With Summer still in its last throes I wanted to share this quick and easy DIY makeover for sandals with all of you…especially as there is only a few more weeks to wear it before we all start switching over the Fall boots. I’ve seen a lot of sandals that have an ankle strap made of elastic, which is a pretty cool design element, and definitely ups the sexy factor to any shoe. I wanted to convert a regular pair of ankle-strap sandals over to this fun elastic banded-type, which is also a breeze to switch out if you’re looking for a different color or look to the top strap. Just a little bit of hand-stitchery necessary! Here’s how:
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Pillowcases come in a variety of prints that work just as well for pieces clothing. Plus, they have just enough fabric (and are roughly the same shape) as a cute little A-line mini-skirt – and can be transformed easily, with just a couple seams. (You can of course also transform them into dresses and skirts for small children.) And now there’s no need to worry when you have a lone pillowcase and can’t find its mate.
Take Exhibit A, a dot-printed piece that I pulled out of my 48-lb. haul of clothing I sourced at my local Goodwill Outlet. I was drawn to it because of the fabulous print – and I could only find one of them, so I had no intention of using it as a pillowcase…thus I thought it would work great as a skirt! The whole process took me maybe 30 minutes – a quick-sew project to be sure!
How to Make an Elastic-Banded Mini-Skirt from a Pillowcase
*a standard-size (or larger!) pillowcase
*2″ wide piece of black elastic
*thread and machine needle for wovens
*iron & ironing board
1. Turn pillowcase inside out and cut off all the sewn seams, leaving two large rectangles.
2. Turn rectangles sideways and fold in half. Cut edge on a slight A-line angle to the top. (I know in the photo above the fabric isn’t folded in half – but you should probably do that to ensure the right and left sides of each piece are at exactly the same angle.)
3. Unfold your pieces. Measure 1/2″ in from the angled edges of one of the pieces, and cut. This piece will become the back of the skirt.
4. Pin back to front of the skirt at the angled sides, and sew together.
5. Wrap piece of elastic at your natural waist (or where you want to wear the skirt). Make sure it is taut on your waist – not so tight you can’t breathe – but fairly tight. Overlap ends by 1/2″ and cut.
6. Sew piece of elastic in a circle on your machine with a 1/2″ seam allowance. (I used a straight stitch, then flattened each end and zigzagged over it to further secure it.)
7. Place elastic band over pillowcase top, overlapping about 1/2″. Match pillowcase skirt center front to center of elastic band, and skirt center back to the seam you sewed in Step 6). Pin the two sides as well.
8. Sew pillowcase to elastic band using a stretch stitch on your machine, with the elastic on the top and the fabric below being thread through by the machine’s feed dogs. Stretch the elastic between the pins so the pillowcase “gathers” naturally to the elastic.
9. Try on the skirt, mark where you want your hem to fall, and turn the hem (about 1″). Sew a 3/4″ hem on the bottom.
10. Iron to set the hem and remove any creases.
And that’s it! And the great thing is, the waist is elastic, so you can wear it belted higher up with a wide belt…or wear it lower near your hips for a different look. Hope you have as much fun making yours as I did mine!
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Note: Though this is a somewhat long and rambling post about shoe adornment, I do include a quick-and-easy DIY for the shoe elastics above. Scroll down for the tutorial!
As evidenced by the above Polyvore I made, elastic-banded pumps are in, in, in! I love how the black stretchy part over the upper contrasts so sharply with a shiny patent.
But I get the weird feeling that these will also be passe in a couple seasons. What to do??? I love that in Japan they’ve taken the idea of shoe-adornment to a whole ‘nother level with shoes that feature removable bands so you can change up your look whenever you get bored.
Even though the above shoes were in a magazine a couple years ago (!), you can buy the bands separately, in red, holographic silver, white, brown, gold, or black, for about $9 a pair here. If I started making sets – like a set of 3 pairs – and sold them for $12, do you think they would catch on in the States?
The concept of shoe bands is kinda similar to shoe clips, but just…bands. If you opt to adorn the top of your boot, then maybe Bandits are for you! They carry a number of different styles, not just the Southwestern-inspired motif pictured above.
Bandit boot chains above. Adding to DIY list pronto.
Their boot chains are completely covetable, and a lookalike of LitterSF
‘s boot chains, only about $20 cheaper. But I digress.
Shoe bands! Right. So why buy when you can…
You guessed it!
D.I.Y. Removable Shoe Elastics…Cause Why Not??!
(This is soooo simple!)
I have the skinniest, boniest feet ever. I know.
*your favorite pair of heeled shoes
*about 8″ elastic
*thread matching elastic color
(sorry, no photos…but you can definitely figure it out!!)
1. Start by puting on the pair of shoes you want to adorn with elastics. Wrap a piece of thick elastic around the upper part of your foot (halfway onto your arch). The band needs to go all the way around the pump and overlap about a 1/2″ on the underside, in front of the heel. Make sure it’s tight so it won’t slip down (just not too tight since we don’t want to crush our foot bones!).
2. Cut elastic to correct length.
3. Sew on a sewing machine – just reinforcing the overlap area on the elastic.
See? The meeting of the two ends is at an angle – NOT straight on.
I’ve found they work best when the elastic overlaps at an angle – NOT one side meeting the other side exactly – to accommodate the curve of your foot. Repeat for other elastic.
Only really necessary for 1.5″ wide elastic like this; for the thinner types of elastic it doesn’t really matter.
Presto! It’s like you have a whole new pair of shoes!
And I also tried adding thinner elastic to the ends of silver vinyl belting for a different look…and sparkly silver ribbon for yet a third look. Both have thinner pieces of elastic sewn onto the ends of the contrasting ribbons. (The elastic is only about 1.5″ long in-between, for the underlay part and to allow the band to slide over the widest part of the shoe at the toe.)
You could do virtually anything! Chain overlaid onto ribbon…frilly ribbon with grosgrain in the center…a line of sequins…anything at all!