Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wonder Woman Boots With Jalie 2448

Of course I wanted Wonder Woman boots to go with my Wonder Woman costume, but footwear is generally the hardest part of an outfit for me and this costume was no exception.

Pretty fabulous Wonder Woman boots are available for purchase (though they don't come cheap), or one could spray paint some thrift store boots red and add some white details. Neither of those strategies appealed to me, though, because my event is a dancing event and thus it requires dance appropriate footwear (smooth soles and comfort, which are hard qualities to find in random shoes).

My goal was to make a decent approximation of a Wonder Woman boot using a pair of dance shoes I already had but NOT altering those shoes permanently. I looked around the web for ideas, which was very helpful but didn't yield this exact strategy.

At first I planned to make spats, and I went so far as to draft a pattern and to mock it up in a piece of scrap vinyl. And it became perfectly clear to me that Wonder Woman spats are not, and should not be, a thing.

Then I thought of Jalie 2448, a discontinued pattern which includes a pullover, tights and fleece socks. Even though the printed pattern is not longer available through Jalie, a PDF version of just the socks now is.

I had seen some terrifically awful shiny stretch vinyl knit at a local shop, Foam & Fabrics, so I decided to make some Wonder Woman socks to wear with my shoes.

At first I planned to wear the socks as socks, but then I had the bright idea to perhaps try to stretch them over my shoes, kind of like figure skaters sometimes wear tights over their skates to match the color of a costume.

So, I made the size which corresponded to my shoe size since I had already made these socks before in fleece (and really liked them). But because of the limited stretch of my vinyl plus wearing them over shoes, I really should have made them at least two sizes bigger. Getting the shoe/socks on is no joke, but once on they are perfectly comfortable.

I used a scrap of the heavy red swimwear fabric from the top of my dress for the bottom part of the foot because it was both stretchier and more durable than the vinyl. I altered the top of the front of the sock to come to a point in the middle, and I drafted a separate shaped facing/band to be made from a scrap of white stretch fabric.

Jalie 2448 sock pattern pieces plus added shaped band
The white stripe down the front of the boots was created with a piece of foldover elastic, and the white band at the top was from a scrap of white fabric from the dress. The back part of the band was just a crosswise strip of the white fabric cut 1 1/4" wide. Two sets of facing pieces were cut for each sock. Then each set was joined into a ring at the side seams, and the two rings placed right sides together and joined along the top edges. I used a shaped piece of stiff interfacing right in the point of the right side of the facing piece to hold the pointed shape. The band was turned right sides out, and the seam was understitched to the rear to hold everything in place for a sharp edge. Then the band was attached to the sock, pivoting at the point.

I didn't want to mess up my dance shoes, but I did want everything to be red. First I covered the heels of the shoes in no-residue medical tape (masking or painter's tape would also work).

Then I inserted the shoe into the sock and cut out the heel area.

After pulling the sock up over the heel, I used red duct tape to cover the heel and to secure the cut edges of the sock.

After my costume party, it should be possible to remove the sock, remove the duct tape, remove the lower level of medical tape and, voila, my dancing shoes will be just as they were.

The reason I think it is okay in this case to have smooth fabric as the bottom of the ball of my shoe is because I will be walking and dancing on a smooth hardwood floor. Some people actually put lycra sleeves over street shoes to make them into smooth dance shoes. Smoothness is not just okay for dance shoes, it is desirable. I actually think the heavy nylon lycra fabric used on the bottom of the socks would hold up fine to a night of trick or treating, but it would be a one-time use kind of situation.

If I were making these again (and I am kind of tempted to do another pair, since I have plenty more fabric), I would make them bigger, taller and perhaps add an invisible zipper to the inside leg seam in the ankle area. Then they would be a lot easier to get on and off and would hold up better over the long run. But then again, I'm happy with the boots as they are, too--they are comfortable and very importantly, they stay up!

I could use a spot more duct tape on the heel above, but this view shows you how it all works pretty well.

This strategy could be used for making all kinds of costume "boots" when you don't want to either buy a dedicated pair of boots or permanently alter an existing pair of shoes.


  1. They look amazing! I think you just might be a genius, Virginia - and a whole new career in costume design awaits! xxx

  2. Wow, these boots needed so much work and creative thinking! They really look great, definitely worth all the effort you put in.

  3. Ditto.. Brilliant Work! What dedication to a concept!

  4. OK, these are some amazing boots! I hope you win the contest!