Newly blue shoes

I’m home! Technically this project was finished before I went on holiday, but I saved it for this weeks’ post because I knew I wouldn’t get a chance to do anything else while I was away.



I found this pair of 1960’s shoes in a vintage store in Wellington a few weeks ago, and I really liked the shape. Unfortunately, the olive-ish/brown-ish colour made my feet look dead (too pale for that colour, apparently!) and doesn’t really go with anything I wear. So I bought myself some navy leather dye, and decided to give them a wee makeover. First, I removes the laces, then I scrubbed the shoes and rubbed them down with alcohol to clean them and remove any polish still clinging to them. I don’t know if that was the best way to do it, but the dye I chose didn’t come with a stripping medium (I found out later that some brands do). Once they were dry, I tested a small patch of dye on a hidden bit of the tongue. I was a bit worried that they would turn out green if the dye didn’t completely cover the existing colour, but it looked like a few layers would turn them navy.

20140225-173740.jpg After one coat- I was pretty sure I had ruined them at this point!

I painted them with about 4 layers of dye, giving each coat a chance to dry in the sun before applying the next one. I probably should have given them more time to dry, but I’m impatient, and I wanted to see what the final colour would look like.

20140225-174102.jpg Some Wellington sunshine, about time!

I was a bit disappointed with the finish on the shoes when they were dry, they had that slightly copper sheen that you get when you colour something in with a black or navy sharpie. However, once I gave them a good polish, that went away, and they became a lovely shiny navy. To finish them off, I used a navy grosgrain ribbon in place of the brown laces.

Pretty spiffy! And a much better colour against my pasty legs…

I wore them out for the first time on Friday night at Art Deco weekend, for a spot of dancing. They were pretty comfortable, and the smooth, hard soles were perfect for spinning on the brick footpaths we used as a dance floor! Art Deco weekend was amazing, as usual, though it got very hot on Saturday (35ish degrees! Ridiculous!) My Gin and Tonic Jasmine blouse had its first outing on Sunday, for the Gatsby picnic, and I wore my refashioned cloche all three days. I even managed to get Monsieur into a cravat! I think not wearing a tie was an appealing option, in that heat…

20140225-175126.jpg I even found a vintage car to match my outfit!

4 thoughts on “Newly blue shoes

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