Due to time restrictions facing me when preparing that post, I took the easy way out by covering a pair of Barbie boots with bits of suede, tacking on a bit of sheepskin fleece around the top edge, and modeling a sole out of oven-bake clay. It wasn't the best looking pair of boots, but, my girl Jerry was happy with them. To my surprise, when she arrived back home, it grabbed the attention of other dolls, many of whom came running to me for a pair. This forced me to study them more closely. Making these boots is really not difficult. The pattern only consists of four pieces: Upper, toe cap, inner and outer sole. And given the casual nature of this duck footed boot, it doesn't even have to be all that perfect. And while there are lots free patterns circulating on the internet for DYI Uggs, most are for 18-inch, flat footed American Girl dolls. All my models have high heel feet, so I decided to make a pattern to accommodate this. Creating my own pattern also allows me to make my own variations based on the styles the shoe company produces.
Jerry is wearing a shearling jacket she borrowed from the Ken dolls. (You can find this and the white coat tutorial by clicking here.) The jacket is made from leather with a wool fleece. Very thick (and not all that easy to work with.) Still, I thought, how cool would it be to make a pair of dolly Uggs out of "authentic" material!
Because my dolls were built to wear only high heels, I had to create a wedge platform.
1. I started out with a triangular piece of oven back clay.
2. Mold it to the bottom of her foot so that it lines up on the floor. Shave away the excess around the sides with a knife or blade. Don't worry about this being perfect because it will be hidden under the material.
3. After you have made one, make the other. I stand the doll up so that each sole will be equal in height. Bake this sole in the over (low temperature) for about 20 minutes.
4. Then, while the sole is on the doll's foot (you can tape it), put her leg sideways on a piece of paper and draw the profile of the boot. Her ankle is about 1/4-inch wide (5mm), so I've allowed 1/4" (5mm) on either side of the ankle. You determine the height of your boot. Since I'm designing this to have a cuff, my boot is 1-1/4" (25mm) up from the back of the heel. But yours can be shorter or taller.
6. Trace off each piece then flip and trace off the mirror image from the center front of both the toe cap and the upper. Add a generous seam allowance. (For the white boot, I added even more than this to allow for the bulk of the fleece. Note: For the toe, I noted which side was up to ensure it would be attached correctly.
7. Glue the two pieces together. If you are working with leather or suede thin enough, glue the two pieces together to keep it stable, then topstitch it.
8. Cut notches in the bottom of the toe cap. I punched holes on either side. For the white boots, I decided to lace them up the back. For the black boots (below), I used tiny brads for the look of buttons. (You can also think of doing bows up the back!)
9. Apply rubber cement to the bottom of the wedge sole as well as to the underside of the toe cap perimeter.
10. When both sides have dried, press the boot to the sole. If you did not cut enough away for the notches (as is the case around the toe), now is the time to clip the excess away.
11. Because this was turning out to be a very bulky boot and I knew my outer dimensions would change, I waited until this step to create the outer sole. I took the boot and traced around the bottom of its foot. I'm using a heavy sueded leather for my sole for this and the black boot. You can also fashion your sole out of oven back clay, as I did with the original version.
12. I cut a very narrow strip of leather (2mm) for my laces. Because my fleeced leather was so thick, the grommets would not hold, so to get the laces through the holes, I threaded a very large needle and worked one side and then the other to the top.
13. From the back view, the boot looks like this.
In the original version, I had a couple of store bought buckles. But I didn't have any more so I made my own with a little bit of 18 gauge wire. (Click here for that tutorial.) The strap is wrapped around the ankle, gluing the two edges together at the back. I turn down the top edge and Voila. Very authentic looking Uggs. I'm happy with the end result, but I must warn you, the material was not easy to work with!
It is much easier to make them from a thin suede and add a tiny strip of faux fur for the cuff! First of all, working with a thinner suede means you can make a narrower boot and you can machine stitch the upper to the toe without any problem. For this boot, I decided I wanted buttons down the back. So all of the steps featured for the white boot are identical here. Except, I cut a shorter, more narrow boot and I used small "brads" down the back. (Like Jennifer's fur jacket? It's easy. Click here for the tutorial.)
So that you can see the difference amongst the three boots, we've lined them up for a closer look.
Up next: Some of our girls are out in Hollywood where they plan to upstage the stars on the Golden Globes red carpet. Stay tuned!!!!!
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