Wedding Shoe Pin Cushion/Scissor Holder

Julie O. Yonge 2006

   
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I came up with this idea when my husband and I decided to renew our wedding vows. I got out my wedding dress and wedding shoes to wear for our renewal ceremony. Well, of all things, my dress fit, but my shoes were too small. I love my Victorian wedding shoes and wanted to do something with them that would be fun and utilitarian - hence the pin cushion/scissor holder for my sewing room.

First I took the shoe, laid it on a piece of poster paper, and drew an outline of the shoe for a template adding a bit for seam allowances. I knew I would need some type of weighted muslin bag as an insert for the entire length of the shoe so it would not easily wobble over. Using my template, I cut out two pieces of muslin and two pieces of batting to construct a bag insert for the shoe. I sandwiched the muslin on the inside, the batting on the outside and machine stitched (with a tight stitch) all around the piece except one end, for turning and filling. I notched the curved edges and turned. I chose to fill the bag with "shot".

Some of you may have husbands who hunt, I do not, so I made an adventuresome trip to my local gun shop and asked the nice man behind the counter for some shot for a sewing project. You can just imagine the reaction from him and the other "patrons" in the store, but I did happily get about five pounds for $1.00 a pound. Once I filled the bag insert, I slip stitched the opening and place the bag into the shoe, pressing and shaping it as desired. I wanted the shot spaced all the way through the bottom of the shoe including the heel. This is a little tricky since the heel is on an upward incline, but the shot stayed nicely in place once I shaped it.

Now that I had the first layer in the shoe making it quite stable, I needed a layer for the pins to actually penetrate so I decided to make my next layer another bag. This time the bag would only be for the opening of the shoe. I took a piece of tracing paper and traced the shape of the opening the shoe and then added a generous seam allowance for a template. I cut out two pieces of muslin using my template, stitched it together in the same manner as the first, but this time, I filled the bag with crushed walnut shells. These I found at a local quilt shop. Crushed walnut shells are often used in sewing projects as they will sharpen needles much like sand or emery powder, but are not quite as heavy. However, you could use fine sand to fill the bag if you don't have crushed walnut shells available. Once filled, I slip stitched the opening of this bag and placed it in the shoe. I found that I needed to stitch a dart in the muslin bag for a better fit. So, on the underneath side of the bag I stitched an elongated dart starting at the toe end and graduating its depth as needed in the length direction. When happy with the fit, I then inserted this bag on top of the other bag in the shoe and using a doll-stuffing tool, I stuffed the edges in neatly around the opening of the shoe and even used it kind of like a rolling pin to move the walnut shells around until I got the shape I desired.

     

I decided to use wool felt as the final cover for the pin cushion and again using the template for the opening of my shoe, cut one piece of wool felt with at least 1" added to the edges all around. I used the doll-stuffing tool and slowly tucked the edges of the wool felt into opening of the shoe, smoothing it as I worked it in. Once I was happy with the look, I carefully inserted fabric glue all around the inside edges between the wool felt and the shoe and then pressed it into place and let dry.

I embellished the outside of the shoe and heal with lace, the top with buttons, ribbon, charms and a jewelry finding and placed glass head pins in a pattern over the wool felt. The bow on the front of the shoe serves as a perfect place for small embroidery scissors. I really enjoy having my Victorian shoe with me in my sewing room!

I hope this project encourages you to "renew" an old piece that is dear to you. Remember whenever you are in doubt of what to do for a special friend, family member, or something nice for yourself, white-on-white is always a winner!

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