Make your Own Pair of Quilted Sneakers! PART I

Tutorial on how to make your own shoes

Hi lovely stitchers!

I am back with a tutorial in which I show you how I've made my first pair of quilted sneakers (I know they won't be my last!). For this project, I was heavely (completely and totally hehe) inspired by the super talented quilter and maker Fiona from Spunstraw. I found her quilted sneakers randomly on Instagram and fall over hills in love with them. So I HAD TO! make my own pair ;)

The first step was to buy a kit from the Dutch company SneakerKit. They sell the soles (with insole included) to make your own pair of sneakers as well as other tools like multipliers and eyelets. They also provide you with leather as that is the material they recomend to make their sneakers with. They also have a pattern section with free designs to choose from.

In my case, as I was going to use fabric instead of leather, I only bought the soles, multipliers and eyelets. The kit also comes with a strong long needle and some waxy thread and I downloaded their 'Classic 3-in-1' from which I chose the slightly higher boot design.

The design

The first challenged I faced was to decide on a quilting design; what to do with the outer of the sneakers. As I was inspired by Fiona's amazing design, I pushed myself (too hard) to come up with something as beautiful and original as hers but failed. I was starting to feel frustrated as nothing I was trying on fabric scraps worked in the way I wanted.

Then, one day, I thought, why don't I just choose a fabric I like and use that as a whole instead of coming up with a complicated design? This changed the process completely and I, finally, starteds enjoying it :)

Step by step

1. As soon as I chose my fabric (this is a Tula Pink True Colours I had leftover from a quilt I'd made), I cut the pattern pieces for both shoes as well as the tongue of the sneakers, adding a 1/4'' seam allowance all around. It is important to trace / copy your pattern pieces properly, having in mind the direction and foot. I repeated this process with the lining, another leftover fabric, in this case, from Cotton and Steel.

Quilted handmade sneakers 1

Quilted sneakers lining Sneaker Kit

2. After this, I cut some leftover batting / wadding, big enough to quilt my outer pieces and leaving some extra space around. I went for a simple design of loopsided lines that I marked with a Frixion pen (remember to test it on your fabric to check that it goes when in contact with the heat from your iron). Then, I quilted the pieces using a colour changing thread.

Handmade quilted sneakers

Handmade quilted sneakers

When finished, I cut around the shapes of my sneaker pieces and then repeated the same steps with the other sneaker.

Handmade quilting sneakers

3. Now, following the pattern instructions that you can find for free at Sneaker Kit, I sewed together both sides of each sneaker at the back and in between the notches. I think that when you use leather, you first tape the paper pattern pieces at the back, so you already cut them joined. But because the print of the fabric didn't look right doing it that way, I did it separately and with the added seam allowance, it worked well.

Handmade quilted sneakers

Handmade quilted sneakers

 4. At this point I decided to add a little tag at the back to be able to put them on easier. I think the tag was a bit too long (as even my Dad pointed out!) but it is a nice addition. I used the same fabric as the lining and sewed it in place.

Handmade quilted sneakers

5. The next step would be to place both lining and outer with right sides together, stitch all around leaving a gap and turning the sneaker to the right side, press and stitch the gap closed. Then, I repeated the process with the tongue and the other sneaker and finished all the pieces with a topstitch all around and close to the outer edge.

Handmade quilted shoes quilting project

Handmade quilted sneakers

Quilted shoes sneakers project quilting

And this would be the last step for this first post! I will share the rest on an upcoming blog so that you can see the final result!

Thanks for reading and see you soon!





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