Cool Things To Do With Your 18th Century Shoes

I thought now would be a good time to show you some fun things that you can do to your Georgiana 18th century silk shoes, when they arrive at your doorstep in July.

Dye Them
I had mine dyed a very soft mint green (which means some day I’ll have to make a very soft mint green gown, haha).  You’ll be surprised what a difference dying your shoes makes – they look completely unique, and you can be sure nobody has exactly the same pair.

You can take them to any shoe repair and choose a color to match your gown, just like prom in the 50s.  If you don’t want to bother with the trip, and you are thinking of buying some Georgianas, you can add the Custom Dye Service to your order, and I will have them matched to any color you choose, on your behalf.  You can also experiment with dying them yourself – the upper material is silk, so will take fabric dyes, but I don’t recommend dunking your shoes in a boiling pot.  Try painting it on instead :-).

More ideas under the cut ….

Green shoes with pink binding.  Lol.

Add Binding
Many original 18th century shoes have binding on the edges.  I’ve tried this with some pink bias binding, 1/4″ wide (double fold), and used fabric glue to adhere it.  It took some fenagling, especially around the curves of the latchets.  Petersham ribbon is more period appropriate, but harder to work with.

Binding + Buckles.

Add Bling
Try out some fun buckles – I have a variety to choose from in the Boutique, including new heart-shaped rhinestone buckles – or make your own shoe cockades.  I made this silly thing with organza ribbon and an old vintage earring for the center, but try cockades made of grosgrain ribbon (here’s a tutorial on how to make them).

Don’t be shy with the decorations!  Organza frilly thingy with a vintage earring, and a clip on the back.

Be More Creative Than Me
The possibilities are endless with the Georgies.  You could try silk painting, for instance, or try dying the heel a different color than the body of the shoe.  Turn back the latchets and tie them with bows, or make big fluffy buckley-thingies.  Have fun!

Do you want some Georgianas?  Order them tomorrow, June 24th, for delivery in mid-July:


  • Agnes

    June 23, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    Binding with Petersham ribbon would be easier if you press the ribbon in half before starting to use it on the shoe. Just saying. Beautiful and inspiring looks.

  • Hana - Marmota

    June 24, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    I think this is the right time to ask – I was wondering how exactly does that ribbon binding work? I love it. Do you just turn the latchets down and thread the ribbon through them? Does that hold well?

  • Lauren R

    June 24, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Agnes, ah ha! that makes sense 🙂

    Hana – are you asking about the loops I put the ribbons through? To wear the latchets looped you need to add some kind of closure, such as a snap, or tiny but strong velcro tabs, to hold the loops in place. I know, velcro is the devil's work, but it's completely invisible, even when you wear the latchets normally, with buckles. So I used velcro tabs on the underside, one on the end of the latchet, and its mate near the base of the latchet, then just looped them back, stuck them in place, and put the ribbons through. You can tie the bows at the top or at the bottom, both look nice. It holds very well (double knot your ribbon, or use non-slipping ribbon, though) and can be adjusted. I danced a whole night with the latchets done this way and didn't have any heel slip or shoe loss (haha).

  • Jonquil

    July 3, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Could you do a pictorial tutorial on how to turn your Georgianas into latchets? One of my worries is that when you unfold the Velcro you wind up with hooks that will snag your silk stockings.

  • Lauren R

    July 3, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Hi Jonquil –
    The shoes do not come with velcro on them, you have to apply the velcro yourself. When you do, make sure the end of the latchet has the fuzzy piece, and the base of the latchet, where you turn the latchet back and stick it to itself, has the hooked piece. Neither piece of velcro will touch your stockings 🙂

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