Jewish Glass Breaking Bags

I found a picture of a unique sewing project I did last year that I forgot to share. Last year my Jewish aunt wed her partner of 20+ years. You might be familiar with the custom of the groom stepping on a glass in a bag as part of the ceremony. In this case there was no groom and both aunts wanted to be the one to step on the glass. Not being particularly orthodox, it was decided they would both step on a glass. How does this relate in any way? Well, guess who had to sew the bags!

My aunt picked the fabric and decorations and I came up with the design.

139 

The bags close with a drawstring and on the end of the drawstring is rhinestoned heart.

I had no idea if this was an appropriate design or not but my aunts loved them. During the ceremony the lady officiating (I forget the official title for she is, sorry) paused and asked who had made the bags, she loved them!

When it came time to step on the glass in the bags my aunts carefully wiped their shoes on the carpet before stepping on the bags, much to the amusement of all the guests.

I’ve tried to find out if these bags have a proper name, I’d be interested if anyone could enlighten me on this!

Elven Tunic Dress for Photoshoot

I’ve been lazy about posting pictures, sorry! A photoshoot is still in the works and I’ve finally managed to finish one of the costumes. This is an Elven Archer dress/tunic/thing and it will be for sale after the photo shoot.

 035

It is made of olive faux suede, it is fully lined and all but the side seams are boned (side seams are not boned for fitting adjustment purposes)

 037

the split three paneled skirt is sewn to the bodice and lined with brown cotton. I shouldn’t need to point out that it is intended to be worn with leggings.

 036

Lacing eyelets are handsewn. The darker fabric has a very color changing quality to it and depending on the lighting can look either dark green, brown, or even gray, a real cloth o’ the woods.

More details to follow.

 I’ve been doing a ton of sewing lately so check back!

How To Make Your Ghillies Smaller.

Ghillies are what Irish Dancers wear for their soft shoe dances. It is pretty crucial that these shoes fit very tightly to show off the contour of your foot. If they are too loose than judges will not be able to see if your foot is pointed or arched.

     My American shoesize is usually 7 1/2, my first pair of soft shoes were Irish size 6 (equivalent to American size 8, I don’t remember how this happened). Way too big, my foot was lost inside them. So I went down a size for my next pair. Nope, still to big.

   Long story short I’ve owned several pairs of soft shoes and not one has fit me properly. I mean, yeah, I could just go order yet one more size down and that would probably do the trick, but I’m getting really tired of shelling out $45 minimum for shoes.  It is possible to temporarily shrink them with water and heat but by the end of your dance they’ve stretched back out.

So grab your seam ripper and a sturdy needle, I’m going to show you how to make your shoes smaller.

Please do not try this without parental approval! I don’t want to be responsible for children getting murdered by their parents because they cut up a hundred dollar pair of shoes!

The unaltered shoe heel.

The unaltered shoe heel.

First thing’s first, determine how much smaller you need your shoe to be. I could easily fit two fingers in the extra space in my shoe.

Look at all that room.

Look at all that room.

Here is the back of my shoe, a strip of leather was sewn over the main seam. Carefully pull the stitches out of this to reveal the big seam at the heel.

 

The back flap unstitched to reveal the main seam.

The back flap unstitched to reveal the main seam.

Pull those stitches out, opening up the back of your shoe. 

 

The heel unstitched and laid flat.

The heel unstitched and laid flat.

Here’s the point of no return, find a sharp pair of scissors and carefully cut down the back of the shoe, following the existing shape. Cut just a tiny bit at first, going slowly and testing the fit. Take your time here and don’t make it too small.

When you’ve cut it to where it needs to be it’s time to sew that seam back up. Use thick thread and don’t stint on stitches, this shoe takes a lot of abuse. You will probably want to find a thimble and a pair of pliers to help get the needle through the leather. It wasn’t actually difficult on my shoe, the leather is fairly thin and soft, but after a while my fingers become super sore from pushing the needle through. Seriously, they hurt as I type. Save yourself the pain and use thimble and pliers.

095

096

Once you have sewn the heel closed (hopefully trying it on as you go) it’s time to put the supporting strip back in place. Secure it with some glue first so that it’s not moving as you try to sew it.

Sewing the back strip back into place. I made use of the holes that were already punched in the leather from the previous stitches.

Sewing the back strip back into place. I made use of the holes that were already punched in the leather from the previous stitches.

 Ta da!

The altered shoe.

The altered shoe.

I don’t have a picture of the shoe on me but I have since worn them to dance class and the alteration made all the difference. I *actually* have a point! They fit much better and feel nice and sturdy, I will keep an eye on my stitches though, ‘cuz it would be just my luck to have a stitch pop during a show 😉