Shoe Renovation – transform a modern sandal into c1920’s

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Here we are again! The next in line of my shoe renovation projects. If you didn’t read the last post, here is a brief recap… I recently set myself the challenge of renovating some modern, locally sourced shoes into looks that are reminiscent of the 1920’s. With costume projects getting the right shoes to match an outfit, in the right time frame and at the right price can be challenging. So of course, being me, instead of just creating one pair of shoes, I have been excited and wanted to try a few different looks. For this pair I chose some Milana label, all leather sandals. I found them at an opportunity shop so it is hard to be sure of their age, particularly as the brand is still current, vintage styles have been fashionable and I am not an expert in knowing what every brand is stocking at any given time! However the elastics on the buckles are a little bit perished so I suspect these are c1990’s. For this project I have not replaced these elastics but that could easily be done.


I confess with this project I have been very focussed on making and have neglected my photo taking. I am using these projects to experiment with different ways of doing things and in fact pulled them apart and remade them more than once to try different things to see what worked best. In addition I chose to use materials only readily available, being dressmakers supplies as the equivalent shoe makers materials are hard to come by and require specialist equipment to work with.

The fabric I chose was horrible to work with, I knew it would be before I bought it but I really liked the finish for the period look I was after. I would continue shopping a little longer next time!


I’m pretty happy with the result. I’d like to thank my ever patient, cooperative and attentive shoe model Ms Devon McKenzie for her excellent work. I did ask her to model more than once as I wanted to record the different results of different treatments. I have only included the images of my preferred finish.


I had intended to add extra embellishment to the vamps with some hand beaded mesh to emphasise the geometric Art Deco look. However I am planning another pair which will have lots of embellishment and I think this pair work well as is. Knowing when to stop can be a challenge….

Here is another link to the post of my last pair, embedded in this post is also a Pinterest Gallery of 1920’s looks for your enjoyment!


I hope you liked them!

2 Comments on “Shoe Renovation – transform a modern sandal into c1920’s

  1. These turned out brilliantly, Annabel. And I see you found a pair with the higher strap too. Can’t wait to see Devon’s flapper costume.

    • Thank you so much!! Ooo now that is a big job depending upon how beaded it is. Will have a think on it! will keep you posted!