Sunday, August 12, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Daphne Blake - Completed

This is a project I've had on the back burner more or less for quite a while.  I kept considering it and then putting it off in favor of other projects or busy schedules.  When I worked out that I was going to try to take three costumes to Comic-Con, and I was already dying my hair red for the other two, I needed to come up with another redheaded character.  Jessica Rabbit was my first choice, because I already had pretty much the perfect dress to use as a pattern and I have the right, erm, physicality.  But while I was in the research stage for that costume, I started doing some research for Daphne on a whim and then found the perfect dress and kind of fell into the construction process.  So Jessica was out and Daphne was in.


It really started by finding this on eBay from trendyhipbuys during one of my "just out of curiosity" searches: 
Photo by trendyhip buys at eBay.
It's an authentic 1960s vintage mod dress, which I love because that means it suits the character and fandom in just about every way.  The color was perfect, as was the high collar and sleeve length, and the only necessary adjustments were taking up the skirt and adding the light purple bands to the skirt and sleeve cuffs.

For the trim, I happened upon an old light purple shirt that I had saved for just such a use in a sewing materials box.  I estimated the height of the bands from looking at reference photos, then measured them out, taking the flare of the skirt into account.  This was the most tedious and time-consuming process, just because I hate the ordeal of measure-twice-cut-once (even though it is a good rule) and because there were just a lot of different measurements to take and transfer over to the patterns and then the fabric.  The sleeves of the dress were just a little short for the costume, so I used the cuff trim to lengthen the sleeve, allowing the trim to extend about 2" past the edge of the sleeve.  Because the fabric was a very lightweight knit, I lined the cuff trim with some scrap coutil to stiffen the new sleeve edge and prevent it from crumpling or rolling back up on itself.  I covered a plain black plastic headband with the same purple fabric using hot glue.

I already had some lime green chiffon in the form of a curtain panel that I got as a hand-me-down of sorts a while ago.  I had no intention of using it for interior design - it's a really ghastly neon shade of lime and that is definitely not my style.  But it's perfect for Daphne's ghastly neon lime scarf.  I had a large square headscarf that I used for the pattern.  Maybe because I was really tired of measuring after doing the dress trim, I didn't mark or measure anything: I just laid the headscarf on the fabric and cut around it with a rotary cutter. 
The edges were finished off with a rolled hem.

The shoes were just some old tan suede pumps I already had, which I originally bought at a thrift store for a hypothetical early-20th century costume I thought I might make someday (but haven't yet).  I painted it purple with Jacquard Textile Color in 110 Violet.  They turned out much darker than I intended or would have liked - Daphne's shoes are the same color as her headband and dress trim, so I should have thinned out the paint.  But it didn't detract too badly.  Of greater concern was the fact that they were really uncomfortable to wear all day.  Wearing the equally uncomfortable Ruby Slippers Prototype the day before before kind of set me up for disaster with the Daphne shoes.  So like Dorothy with the Ruby Slippers, Daphne carried her shoes and went barefoot for a good portion of the afternoon.  The pale pink tights were pretty much impossible to find in an adult size in any store I went to, so I ordered some basic dance tights from Capezio via Amazon.

The finished product was this:

I wore it to SDCC 2012 on Friday, and though a lot of people took my photo, I haven't really been able to find any online.  One photographer I ran into a few times was nice enough to e-mail me some he took of me on both Thursday (when I was Dorothy) and Friday. 
Photo by Brent Allen Thale at
Not my most attractive photo, but the highest quality one I have of this costume for now.

Danger-prone Daphne strikes again!

*All photos are property of their respective owners.
*My use and opinion of the products listed is by personal choice and availability.  I am not paid to use or endorse them.

Comic-Con International: San Diego 2012 - Costume Recap

So I originally meant to do something like this last year after my first experience at SDCC, but it was something I just never got around to.  Once I have access to those photos again, I might eventually do it just to be thorough and all caught up.  Until then, I can at least recap who - and what - I saw at SDCC 2012.  (Just a warning now, this is quite long and very image-heavy.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ruby Slippers Prototype - Completed

And the final result:
Photo by MSN
Photo by Brent Allen Thale at
Photo by Chuck Cook.
These were all taken at SDCC 2012.  The first photo is by me, the others are by various photographers we met throughout the day who were nice enough to give us a link to view the photos online or send us the photos after.  (I'm planning to do a proper photo session of the second version pair sometime in the fairly-near future, which will not only yield better and more photos overall, but finished photos of the higher quality pair.)

