“Flights of Fancy” featured in Sew Hip #9

Two sets of butterflies and some smoking hot flames

Yikes! It’s been a while. Ok to celebrate the end of my winter’s hibernation I will do a few little catch up posts.
I think I may have gone a bit off-piste with this project (but I did have fun!).  I was walking around Leeds one day and I say a pair of gilded Adidas trainers by Jeremy Scott) in cage in a shop window, just like birds. I thought they looked so much fun, like wearing a fantasy on your feet. My family may have spoken to me during the rest of that day, I really couldn’t say*, I couldn’t wait to get home and start drawing and planning and designing and such.

The starting point was my childhood dream – I had long wished I could fly, but Mr Scott had already done birds….so how else could I soar … “What do I want to be today?” – a dragon, a butterfly, a bat? Fire, Hokusai’s Great Wave? OK I know those last two don’t strictly involve wings, but I was on a roll – and besides, catching a wave is the nearest thing to flying I can physically imagine.

So then the practicalities, what should it be made from? Well, something that doesn’t fray would seem appropriate, so felt, in layers to give it some body, was chosen.

How big? A quick examination of the lace up trainers in our house showed that the hole spacings were all very different. But I have a soft spot for Converse High Tops, and Sew Hip had asked for the project to be sized for children, so I popped into our local shoe shop where a very patient lady and her team have fitted shoes on my children since they each began to walk. The kind soul must’ve thought me completely batty, but did allow me access to her rather extensive stock of Converse for children so I could measure the lacing spacing. (Thank you so much Yarna at “Soley Kids” in S-O-T).

Then we came back, and I cut and stitched to my heart’s content, and generally had more fun with felt than I ever knew  could  be possible (I know, I’m easily pleased).  And don’t forget the sequins and beads and such – auditioning the trimmings is a very important part.

It was nice to see how they looked laced into the shoes back at the shop though!

These are quite easy to make and if you hated sewing then you could just glue the the layers together and use fabric pens for adding the details to make them even easier (update 29/4/10 – Threadbanger has a great project showing how to do this exact thing- go Threadbanger!).  So really, there is no excuse not to make a pair of your own, you know you want to – go for it – PIMP YOUR CONVERSE!!

* don’t worry gentle reader, they tend to squeak a lot if I don’t feed and water them regularly so I’m pretty sure they didn’t suffer – poor little felt orphans!