Resequined Replica Slippers

Dissatisfied with the sequining work shown in the photographs found in the previous post, I decided to remove much of the sequining work and resew it. Ultimately I’ve removed some 80% or so of the work, leaving only a small portion of the toe, as shown below. Everything in blue has been removed and resewn, while the portion in red has been left.

(Alteration of Tod Machin diagram to show sequining progress)

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve previously removed, and resewn, a great deal of the sequining work. However, this was only one or, at most, two strands at a time. But, examining the work recently, I was disappointed with the vast majority of it, and decided to remove a great deal of it (which itself took hours, as the sequins had to be removed just as meticulously as they were applied, to avoid damaging the underlying georgette)!

Much of this was due to my own ignorance when I began of exactly how to work with the sequins to create the uniform fish-scale like pattern found on the original shoes. Particularly I had issues with determining the spacing between each string of sequins so they both don’t look jumbled, nor show gaps of georgette (a radical aesthetic difference that can often be determined by moving a stitch a millimeter, or less). I also had issues in determining how far the lowest sequins above the soles on each toe should hang, which is particularly problematic since I am stitching from the sole up the side of the shoe, so placement of the initial stitch determines how the entire row will ultimately hang. Initially I had these sequins hanging low enough that they were actually touching the surface on which the shoes sat. While the shoes themselves are not the best source of information in this area due to their deterioration, many of my initial strands simply looked very, very wrong, which an examination of photos of the Witch’s Shoes only confirmed. Feeling a few strands (at the least) had to be redone, I removed them. Once the shoes were completed, these small discrepancies would have only worked to make me further displeased, so, ultimately, I was left no choice but to simply start over again.

I had found, as anyone working on a project for an extended period is bound to, that first attempts are not always the best, and technique is honed over time. Practice, as they say, makes perfect. But still, I have to admit, even now as I have been resewing the sequins, there are few strands I have sewn in a single attempt. Many lines have been sewn, only to be removed and resewn, often due to my displeasure at a single sequin. I realise many people would have been perfectly pleased with the first attempt. But I’m a perfectionist, and I ultimately want these shoes to please no one more than myself, a tall order, even I acknowledge!

I will soon post updated photographs of the left shoe once I have completed the resequining. I expect the first shoe to be completed in around a week. In redoing much of the work, while it may seem to some time-consuming and, potentially, unnecessary, it has yielded (I believe) a shoe that reproduces the sequining pattern on the left Smithsonian shoe almost identically, with a neatness which (I feel) gives them an air of the Witch’s shoes.

I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Resequined Replica Slippers

(NOTE: Much of the technique described above would later prove faulty, and has since been revised, as the shoes were later entirely stripped and resequined. This post, and others like it, remain to accurately reflect my full experience of replicating the slippers.)