As for some retrospect on the process itself, I'm glad I waited until I had a long span of interrupted time to do it, because the sequin-gluing alone probably took about 10 hours or so (or about that many episodes of Firefly) including a few breaks.  That part isn't really a start-and-stop project that can be done between other chores or amidst a busy schedule, at least not for me.  It seemed better to just be able to sit down and do it straight through, stopping for a break only after completing a side or a whole shoe.  It gets a little tedious - even with background music or movie - and a little hard on the back and hands towards the end, but I think consistent results make up for it.  The painting and bow-making was more easily a start-and-stop process, so was spread out over bits of free time during a few weeks.

For what I got in the end, I think the shoes ended up being pretty nicely cost effective.  I still have some sequins left over.  Not enough for another pair of shoes, but still a good amount to trim something with in the future.  From the original bead orders I did, the two orders of 50 rose montees was just enough for one pair of shoes, but I had enough bugle beads and rectangle faux gems for both the prototype and second version of the shoes (so four bows in total) and I still have some left over.  The final cost for the prototypes was about $23.  That doesn't include the supplies like the glue gun and acrylic sealer that I also use for other projects, but it does include the extra beads I used on the second pair.  So really, taking into account that the cost of the bugle beads and gems covered 2+ pairs, the real cost is lower.  Not bad at all for the final result and my first attempt at it, I think (especially considering that most ruby slippers run from the $20-30 commercial shoes that are only recognizable by being red and sparkly, to the $50-100 custom creations of varying quality and accuracy). 

The only bad thing was the fit.  Very unexpectedly, they were horribly uncomfortable to wear around during the day.  So much so that at one point I finally gave up and walked around in socks, just carrying the shoes in hand and enduring the good-natured teasing of the other Con attendees.  They fit well to begin with and were comfortable wearing around the house, but I bought the socks I wore with the costume only a few days before the convention and didn't really test the shoes with the socks before costume day.  The socks ended up being surprisingly thick, which made the balls of my feet feel great but made the toe area too cramped inside the shoe.  So I haven't decided yet what to do about that: try different socks or find better quality shoes to begin with.  That's definitely something I'll consider whenever I (inevitably) get around to making another pair.  I may also make a higher quality non-wearable replica pair for display using vintage shoes and authentic materials.

I might be making a few pairs of these to sell at some point - though with the improved techniques learned on this pair and applied to the second version - and if that happens, I'll post further information on that later.

*All photos are property of their respective owners.
*My use and opinion of the products listed is by personal choice and availability.  I am not paid to use or endorse them.

Ruby Slippers Prototype - Bows

After finishing the sequins, the next and final steps were painting in some black areas and making the bows. 

I already had some red acrylic paint from years ago, which admittedly is probably too old, but I wanted to use materials I already had as much as possible to cut down on the final cost so I used it anyway.  The color is Christmas Red, and it's by DecoArt.  The sealer is a matte spray for acrylic paint by Plaid (the Patricia Nimrocks line).  The bow materials are sheet plastic from a bottle and organza curtains, both of which I already had; and 5 grams of size 1.8mm x 4mm silver-lined red bugle beads, six size 10mm x 8mm red rectangle sew-on plastic faux gems, and 100 size SS16 light siam rose montees.

I began by painting in the back of the heel, the part of the sole which shows when standing, and those little black areas showing through the sequins and at the top of the shoe. 

For a more accurate display replica, I might add the red felt to the sole, but I didn't want anything interfering with my coveted no-slip surface.  For the same reason, I didn't paint that part of the sole either.  After the paint was dry, I sealed it with the matter spray (I chose spray because it seemed easiest to apply, but by its nature it also comes in contact with parts of the shoe I'm not sealing, in this case the sequins.  I did a test on an extra piece of sequin string ahead of time just in case, and it was fine).

