The Red Shoes: L’Hermione Outfit Dress Diary, part 1


If you haven’t seen my summer update, you might not know that the Hermione, the replica of the Marquis De Lafayette’s ship that he sailed to America during the revolution, is going to be in New York at the beginning of July, and I’m working on a 1780 outfit for this event.  I bought a pair of Pemberley imperfects from American Duchess during their last spring cleaning sale, and hadn’t decided what to do with them until this project popped up!


18th Century Shoes, Chamberlain & Sons. Photo from Curating Fashion.

The design for these shoes is inspired in part by this pair of 18th century shoes.

I followed the American Duchess tutorial on how to decorate Pemberleys in a late 18th century style (for the most part).  I bought my shoe painting supplies at Manhattan Wardrobe Supply – leather preparer, paint, and acrylic finisher (the tutorial calls for a satin finish, but I went with the matte finish instead).  I bought both Fire Red and Chili Red – the difference is subtle, but I ended up going with the Chili Red.  It’s just a tinge hotter, which I like.  I decided I wanted to keep the heel white, so I taped them off with blue tape before painting.  The paint was a bit streaky, so I did about 3-4 coats on each shoe.  It still looks a LITTLE streaky, but if anyone is that close to my shoes while I’m wearing them, I have other problems.

IMG_2224For trim, I used two different widths of ivory Petersham ribbon (3/8″ and 5/8″) from Vogue Fabrics Store and a Martha Stewart glue pen (she makes the BEST craft supplies…particularly glitter) from Michaels.  I do have a feeling I’m going to have to touch up the glue job later, I’ve had this glue pen FOREVER.

Petersham ribbon is good for going around curves, but it does take a little convincing.  On the first shoe I glued the ribbon all the way around the inside of the opening, and then all the way around the outside, but because of the extreme curve of the front of the shoe this meant that my initial cut of ribbon was just a hair short (this wasn’t a problem in the end but still annoying) and it was kind of a pain to get the ends to stick down.  So for the second shoe I glued in segments – from the heel to the seam on one side of the shoe, then around the very curved front, and then back to the heel.  I held the segments in place using handy dandy Clover Wonder Clips (they’re intended for quilting but they’re SUPER USEFUL!)

Now all I have to do is have the patience to let them dry…

I also ordered some shoe clips so I can attach some frilly bits temporarily for this, and keep them relatively plain for Regency.


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