Project Sewn Challenge #3: If the Shoe Fits

It’s time for Project Sewn’s challenge #3: “If the shoe fits: use a favorite pair of shoes from your own closet as an inspiration for your outfit”.

My name is Lori and I have a shoe problem. And this happens to be my favourite of all 4 Project Sewn 2013 challenges (duh).

While I have dozens of ideas for projects based on this challenge, some of which I outlined in a recent blog post entitled Did Someone Say Shoes?, one week to choose a pattern and source the right fabric and get it sewn up isn’t realistic for me at the mo’. So I thought I’d turn this challenge on its head and instead of creating a garment based on shoes, I’ve designed shoes based on a garment I created. It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Shoes of Prey, an Australian-based company that lets you custom-design women’s shoes and ships them for free, anywhere in the world. (Bonus for duty-weary and currency-exchange-shock-weary Canadians and other non-US countries: prices are in your local currency, and the company takes care of all import duties.) Sorry if this sounds like an infomercial — I’m not shilling for the company, but I have purchased 3 pairs of shoes from them and I’m pretty excited about the fact that you can CUSTOM. DESIGN. YOUR. OWN. DAMN. SHOES.

Here’s the blouse I chose for inspiration, which I sewed and blogged about last August in a post entitled I Just Opened a Can of Whoop-Ass on this Blouse (yeah, I was feeling pretty smug about having tamed that slippery, flimsy fabric). It’s Burda‚Äôs 10/2011 Chiffon blouse with tie band #128B. I made it with a sheer fabric (not sure what kind?) with shades of dark blue, purple, turquoise, and white.

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Burda blouse

Since it has a bit of a secretary feel, but it’s also a bit sexy because of the sheer fabric, I thought a pair of high-heeled oxfords would be just the thing. Here’s what I came up with using Shoes of Prey’s online design tool:

Shoes of Prey oxford in dark blue patent leather with turquoise toe cap and white snakeskin midpanel

Dark blue patent leather with turquoise accents and white snakeskin upper! With 4-and-a-half-inch heel! If I ordered these for real, I might go down to a 3-inch heel. But if I ordered them in my dreams, I’d definitely keep the sky-high heel.

Shoes of Prey high-heeled oxfords

They even have matching dark-blue patent leather shoelaces, and turquoise insole. LOVE.

I played around with a few other shoe designs but that oxford above is definitely my fave. Here are a couple of other options:

Shoes of Prey spectator pumps with silk rose flower & bow

The silk flower on the toe echoes the chiffon fabric of the blouse.

Shoes of Prey high-heeled sandal in blue, purple, & turquoise

Not sure about these ones, but I did manage to add a little purple to the design.

Now I’m having a really hard time not ordering up a pair of those lace-up oxfords. Must….restrain…..self……

If you want to order up your own pair of custom shoes, use this link to get $20 off your Shoes of Prey order. Enjoy!

I’m a Shoes of Prey Evangelist (sorry)

Ok, this is gonna sound like one long infomercial, but seriously, I can’t help myself. I am in love with custom designing my own shoes from Shoes of Prey and I’m going to tell you why. They haven’t paid me or otherwise compensated me to do this, but they have given me a link to share with you so you can get $20 off, and I will, too, if you buy. And fair warning: their site is addictive — you may find yourself buying shoes!

It was inevitable. I finally ordered shoes from Shoes of Prey, which I designed myself, and I just LOVE them. Here’s the green, black and gold high-heeled oxfords that I think are the most unique shoes I’ve ever owned (and I do have some pretty special shoes).

Shoes of Prey green, gold, black high-heeled oxfords

I spent more time than I care to admit on Shoes of Prey’s website designing shoes and saving them to “My Shoes” list, just having fun trying different styles and materials. I was even trying my hand at creating my own version of more expensive styles by Chie Mihara and Fluevog, to great effect.

For example, here’s my version of these Chie Mihara “Tamero” shoes…not bad, eh?

Chie Mihara-inspired design

And here’s my design inspired by Fluevog’s Wonders K2 shoes:

Inspired by Fluevog

Eventually, it was the reasonable price (I mean for custom-designed shoes, prices from $129 seem like a steal), as well as the fact that all shipping costs, taxes, and duties were included in the price that reeled me in and made me click ‘buy’.

I got those oxfords pictured above as well as a pair of black fishskin ballet flats, both size 38. While the oxfords fit like a glove, alas, the flats were very tight, and had to be returned. But returning was easy–I did have to pay for return shipping but Shoes of Prey credited my account for the shipping cost right away (not waiting until they received the returned package) which I can use against my next purchase. I had a choice of returning the ballet flats for a refund or having them remade in a larger size, and I chose the latter.

Shoes of Prey is having a promotion right now for $20 off…if you use this link to visit their site, you’ll get $20 off your order, and so will I! As long as the promotion lasts, you can share a link with your friends to get $20 off your next order, too. It’s shoe happiness all around.

I’m thinking maybe one of these gorgeous pairs might be my next purchase…but it’s so hard to choose.

Red, yellow & floral mary-jane pump design from Shoes of Prey

Snakeskin & pink patent ballet flats with bow - designed on Shoes of Prey website

Down the Rabbit Hole: Shoes of Prey

Oh my, I’ve just slipped down a rabbit hole. It’s no secret that I have a bit of a “shoe problem”…more pairs than one person should actually need….a habit of perching a pair of shoes on my dresser just so I can admire them….justifying buying a pair of uncomfortable or impractical shoes because they’re a ‘work of art’….maybe you can relate to what I’m saying. Anyway, if you have an *actual* shoe problem (which might be defined as not paying off your credit cards in full every month and still buying beautiful shoes you don’t actually need) then do not read any further. Don’t even look at this picture. Don’t do it! Look away!

Shoes of Prey colour blocked oxfords

While I definitely could not rock stilettos this high, I just love oxfords. And colour-blocked oxfords? Winning combination!

I just came across Shoes of Prey, a Sydney, Australia-based company that makes custom-designed shoes. You create the design yourself on their website, choosing from the base style, the colours, and materials. And they ship free world-wide. Just the thought of being able to play with shoe designing to my heart’s content…well, let’s just say I spent a bit more time down that rabbit hole than I care to admit. Here’s a design I’d be tempted to order, which is a lower-heel version of one of their gallery designs:

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Colour blocked oxfords from the Shoes of Prey desgin gallery: silver, tan, and white leather with midnight blue patent leather.

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My lower-heeled version of the gallery design.

 

Anyway, this isn’t an endorsement or a recommendation, as I have not purchased anything from them (um, yet). But their prices seem quite reasonable for custom designs, so I’m tempted to try. And I know they’re not the first or only design-your-own-shoes service out there. Have you ever tried one? Were you happy with the result? I’d be interested to know of others that you recommend.

And here are more drool-worthy designs from their gallery:

Zebra and soft teal peep-toe shoes.

Zebra and soft teal peep-toe shoes.

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Colour blocked ballet flats with bows.

Platform heels in white leather with printed text, and magenta fishskin heels. Magenta! Fishskin!

Platform heels in white leather with printed text, and magenta fishskin heels. Magenta! Fishskin!