Thursday, February 3, 2011

well shod

a bijou pair of heels for my friend's birthday

Inspired by the 18th century heels that graced the feet of Madame de Pompadour,  clickety-clacked through the marbled corridors of many a Palais Royalle  & soaked up the feverishly stimulating atmosphere of stylish salons. 

I got to draw around my friend's feet when she placed them elegantly on the floor from her bed from whence she had been wracked with feverish visions & tormented by the pain that coursed through her body. This therefore was a brief respite.

My friend had been quite poorly and loves a good shoe, so thought she might appreciate cheering up that came in a form that fitted her tootsies.
I decided that though on Bali in Ubud the weather mostly prohibits the use of such footwear, it needn't hinder the ability to possess or the eye to gaze on delectable objects of frippery.

So the midnight oil burned.

I hand-matched & hand-stitched the fabric for the tongue and toe of the shoes. This took 3 nights in a row until 3am, as the stitches had to be practically invisible.

The fabric was a batiked scarf, & the pieces that matched were quite small & irregular in size when cut out.  Eventually 2 front pieces were ready, silk binding cut on the bias & Iyan the shoe-maker came over. I gingerly & sheepishly handed him the pieces as this was my first ever shoe project. Off he went down to the shoe factory where a last for my friend's foot was hand-carved from a piece of wood. 

One week later the shoes say I was happy would be an understatement.

So the midnight oil burned again as I cut and hand-stitched eyelet holes,       hand-stitched the bow fabric, and made a suitable box  in which to present the feet frippery.

My friend smiled when she opened up the box. 


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  2. Im now a follower Simon. And love those shoes—how Mme Pompadour!!!

  3. As a reenactor of 18th century, WOW they are beautiful. How special to have a friend as you.

  4. Thanks Liz. Used to work for many years in theatre & costume. They were made in Bali where I spend alot of my time now.