Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Toph (Fire Nation Disguise) - Shoes - Avatar: The Last Airbender

Part 3 of my posts on my Toph Beifong costume! If you want to see how I made the wig, go here! If you want to see how I constructed the clothes, go here!

It is interesting to note that ordinarily Toph goes without shoes because she uses her Earth bending power to "see" with her feet in place of her eyes. In order to remain incognito she wears shoes with this outfit (though in a comedic moment in the show she punches the soles out of them). I obviously need to wear shoes with soles though, so that's what I did.

Let me just preface this post by saying that these were the most comfortable shoes I have ever had the pleasure of wearing for a costume.

My friend Danni was kind enough to lend me a pattern she had recently made for a pair of curved toe boots. From that I was able to modify this pattern.

It took 2 attempts with the mockup to get it right, but I managed to come up with a pattern I was satisfied with.

These were patterned with so that they would fit both my foot and a thick gelled insole. This extra padding was what helped make these shoes super comfy to wear.

I bought real leather for these shoes, because it would hold up to wear and tear much better than fabric, and I wanted these shoes to be comfortable. I picked a very thick leather for the soles, and a softer leather for the top.

Here you can see the pieces laid flat before I sewed them together. The curve in the side pieces is what pulls the toe of the shoe up.
I finished the edge of the top piece, then sewed the side pieces to the top piece.

Using a leather punch, I pre-punched holes in the sole of the shoe that I would use to hand stitch the sides to the bottom. The leather on the sole was much too thick to hand stitch through.

Carefully tucking the seam allowance as I went and using a strong thread and leather needle, I handstitched the rest of the shoe to the sole.

I started at the pointed toe, and worked my way towards the heel. I stitched both sides of the shoe at the same time (alternating doing a couple stitches on each side). Each side had a separate needle and thread. By doing it this way, I was able to easily get my hand in to access the area I was stitching. 
Once I got to the center back, I tucked the excess leather to the inside and stitched the center back seam.

Then I folded over the top edge and top stitched it down.

The last step was to add the strap across the front. Which was attached with a piece of elastic on one side so I could easily get the shoes on and off.

Before wearing them I inserted my nice gel insoles, which helped to make these extra comfy to stand/walk around in for long periods of time.

Overall, they were not too difficult to make, but they did take a fair amount of time. They held up really well at the con though, so I am glad it was worth it.

I'm looking forward to wearing this costume again in the future!

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