Introduction: Dingy to Darling-canvas Shoe Remodel
I had dingy white tennis shoes that fit well. I wanted some easy, comfy slip-on shoes to wear around the house. This is how I changed the white lace up shoes to dark gray slip on shoes. You will need some basic embroidery and crochet skills for this project. The usual equipment like scissors, large and small, crochet hook, embroidery needles, fabric glues and marking pencils will also be needed. I used cotton fabric and cotton embroidery thread.
The first thing I did was wash the shoes. I put them in the wash machine with a load of rags. The insole was loose in one, which was part of the reason I wanted to work on the shoes.
Then I took them apart. I pulled the remaining insole out and set them aside. Then I used tiny embroidery scissors to cut the stitches and remove the thread. I also removed the bias trim around the heel of the shoe. Save all parts as you remove them. They may come in handy later.
I used a doubled length of perle cotton, and the holes in the shoe from the original stitching and did a blanket stitch around the front of the shoe. Use a sharp, sturdy embroidery needle with a large eye. Begin and end the threads with a few back stitches on the lining of the shoe. Be careful those stitches do not show on the right side.
I dyed them dark gray to make sure the dingy stains did not show. Of course, use dedicated containers and utensils and follow the directions on the dye packet. Only cotton fibers will dye well. I also dyed some perle cotton red for use on these shoes.
Next I decided which fabric to use to cover the insoles. I definitely wanted cotton, and I wanted it to coordinate with the cotton thread I dyed. Use a fabric marking pencil or pen to mark the shape of the back part of the shoe. Use the cut off portion to mark the corresponding part of the other shoe. Remember, shoes are a mirror image of each other. Cut off all unwanted shoe sections.
Now I used the dyed cotton thread to do the blanket stitch around the heel of the shoe. I started and ended the thread on the front of the shoe to help connect the front to the back. You will have to make your own holes here, so use a sharp needle.
Using the perle cotton and a size B crochet hook, I did a pattern of 1double crochet in the first blanket stitch,* chain 1, skip one blanket stitch, double crochet in next blanket stitch*, repeat from * to * around back of shoe, ending with a double crochet. End off thread. Leave a tail for ending stitches.
On the front part of the shoe I did a single crochet in each blanket stitch around the front. Chain 1, turn. Single crochet in each stitch of the previous row. Skip the occasional stitch at the inner curves of the shoe front so it does not get puckery. Chain 1, turn. The next row I wanted lacy and a little ruffle. I did a chain 3, single crochet in next single crochet across the front. End off. Leave a tail for ending stitches.
Back stitch all thread ends into lining of shoe. Make sure no stitches show on the outside.
Thread 1/4" ribbon onto a needle and weave it in and out between the double crochets around the back. I went over one, under two, so two double crochets show on outside of shoe. Cut the ends of ribbon off long and use fabric glue that will not soak through the fabric to glue the ribbon ends down into the shoe.
In the mean time, use the insoles to create pieces to cover them with. Select the fabric you want to use. Lay it face down and lay the insoles face down. Make sure there is at least one inch of fabric around each insole. Draw around each insole with a fabric marker. Mark one inch around the insole. Cut out the insole liner. Tack it in place on the top of the insole with a little glue around the edge.
Turn the pieces over. Cut radiating lines around the piece to the insole. Using strong white glue, fold over the edges of the insole lining and glue in place on the bottom of the insole.
My first inclination was to shove the toe of the insole into the shoe and work the heel in from there. I was not pleased with the results. Instead, I started with very carefully placing the heel in place and the gradually working the rest of the insole in, finishing with the toe. I gently folded the insole toe back and eased it in until the toe set in place. This should be glued in place, but practice putting it in without the glue mess.
They are ready to wear.