Sunday, December 10, 2017

Upcycle with me - bringing life to an old pair of Bodyline shoes

Finally! I have been putting off this project for years. I can't believe I have done it! I had been always aggressive in practicing sustainable and ethical fashion for my personal style and my brand, Dorotee Sweetlips for years and years. My friends can attest to this because I kind of infected them into the lifestyle. hehe 

 Almost 10 years ago, people would frown on the idea of "recycled" or "thrifted". I remember receiving unpleasant remarks from people I don't even know. But maybe that was 10 years ago - I was young and surrounded by the wrong people. But times have changed! How fancy it would be to think that perhaps I was just ahead of my time and I'm kind of giving myself a high five right now for holding on to my values. I'm glad I believed in myself. :) 

 A friend from Fashion Revolution PH approached me weeks ago if I was willing to participate for #MakeSMTHNGweek. It is an online collective activity to make a noise and raise awareness about sustainable fashion. The mechanics are basically to create something whether your plan is to recreate iconic looks from your favorite celebrities out of ukay or diy clothes, accessories, etc.. I'm like "This is my forte! Bring it!" I immediately remembered about my sad shoes that I have been avoiding for a long time so I decided to finally roll my sleeves and breathe a new life to this pair.

I bought this pair in Bodyline around year 2008, I think? Almost 10 years! It has served me really well. Actually, I was considering of throwing these away already because let's admit it, it's good as garbage. Just look at it's state and be the judge.

The outsoles also went missing. I remember it falling apart on a photoshoot way back. I wish I was able to save them to minimize waste.

The outer layer of the faux leather has been peeling off so first step I did was to completely remove it by filing. It was a tedious and messy task that is why I kept on avoiding it. If you plan to do this on your old shoes, make sure to wear a mask and be patient because it would take time to remove everything and it will make your hands sore. It's so easy to just toss them. I had been tempted many times but I think about what happens to them if I throw them away. They could end up in the ocean and would really be damaging to marine life. I am no saint. It's really impossible to be waste free these days. However, not trying at all is a different story. Every small try to reduce your waste would help! 

Filing done! It took me a couple of days to finish because it's tiring! huhu I got it fixed too by a local shoe repair shop because the platforms were also falling apart. Kuya did a great job on repairing it. It's completely handsewn and it now has fresh new outer soles.

Next step was to seal the outer layer since it has become very powdery in touch because of the loose remnants of the outer material. I bought this Modge Podge in Shopee.

I applied two thin layers (with 1 hour interval to dry) using a sponge. I cut a small portion of the sponge we use for the dishes. Just a little idea you can do instead of buying a new one just for this project. I washed the sponge right after and stored it for future craft use.  

I needed a pair of black shoes so black it is! Hastily painted it in black because I will be covering it with see-through fabric later.

I chose this fabric scrap from a previous project to be my shoes' "new skin".  It's a chiffon fabric with embossed velvet details. Since my shoes have really ugly textures on it due to damage, I opted to hide it using textures too.

I covered the heels and the platforms first. I applied a generous amount of B-6000 on the surrounding edges, cut the excess neatly, folded it in, and glued.

Then I proceeded on covering the body of the shoes. It can be really tricky but at this point you can already see what it is becoming already. It was annoying to manipulate the fabric but I knew it was going to be worth it.

Cut excess fabric, slash, fold in and glue.

Done! As for the straps. I sewed a satin ribbon on top of it using a sewing machine. Original buckles were missing so I sewed a pair of new buckles that I had been keeping in my craft drawer.

Topped it off with a pair of velvet bows because bow is life! The insoles are not pretty lol but I don't mind.

Tadah! New pair and they will be serving me again tomorrow in a photoshoot. I have been invited to be one of the subjects for a student's thesis in eco-fashion and I'm happy to have produced something to add to her studies! These can't be worn in the rain though but it will be so useful for my lolita photoshoots, fashion shows and indoor events.