Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Recovering my boots

I don't mean recover as in they were lost and now I've found them again. I mean recover like "they look like crap and I need to cover them up with something".

Back when Chris and I rode motorcycles I had a pair of boots that I loved. These things were worn over a lot of miles which means they saw rain, sun, bugs & rocks at 75 mph (ahem, honest officer, that's how fast we were going), and walks through lovely towns and muddy fields alike. They were looking kinda ragged is what I'm saying.

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with them. I bought a leather coat from the local thrift store with the idea of using that as my covering but then decided to use a felted wool sweater instead. I hoped it would stretch over the square toe of the boot more easily than other things I'd considered.

First I wrapped them in plastic and then in masking tape to create a form. Sketched the pattern and then carefully cut it away from the boot.
Saran-wrapped boots
Drawing the pattern pieces
Cut free
Cut out and flattened
I roughed up the boot (even more than it already was), cleaned it well, and then started gluing on the pieces. Rubber bands and office clips helped hold the wool in place until the glue cured.
Improvised clamps
Once cured, I very carefully trimmed the wool away into the design I had originally drawn (more or less).
Front face and heel attached
I actually really liked the "spat" look of the front face and heel but the toe area was in the worst shape so I had to keep going and cover it too.

I ended up putting a notch in the wool to help it stretch over the curve of the ankle area. Then I decided I liked the look and kept the notch rather than trimming it off.
One down, one to go
In their natural habitat
I like how they turned out. And as an added bonus, the wool is surprisingly warm. I've worn them out and about, in rain and snow and ice, and they're holding up well so far.

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