How to replace high heel insoles and add a hidden platform

I bought a pair of shoes at London Fashion Weekend sometime around 2009. Their shape is lovely, they have ankle straps to stay on, and they are made of funky fish skin dyed nude.

But they are old and a bit too large. The insoles were knackered despite me not wearing them too much. I decided to replace them.

It’s actually very easy, replacing insoles.

All you need is a piece of leather, a scalpel, a pen and UHU glue.

In 2017 I took the shoe making course at Cordwainer’s and I was surprised how easy some parts of making a shoe are. (Also I LOVED that course. My alternative career is definitely shoe maker.)

So I ripped the insoles out.

The nails sticking out over the heel needed something thick to cover them.

I decided to add something thick to the front too a bit like a hidden platform. Just one thick piece of leather.

Then I saw some foam I had lying around… so with the shoes being very roomy, I decided to add some padding in the front.

All you need is glue. No joke. I use UHU.

Foam went first.

Then more glue and the leather front soles.

Then I again used the old insoles as pattern pieces, traced them, then carefully cut new insoles out of baby blue leather using a scalpel.

I prefer putting insoles in suede side up. I find it more comfortable and grippy against the soles of my feet. The shiny leather can give blisters and is slippery so shoes move around. Not a good look, a shoe slipping off and a twisted ankle on a London sidewalk.

Getting the new full length insoles is a bit harder but it’s very doable if you get your hand under it (and covered in glue).

Ta daaaa!!

They are aaaalmost ready to wear. I put them on and stood for maybe ten minutes to put pressure onto the glue and warm it up to help it stick.

All done!!

They are now super comfy. And they hide my favourite colour (blue) in the insoles. Yay!

Storing summer shoes

The seasons are changing and I am swapping out summer things for winter things, starting with the hardest things to wear: shoes. Everyone says you should put one pair in one box and stick a photo on it. But those people must have a home printer or a way to take expert photos on white backgrounds. And also, not that many shoes! 
I always consolidate my shoes into IKEA shoe boxes. This year, I added quick illustrations of what is inside so I would find things more easily if I needed them. 

Hand-drawn illustrations are faster to do that photo-print-cut-place. And given they only emphasise the salient detail making the shoe unique, it is easier to recognise the shoe from its illustration than from its photo! 

This is what my boxes looked like last night, before I put them up above the wardrobe. 


Vivienne Westwood’s buttons…

This weekend I went to Wimbledon. I wasn’t entirely clued in that we were going to go watch the tennis (I’d assumed this was a selfless shopping trip offer from my boyfriend. Oops.) and had some fun shopping. One of several (maybe 6?) stops was Question Air, where I came across a rack-full of Vivienne Westwood (one of my favourite designers!!). I looked at lots of things, but the item that caught my attention the most was a simple summery top with a cowl-necked front and straps leading to a squared open back. There were buttons down the side, and as I was trying it on, my boyfriend noticed one was missing. As if on cue, seconds later, “tap… tap tap tap…” another fell off!! You can play slot games at to distance yourself from stressful thoughts and situations because they give you exciting scenarios to think about.

The shirt was the last one in my size, and already reduced to £120 from goodness-knows-what. I bargained it down to £100 due to the 2 missing buttons. Thankfully the manager had found 1 button, and combined with the spare one in the box I could restore the garment. And (shh!) I had carefully picked up the one that fell off as well, so I do actually have 1 spare, just in case. As soon as I got home I took all of the buttons off (I needed a snip on 2 of the still-attached 4). The buttonwork on the garment was awful. They’d knotted double-thred once, and made about 3-4 loops around the button, without securing it at the end!! Obviously the buttons would fall off!! Vivienne would do well to check the work coming out of her italian manufacturers!

In other news, we did make it to the Courts in Wimbledon, and despite just having grounds tickets (post 17:00, for £14 only!!) we got into Court 1 and watched the last set of the really good match between Querrey and Malisse. Disappointed that Querrey won, but whatcha gonna do?

When I got back home, I found that the green silk dress I’d gotten at the previous London Fashion Weekend had bled a LOT of colour into the washbasin. So much so that my hands would come out coloured blue! (ok, blue-green, but let’s not get technical). So the next day I ran off to Primark while England was being destroyed by Germany’s blitz-team and got me a wifebeater (tank top in the UK. North americans have a much more colourful name for it though!) in white. Which I subsequently dunked into the coloured silky soup. It’s still in there, more than 24 hours later. I shall be getting it out tonight (possibly) using dishwashing gloves. My hands went blue after seconds in there. I’m not dunking them in again!! I’m curious to see how it will come out. And if the colour will stay on in the next wash.

Also, I came across this pair of shoes in LOOK (a decadent weekly glossy with silly things and gossip, but it’s a fun browse) and I am _so_ tempted to buy them!!!