Long Fall Boots/Chell WIP


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This is a project of mine which has been on standby for a very long time, and as I'm finally starting on it all again I thought I would share what I'm doing as I go (as if there weren't enough Long Fall Boot threads out there already...). I've also got most of the parts for the rest of the get-up, so if people are interested in how I've done/am doing them then I can definitely post that too. I'm hoping posting as I go means I may actually finish this project, as I'm a serial project abandonner.

For the base of the boots, I started off with some stacked toe platforms. They're actually super-duper comfortable to walk in and easier than any other type of heel I have ever used. It also means walking around in the finished boots shouldn't be too hard at all. These fit the basic shape, and hopefully because I won't need any extra support for my weight at the back, the 'spring' will be mostly aesthetic and so pretty light.


These cost me a whopping £3.38 on eBay with free postage. The heel isn't too chunky (about an inch and a half wide at the back) and it's flat right the way down. They have a pleather kind of texture to them, which is pretty good because it's matte like the black surface on the actual boots.

My first move was to pull out all of the laces. It's actually possible to walk in them with no lacing at all, but it wasn't the most comfortable thing in the world, and provided a lot less ankle support. I tried out several different elastic-based ideas, before finally settling on lacing them up just the same as normal, except with some regular flat black elastic. I got the standard Hemline stuff, which is like £2 or something for a ridiculous amount. Hemline is the pink card packaging which you can get in basically every craft store ever (at least in the UK.)

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of this whole part, it's not exactly complex though. After lacing it all up, I checked I could get my feet in and stuck a few zig-zag stitches in the top ends of the elastic to hold them together, just to stop it all sliding back through with use. Something I noticed is that putting my feet in with both the elastic and the flappy tongue caught underneath it was really bloody annoying, and essentially served no purpose, so I pulled it out and hacked it off. There's literally no difference in comfort and support.

This is where it actually starts to get fun. To make the white upper on the boots (after much stress and research) I finally decided to use Wonderflex Fosshape. This stuff is magic, I swear to you. It feels like regular wadding, but under heat, it slowly hardens. God bless thermoplastic fibres. Also, because it's really just fancy wadding, you can sew it onto or under other fabrics, you can harden some parts and not others, and you can stretch it out, which is what I really chose it for, because cutting pattern pieces around curved things like foot arches is horrible and a torture not to be inflicted onto anybody. Finding Fosshape in the UK is a pain, but I got some in the end from Flints online. The heavier weight stuff (600gsm) is £26.40/metre plus postage. I kind of couldn't be bothered to search out my heat gun, so I fought with the steam iron for an age instead, and ended up with this:

Photo 19-09-2014 18 06 01.jpg

You get the idea though. At the beginning I thought it would be genius to steam it while actually wearing the shoe so it would account for the width of ankles/feet being in the shoes. It makes virtually no difference, and makes your life so much harder and your feet so much sweatier. I got away with no serious burns either. I only really hardened the lower portion of the fabric, where it needs to have real form; not so much over the lacing or ankles. It's worth mentioning that the surface you steam/whatever will go hard while still leaving the underneath soft and fluffy, so it will stick better and be more comfortable on the skin. I found gently brushing the surface of the iron over the fabric on the hottest setting gave a really nice smooth surface, but it does melt all the little fibres off onto the iron so remember to clean it and don't press down or hold it on too long. I just pinned it straight through to the shoe and steamed/ironed away. The fabric shrinks a little though while ironing, and it can shrink in around the pin if you push it in too far. Doing both of them probably took me 1.5-2 hours, but that included the learning curve of using the stuff

That picture was taken while the white 'shells' were gluing onto the body of the shoe, using Impex Original Hi Tack All Purpose Glue (£3.50). Basically just tacky glue, it sticks fairly aggressively to most stuff. I only glued around the base/platform part to allow a bit more movement.

You can see to the side of the boots the tongues I cut off before, and below them, the corner of some aluminium mesh. I should have cut slots for the mesh and stuck it on first, and I knew that at the time, but I was just really being lazy. I'll do it later on.

The part I have just done is cutting the shaping out around the toes for the first layer of the white upper. I just drew the shape on in pen and cut it out (the hardened plastic is soooo easy to cut just with regular paper scissors and leaves quite a neat edge).

Photo 21-09-2014 03 44 26.jpg

You can still see a bit of pen around the edge, but that'll get covered up later on.

Tomorrow I'm gonna try to at least get the mesh in, and have a look at finishing the shaping on that first layer and covering it.
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