Monday, January 31, 2011

Lebrechaun (socks and shoes) ** Contains incidental artistic nudity!

 Thought that we would start by showing the finished piece so you can see where we are going and how we are getting there.
 The socks are a nice faded cotton print. I cut a piece to fit from the knee to the ankle with enough extra to add wrinkles. I tend to mark all my cutting in place as I go rather than use a pattern.
A thin layer of Fabri-tac is applied to the front and sides of the legs then the cloth is stretched around the leg and wrinkles are worked into it before the glue sets. If you use too much the glue will seep through the cloth and leave a shiny, wet spot in your cloth. Not an issue if you are distressing the clothing later.
 The inside of the back seam is glued flat. I mark the seam on the back side of the outside edge of the sock and extra cloth is trimmed off the outside edge allowing for a 1/8" seam.
 The 1/8" extra is folded under and glued in place. This can be hand sewn but my hands just can't do this minuet work any more. Make sure the stripes line up if you use a pattern in the cloth.
 Finished sock.
His shoes are made of black glove-grade leather which is much thinner than clothing leather or carving leather.
The heel is a simple arc (left one) which has the top edge turned and glued down to make a point which will lay on the tendon of the heel (right one). *The suede side of leather can be held together with Fabric-tac. If you join the finished sides of leather together, you will need another type of glue. I use super glue to attach to the polished side of a hide.

The heel is glued and stretched in place so the excess on the bottom wraps around to the sole of the foot.
 The upper is just a square with a tab. The tab side is again turned under and glued so there is no raw edge.
 This is laid on the top of the foot with the tab running up the ankle. It is glued in place and the leather is stretched around to the bottom of the foot. * Make sure the sock is covered so it looks like it runs all the way into the shoe.
Extra leather is trimmed off the bottom so there are no overlaps on the sole.
A set of strips are cut for buckle straps. the edges are all turned under and glued.
 Soles are made of carving leather which is cut to fit using the the foot as a pattern. In this case they are Elk hide. The heels are built up with layers or leather cut to fit and glued with super glue.
The soles are glued to the shoes. The buckle strap has been glued to the top of the shoe on one end in case I want to slip a metal buckle on before I finish them.
The shoes will be stitched, dirtied, and distressed later in the dressing process.
Thanks for viewing, have a great day!


  1. I love your process for the shoes! Where do you get your leather? I'm not familiar with carving leather, tho I have worked with glove leather. I also didn't know about using crazy glue for the shiny side of leather. Thank you!
    I make my dolls from cloth, so my process for shoes is a bit different, but I appreciate how this is done, so I can tweak what I do already. Can't wait to see how you distressed them!

  2. Looks fantastic! Can't wait to see the next step:)

  3. Love the shoes!
    You are opening our minds to such wonderful possibilities.

    Thank you Mark!

    xxx Morena

  4. Love the shoes!

    Mark, I emailed you through your web site but I'm afraid it ended up n your spam folder. it was titled "Water"

  5. I can't stop myself from commenting on each and every one of your posts. I just wish you knew how grateful I am to you, Mark.

  6. Must be the Irish in my blood because I just love this little guy! Love the tips on shoes and dressing the full sculpts, too! Can be very challenging, but you're making it look so easy and I know it is not! Thanks bunches, Mark! I'm learning so much from you!