Fifty pairs of slippers: an A&S 50 project

4/10/11 - Pair #1 - Finito!...

They are done at last and just lovely--even if I do say so myself.

Not that I think they are without problems: let's face it--comparing shoe to shoe--the painting and stitching are both uneven, and the patterns are closer to being cousins than twins. But I learned lots and they look great.

Really great! (Whee!)

Slippers #1

4/2/11 - Update on Pair #1 - Nearly done...

The most wonderful part of my new A&S shoe project, so far, is rediscovering the amazing change that can be wrought with just a small investment of time. Witness:

my new slippers-in progress

I abandoned the appliqué plan because the itty-bitty pieces were just too small for me to make from the white linen I have on hand. I considered felt, but since I had none in the house, and I was also all out of patience, I ended up doing the white pattern with a paint pen and then doing the ornamental stitching in split-stitch with the same red crochet cotton I had used for the braided edge.

I've put off finishing the second shoe of the set so that I could include in-progress photos.

Stay tuned for the final results!
3/28/11 - Ideas for Pairs #2 & #3
Pair #2 -

I've been wanting to try beaded embroidery for a while: I'm thinking my proposed device on the toe of each shoe, using the method show here:

which comes from the work of  THL Grizel (MKA Jen Funk Seagrist) at this site:

Pair #3 -

I've been wanting to try split-stich since I first saw the work of Her Ladyship, the Honorable Maîtresse Sabine du Bourbonnais, at this site:


So, pair 3 will probably be my device again, but in split-stich.
3/28/11 - Pair #1

I belong to the A&S 50 Challenge group in Yahoo groups and not so long ago I noticed a post about a challenger who had made a how-to video  regarding an edging I'd often been curious about. Turns out it is way easier than I ever imagined!  (Go look at and you'll see what I mean.) For my first pair I am thinking to retain the original cut of the shoes but add the edging in red, then a nice pattern in white applique and red couching on the toe, and maybe a bit on the heel...Sounds good!

Don't worry, I'm not abandoning my pavilion project. I just need to intersperse a few little things I can finish as I go along with the big project.

3/27/11 - Pair #1

As I have mentioned, I am preparing to attend the Pennsic War this summer. It will be my very first time--after years of reading and dreaming about it--and I am so excited. And also kinda terrified. I don't know that I will ever feel truly ready but I've been working on my encampment, and my wardrobe, and my device, and Clarence's wardrobe, and Clarence's device, and Jessie's wardrobe, and Jessie's device, and Luke's device,  and .....

Lately I've been thinking about shoes.

I used to work at a Renaissance festival in my youth and I know from experience that wet feet make for a truly miserable camping experience. I already have a couple of pairs of leather slippers which I am happy with for indoor events, but they aren't terribly good for the outdoors and two pairs just isn't enough! So I need more shoes.

Of course this lead me to thinking about shoes, and how much fun it would be to combine my creation of a shoe wardrobe with an Arts and Sciences 50 project...voila! I am going to make 50 pairs of shoes!

OK, I really mean I am going to create 50 passably period or peri-oid sets of footwear of some kind. I'd like a pair of felt slippers--preferably heraldic--and some chopines, of course. I hope to eventually make some shoes from scratch but to start I am simply going to alter store-bought pairs of shoes.

Starting with these:

I have huge girly feet (12 wide) so this pair of men's (10 1/2 E) canvas shoes that I found at wall mart fit me just fine. Plus the $10 price tag for a relatively inoffensive pair of shoes is hard to beat  I could wear them as is...but what would be the fun in that!?!

Shoe project #1 is to ornament  a pair of slippers with applique and a period faux-braid edging detail I have never tried.