I know this is a predictably girly thing to say but, “I am addicted to shoes!”. So when the lovely Amanda Luisa invited me to one of her workshops I jumped at the chance. Amanda began making shoes back in her native Australia where she developed a modern method of shoemaking, incorporate the same quality and strength of more traditionally made shoes, only without the use of heavy machinery. This approach to shoe making gave her the freedom to start making shoes from home and in 2010 ‘I CAN make shoes’ was born!
I CAN make shoes now run a series of bespoke shoemaking workshops and I am taking part in ‘Up-Cycle Your Shoedrobe’. So first thing is to decide which shoes I’d like to overhaul. Amanda recommends starting with a pair that aren’t to battered or even a pair that you’ve never worn and I’m ashamed to say I have the perfect pair!
I bought these gorgeous Character shoes about 4 years ago because they reminded my of a beautiful pair my mum had when I was little, one of two pairs ( the other being bottle green snake skin with a t-bar and gold chain) that I hold responsible for kick starting my fascination with shoes! So it is ridiculous that they have never been worn.
The next step is to try to decide how I’m going to pimp them out! Amanda is on hand with an Aladdin’s cave of trimmings for me to rifle through.
Tools of the trade!
Oodles of trimmings!
I’m rather set on lace, having fallen in love with a splendid black and white pair made at a previous workshop and Amanda is wonderfully patient whilst I mess about draping Lace and trailing beads, but after having a play around it becomes apparent that lace isn’t going to work as well as we’d like with these shoes. So back to the drawing board. The really great thing about this course is the opportunity to create something all your own and Amanda is on hand to make sure you really get the most out of your shoes! After discounting a rather ambitious plan to cover them, chandelier like in little beads, I finally settle on some beautiful vintage fur pompoms.
Sewing the pompoms.
Getting ready to glue.
Amanda suggests changing up the little buttons for gold buckles and adding a black sued section to the strap, which we then go on to match up with a black stripe down the heel. It’s so exciting to see the new shoes taking shape!
The finished Shoes! Woop!
I am totally delighted! I think they look rather grand and can’t wait to rock them out with some grey ribbed tights, roll on Autumn! It’s been a fantastic day and I leave with my wonderful new shoes, feeling very inspired to really make the most out of my wardrobe.
Amanda runs a variety of workshops to suit every taste and pocket and today sees the launch of the I CAN make shoes, ‘Sandal Making for Beginners’ eBook. Available in their on-line store and downloadable as an interactive eBook the book is a fully isustrated guide on how to make sandels from home. And all for £4.98!