautiful white leather Fringed and beaded dress but she has nothing on her feet I have been trying to figure out how to make a pattern to give her some fringed Indian type style moccasin boots... Do you have any ideas and I probably won't want to glue them on the doll... Maybe you can figure out a pattern to

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