3D Printed Shoes. Yes, I said 3D Printed Shoes!

Attention all fellow shoe-problem sufferers (including those who carry bags from Browns that say “Yes, I have a shoe problem. No, I don’t need help.”): You’re about to have a 3D printer problem.

Have you seen some of the designs for 3D printed shoes? They’ve been kicking around for a couple of years (see what I did there?) but I thought it was worth sharing a few pics here for your viewing pleasure.

This is one of the first 3D-printed shoe collections I was aware of — the ‘Exoskeleton’ shoe series by designer Janina Alleyne from 2012. Clearly not a walking-friendly shoe, but a breathtaking design!

Exoskeleton shoe by Janina Alleyne

Exoskeleton shoe by Janina Alleyne

Recognize the shoe below? It’s a Fluevog (I have a version of this shoe with an ankle strap and LOOOVE it.) Some folks with a company called The 3D Printer Experience did an experiment to see if they could replicate the shoe but in the end had to ask Fluevog to share their digital design files with them, because the scanning process didn’t work as well as they’d hoped. If you’re not familiar with how the ‘replicator-like’ process of 3D printing works, it actually involves a 3D scanner that can make a digital file of a 3-dimensional object that can then be printed using melted plastic that is ‘printed’ layer by layer…at least in theory. Complex objects are of course challenging to scan and print.

3D printed replicant of Fluevog's Queen Transcendant shoe

3D printed replicant of Fluevog’s Queen Transcendent shoe

Here’s the original shoe:

Fluevog Queen Transcendent shoe

Fluevog Queen Transcendent shoe

United Nude has 3D printed shoes available for purchase:

"Float" 3D-printed shoes from United Nude

“Float” 3D-printed shoes from United Nude

And Continuum fashion also has 3D printed shoes available for purchase. This is their Laurel Tree Sandal for $265 US,which looks to me like a design that uses the technology in the best possible way — print the platform sole but use softer, more breathable materials for the parts that will contact the top of the foot. That’s smart design (although how comfortable these actually are I have no idea). Head to Continuum’s website to also check out their 3D-printed bikini, if you dare.

Laurel Tree Sandal, available from Continuum

3D printed Laurel Tree Sandal, available from Continuum

Obviously until we’re able to graduate from 3D printers to actual Star-Trekian replicators, we’re stuck with printed shoes made from plasticky materials. Melissa brand shoes, who specialize in designs made from plastic, might be worried about the competition, but other shoe manufacturers don’t have much to worry about until someone figures out how to print leather. But that starts getting us into creepy Margaret-Atwood-style-post-apocalyptic genetically-modified-organism territory. Ick. (If you haven’t read the MaddAdam trilogy by one of Canada’s greatest authors, go read ’em. They’re awesome. And scary.)

Still, Ima get my hands on a printer. Maybe not for shoes — yet — but there are definitely some great jewelry design applications for little 3D-printed rings, beads and components. I’ll round up some examples of that to share with you in another post.


Spandex Sporto Dress

zipper neck dress

Burda Zipper Neck Dress (07/2014 #113)

Final-fucking-ly finished. It could use some additional work, but no, this dress and I are finished. At least, this slippery spandex fabric and I are certainly finished.

Zipper Neck Dress

Ima check the time…yep, it’s FINISHED with this fabric time.

This is Burda’s Zipper Neck Dress (July 2014, pattern 113), a Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2014 knock-off. (Ha! I say that as if I know what I’m talking about when it comes to current fashion; the only reason I know that is Burda featured a photo of said TH dress in a spread showcasing Neoprene fabric in a separate section of the magazine.)

