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Make Custom Fitted Shoe Patterns for Dolls

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Test Your Doll Shoe Pattern By Making the Parts for a Pair of Slip on Shoes
Shoe patterns and parts made from them designed to custom fit a doll.

Custom patterns and parts used to make doll shoes.

Photo © 2011 Lesley Shepherd

To test that your shoe pattern fits the doll, make a trial pair of basic slip on Mary Jane Style shoes to check the fit. The construction of all basic doll shoes will be the same as this first pair.

Design the Mary Jane Shoe Pattern.

Mary Jane shoes consist of a toe pattern added on to a heel pattern, with the seam for the one piece shoe at the back of the heel. Lay out your toe cap pattern (without the allowance) and line up the heel pattern with one side of the toe cap. Mark a new combination pattern with the heel and toe sections, which is designed to be seamed at the heel of the shoe. Cut out a rough pattern and then cut out the inside of the paper pattern evenly to set the top of the shoe, where it will be open against the foot. Test this one piece paper pattern against your doll's foot.

When the one piece pattern fits your doll, cut out the following pieces to make your first pair of test shoes:

  • Two Soles - cut these from medium weight card or thin craft foam (press the craft foam with a roller to flatten and thin it out a bit if necessary
  • Two Light Card Insoles - For shoes worn by a doll plain card is fine. If the shoes will be on display and not worn, you may prefer to use a patterned paper or fabric for the insole which will be visible.
  • Two Shoe Uppers - cut these fom thin leather, faux leather or fabric backed with lightweight iron on interfacing.

To begin assembly of the shoes, lay the shoe upper over the top of the foot and check that it will overlap the toes enough to allow you to glue the excess fabric back over the bottom of the insoles. When you are sure the shoe upper is positioned correctly, trim the back of the shoe so the overlap will line up with the center of the heel. Glue the shoe upper together at the heel as shown in the right of the photograph.

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