Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I had a notion to add hand-stitched embroidery to my Toms.

A dear friend recently gave me a pair of Tom's shoes. She thought they would be super comfy for our recent trip to Walt Disney World. They are very comfortable but also very pink. Pink for me is a fun and happy color. As I write this I am wearing a fuchsia Kool Aid Man shirt with a pair of jeans. 

On a normal day, however, I am NOT wearing pink. Because these shoes are comfortable and where given to me, I needed to figure out a way to make them more my style. I decided the fabric was a perfect canvas (he he he) to add embroidery. It sounded like an easy proposition so I grabbed my embroidery transfers and begin to chose. I have thousands of iron-on embroidery designs and an affinity for sewing notions.

I decided on a sewing machine, bobbin, a thimble and buttons. I usually do my embroidery on flat surfaces  or in a hoop. Stitching on a shoe is a completely new experience for me (I am listing to The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigani,  and I am no Valentine). I was wise enough to know that I needed a short needle that could be maneuvered within the shoe. I also decided that stitching a reverse back stitch was probably the best stitch option. This stitch allowed me to complete the previous stitch and start the new stitch on the surface of the fabric. Other stitches, like the split stitches require more clearance than the interior of the shoe allows.

Photo credit DCM
I used six strands of embroidery floss for my stitches. I wanted to be certain they were sturdy and visible from a distance. The only trouble I had was with tying the stitches off when a shape was completed. To resolve that issue, I simply, blindly, looped the thread under a few inside stitches before tying off. To be certain they were secure, I kept my thread tails long and knotted off. I have a couple of dangles inside the shoe, but I cannot feel them when worn. I am usually very confident in my embroidery stitches, but a few of these are shaky considering I was stitching in the round. All in all, I am very happy with the result. Check out my CusTOMS! (PATENT PENDING ALL RIGHTS RESERVED :)

Tom's embroidered with sewing notions.

Spool of thread.

Sewing Machine with fabric and bobbin

Spool of thread and button.
Now, these shoes feel like me. Every time I wear them I will think of the kindness of my friend. 

Happy Sewing!


  1. You are so creative and talented - just blows me away!

  2. It's wonderful to be included with all these talented ladies, thank you! All this embroidery is so inspiring!

  3. Thank you! I have to admit that my embroidery work does not look the same on the back as it does on the front .... however, as I have done more stitching lately, it is looking better on the back. So, I guess all I have to suggest is be patient with yourself and practice! Good luck!!