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 6.06.25 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 6.05.31 PM

I had a slew of problems making this dress. The spandex fabric I chose was so VERY slippery, especially on seams with multiple layers. The layers slid across each other as I stitched with either the serger or the regular sewing machine. I had to sew, rip and resew the zipper 4 times, and it’s still totally wonky. And I cringe looking at the photos of the hem–you can see how skewed those seams are. I was sorely tempted to photoshop out all the wrinkles and crinkles at the hem, the zipper and the sleeves in these photos (not to mention on my elbows). But at least this gives a good picture of the slipperiness I was fighting against with this dress. It was a valiant battle but I lost.

zipper neck dress

I made a couple of modifications to the pattern. I doubled up all the yellow pattern pieces to ensure my underwear wouldn’t be visible, and I made the side panels all dark blue. (The pattern calls for the entire back of the dress including the back side panels to be cream–or yellow, in my case–but I thought it would be good to mirror image the front of the dress and help with the slimming silhouette on the back as well.) I added about an inch to the length of the torso pieces, as the dress design appears to have quite a high waist and I’m not a big fan of that look.

zipper neck dress

Can we talk about the waistline for a sec? Gah, it droops down in the back a lot…I’d like to try to fix that but given the personality of this fabric I think I’d do a lot more damage than good. And please, can someone tell me how to sew a waistline seam with a serger or a twin needle so that it lies flat and doesn’t bulge out?? All the stretch dresses I have made that have a seam at the waist have this problem. Any advice you have would be appreciated!

zipper neck dress

Ah, well, I think I will still give this a wear to work this week, wrinkles and pooches be damned! I’m learning to embrace my own wrinkles and pooches so I think I can give this dress the same benefit of the doubt!

Stashbusting Knitting Project: Snippet Scarf

Until I find a knitting pattern that specifically calls for a bunch of those 30-percents-of-a-skein of Malabrigo or Madelinetosh that are always leftover from knitting hats, this free scarf pattern will remain my go-to pattern for trying to keep a lid on my ever-expanding giant bag of leftover yarn. The Snippet Scarf by Becky Herrick is not only available for free, it’s also a pretty much fool-proof way of combining all the varied weights and colours of your leftover yarn. And you only need about 6 yards for each row, so you can use up even the tiniest bits of leftovers.

Snippet Scarf

An example of how you just can’t go wrong mixing in whatever colours you’ve got on hand.

For all these versions, I used 6mm/US size 10 needles. Gauge isn’t really an issue. I REPEAT: GAUGE ISN’T AN ISSUE. Knitter peeps who hate gauge swatching know what I’m talkin’bout.

Snippet scarf in greens & blues

Snippet Scarf in shades of greens & blues. I cast on 175 stitches for this one.

The scarf is worked sideways, knitting each row…each of your bits of leftover yarn create a horizontal stripe. Instead of turning around and going back with the same piece of yarn for the next row, you cut the yarn off at the end, leaving enough dangling for the fringe, and start the next row with another piece of yarn. Piece. O’. Cake. You just have to make sure you have needles long enough to hold all the stitches…a long circular needle is best.

Snippet Scarf in browns & yellows

My pal Christian looking rather Northern Hipster in his chunky sweater and snippet scarf in browns & yellows. I cast on 170 stitches for this one, but probably should’ve done more since Christian’s quite a tall guy.

Snippet Scarf in shades of pink. I made this one a little shorter than usual: 165 stitches cast on.

Snippet Scarf in shades of pink. I made this one a little shorter than usual (165 stitches cast on). I also booked myself a friggin’ haircut as soon as I saw this picture. Sheesh.

For the version below, I used some single skeins of yarn my parents-in-law had given me for my birthday a few years ago. They bought the yarn, made by Dyeguy, from an amazing little yarn shop called The Fibre Garden in the village of Jordan, Ontario, right in the middle of Niagara wine country.

Snippet scarf in yellow-multi

For my Father in Law, made with skeins of yarn he & my MIL gave me for my birthday.

The Dyeguy yarn is coloured with natural dyes. The skeins my parents-in-law gave me are dyed with black walnut and osage orange wood.

Dyeguy yarn from the Fibre Garden

Dyeguy yarn from the Fibre Garden

A visit to the Fibre Garden shop is not to be missed if you’re anywhere in the Niagara region. Best part: right across the street is another great yarn and quilting shop called Stitch. I couldn’t find out the official population count of Jordan village, but I’m pretty sure that makes about one yarn store for every 72.5 people there. đŸ˜‰