Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to Finish Needlepoint Shoes

How to Finish Needlepoint Shoes

While many stitchers enjoy making needlepoint shoes; they may find the finishing process complicated and a little frustrating. Some are even afraid that their excellent stitching might be ruined or look unprofessional if they try to finish needlepoint shoes on their own. High-quality results can be achieved without the services of an expensive professional finisher as long as you are willing to invest time and use a few simple shoe-making and sewing techniques.




    Remove the completed needlepoint from frames or stretcher bars. Use tracing paper to make a pattern for a left and right heel, and left and right toe. Measure 1/2 inch from the last row of needlepoint stitches and draw a line around each shoe piece. Cut out the patterns and set aside.


    Make a left and right shoe pattern for the rubber insoles by laying the outer soles (foot-beds) on top and drawing an outline of each one. Cut out the foam-rubber patterns and set aside.


    Place the heel and toe patterns onto the Ultra Suede lining fabric and stiff interfacing, and trace around each. Repeat for the foam-rubber patterns for the lining fabric only, adding 1/2 inch-seam allowance for each shoe.


    Cut out the stitched needlepoint pieces with a generous amount of blank canvas around each one. Stuff a pair of sneakers or flat shoes with socks until firm, and place on top of a padded ironing board.



    Block the heel and toe pieces over the sneakers. Spray each piece of needlepoint with water. Match the left and right toe section to the left and right sneaker and pin to the lower front rubber edge beginning at the center. Stretch and spray as you pin to one side. Return to the center and pin to the other side. Use the same process for the heel sections.


    Spray the needlepoint again, stretching upward as you attach each sneaker toe and heel to the top. Ease out any fullness as you work around the toe and heel until the needlepoint rests snugly against the sneaker. Spray again with water. Allow to dry for 24 to 48 hours.


    Block the Ultra Suede lining pieces in the same manner, using steam instead of water.



    Sew the interfacing to the wrong side of each needlepoint piece. Pin the lining fabric to the needlepoint with right sides together. Machine-stitch a 1/8-inch seam in the needlepoint from the instep around the top of the each shoe section. Make several clips in the seam allowance up to the needlepoint. Turn inside out and smooth. Top-stitch the needlepoint and lining together as close as possible to the joined edge. Turn under the unfinished edges and steam until flat. Do not stitch.


    Baste around the insole lining pieces. Pin to foam insoles and gather the thread slightly to fit. Gently press the edges under with a steam iron and let dry. Glue the lining to the wrong side of the insoles as close to the edge as possible. When dry, cut excess lining material to prevent bulkiness.


    Pin the bottom unfinished toe and heel sections to the inner soles as if for blocking. Carefully insert each foot into the pinned shoe and adjust for comfort. Steam press seam allowances so they fold under the foam insoles. Remove pins and carefully glue the pieces together. Let dry thoroughly.


    Place a sufficient amount of glue on top of each outer sole, making sure to cover the edges without spilling any on the sides. Do the same for the bottom of the assembled inner sole and press firmly together. Hold in place until the glue bonds; insert both feet into the shoes and stand in place for several minutes to bond completely.

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