DIY… Mary Jane Cloth Shoes


For a good month, I scoured Amazon and Ebay and Etsy and etc for cloth mary jane house slipper sort of things. I would either find some that were super cute and out of my price range or in range but not my size or a color that I want. It was quite the fiasco. Really. So I said FINE I’LL MAKE MY OWN DAMN SHOES. I looked around at a few tutorials and found mostly baby sizes or ones with unfinished edges of some sort. I didn’t want mine to have a raw edge so here’s a way to make them with no raw edge. Finished one might say. Lets get started. This will be a one shoe at a time instruction so do everything i say twice, get me? First off you need to cut out some fabric. You’ll need 2 fabrics or one and some interfacing. I used a medium weighted canvas as my interfacing and fleece as my fabric. Out of the interfacing you’ll need to cut 1 strap, 1 top (the u shaped one), one sole. And out of the fabric, 2 of each of those things. As for measuring I traced around a really worn pair of flats for my sole and then added the smallest of seam allowances, something along the lines of 2/8ths of an inch. Add whatever sort of seam allowance you’d like but keep it in mind whilst sewing. As for the U shaped tops I pretty much stuck to, well…a U shape that has an outside length from end to end matching the length around my sole plus a seam allowance at both ends. the inner curve of the U, I just kept it about 3 inches from the outside (not sure how to say it really, the fabric was 3 inches wide) till you got into the curve where I gradually brought it back to the fabric being about 3 and 1/2 inches. The strap was about 5 inches long and 2 inches wide.

Now, Lay out your strap pieces, with the two fabric pieces right sides together then interfacing. stitch around leaving the end open and turn it right side out then top stitch around to give it a polished look. Then take your U shaped pieces and sew each one up the heel with right sides together. After that, layer the U’s in the same manner as the strap only insert the strap between the two right side together fabric pieces. leave out enough for it to go across the top of your foot, ya know. Pin all that real good around the “top” or “smaller inside circle”.


Now, sew around that then flip it right side out where the strap is coming out and the fabric sides are right side out on the outside. (out out out out out out out). Then give it a finished look by top stitching around. Trim the strap so it doesn’t hang out the open side and baste around the “larger outer circle” of the U shape top close to the edge and maybe even trim it a bit if any part is sticking out wonky. Next lay a fabric sole down right side up and then lay your U shape top bit on that right side down. Pin them together around the outsides on the sole side. Then you’ll need to kind of smush the U shape top and its strap down a bit and maybe even pin it down because now you encase it by laying a fabric sole right side down then the interfacing over it and pinning around. Match it up. Take your time. Be precise and careful. Now slowly stitch around leaving a 2 inch or less size opening in the instep. Now with all the might in your thumbs slowly work the whole thing right side out to be a shoe! Fold in the raw edges of that opening to match the rest and do a top stitch around the sole and top creating a piping effect and enclosing the opening. Done!!!! Well. Kind of. Make another one. I did them one at a time… I kind of suggest that because at some point you may convince yourself you’ve made two lefties. BUT you can turn the one you didn’t “pipe and enclose” yet inside out and it should be the mate.

Now I’ll be honest. For me this was not the easiest project. Maybe because I didn’t do a lot of planning before hand, maybe its my dislike of turning things right side out. And really I made a THIRD shoe before I realized I could just flip it out and it’d be the reverse… aka mate. Anyways all in all, I hope my instructions are informative and clear. and if not, let me know, questions, comments, concerns are always welcome



ps. these are FANTASTIC moon walking shoes. by which i mean slippery. Glue on some suede soles or something if you want a little more traction or maybe even the sole of an old pair of flip flops so you can flaunt these booty beauties about the town. Just a thought.


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