For the bows, I did essentially what the original costumers did, but downgraded a bit.  Leather being out of the question for these particular shoes, I first considered using cardboard for the bows.  I later decided that I wanted something waterproof, however, just in case (I don't intend to get these shoes wet really, but I was thinking of incidental rain and moisture).  I experimented with several different plastics, mainly from the kitchen.  I finally used a ranch dressing bottle: the front and back were both flat, and the plastic was thick and sturdy so it wouldn't necessarily need a second layer.

I was able to get four bows from one bottle (enough for one pair of shoes if doubling the plastic layers, or two pairs of shoes using single layers).  I poked two holes in the center of each to turn them into buttons of sorts for stitching on to the shoe.   

For light use or display, the stitching might be overkill, but walking in crowds all day I didn't want to risk the bows popping off and getting lost.  Then I painted each red with acrylic paint and sprayed it with acrylic sealer, and after they were dry stitched them to the shoes.
For the fabric, I didn't have any red organza, but I did have a single off-white organza curtain.  Using the same red acrylic paint from the soles, I very lightly painted the fabric in a test area, just using enough paint to make the fabric red but not really saturate it.  After it was dry I sealed it with, again, the same spray acrylic sealer.  After the sealer was dry, I got the fabric wet and prodded it a bit, and the color held nicely.  (The unsealed paint comes off with water, and the sealer itself says on the instructions that it's not meant for fabric which will be washed, but for basic contact with water it seems okay.)  Both the paint and sealer also stiffened the fabric a bit too, which was actually helpful.

Once past the test process, I drew the bow shapes onto the fabric first so I wouldn't end up painting more fabric than I needed to. 

Then I repeated the paint and seal process, coloring outside the lines.  To help spread the paint and take up the excess, I dabbed at and wiped it with some makeup pads.

Before cutting anything out, I put the whole piece of fabric in an embroidery hoop to bead it.  Again, in some cases gluing the fabric to the bow and then gluing the beads might be okay, but I wanted extra strength.  (No photos of this process, because it was very long and drawn out and there were a few times I worked on it that I wasn't in a position to get any photos.)  For layout, I just directly followed the beading pattern on the original shoes, adjusting it slightly for the dimension of my bows.  Then I cut the bow out, but slightly outside the lines I drew, for the same reason I painted outside the lines: when I glued the fabric to the plastic, I could wrap this excess around the edges and glue it to the bottom of the plastic to make sure it was secure and nothing underneath would show.  

When it came down to gluing the organza to the plastic, despite being fairly thick the plastic of the bows warped very easily under the heat of the hot glue.  I learned quickly - and the hard way, unfortunately - that it was better to apply the glue directly to the fabric and wait a few seconds before sticking it down to the plastic; and then hold the whole bow against the shoe to forcibly preserve its shape while it cooled.  Hence, on the prototype pair one bow is a little wonky but the other looks better, and I applied the improved technique to the second version of the shoes I made so they look okay.  In future, I would definitely use a different material for the bow base and test it with heat ahead of time or use a different glue.

Next: the final result.

*All photos are property of their respective owners.
*My use and opinion of the products listed is by personal choice and availability.  I am not paid to use or endorse them.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Marion Ravenwood (Cairo Market) - Shoes

Raiders of the Lost Ark has long been one of my favorite films, and Marion Ravenwood's wardrobe ranked high on my costume list as well.  This year I finally decided to put her Cairo market outfit on my tentative to-do list.  It has some great 1940s and cultural styling, and I love the high-waisted pants and the predominant red throughout.  

I've set myself a deadline of October 2012, because ideally I'll be wearing it to Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland this year.  No, Marion Ravenwood isn't Disney exactly - she's certainly no Disney princess - and yes, people generally dress as Disney characters for the event.  But Disneyland has the Indiana Jones Adventure ride, so as far as I'm concerned that's good enough.  And it'll be awesome to be in this costume while in line for and on that ride and running amok through Adventureland.  (If I end up going to the party on two different nights, I'm considering wearing a prototype version of my Rule 63 Han Solo under the same justification.)

Being that this costume is going to be constructed in a somewhat... nonlinear manner pending repairs to my sewing machine, I've decided to relate the construction by item rather than stage of overall progress.  The shoes are what I can do now so that's what I've started with, then the pants and shirt will each have their own posts later, and the finished result will have its own post as well.

There aren't really many images available that show Marion's market shoes.  Even screencaps don't really manage to catch them well.  The best image I could find is this:
This is darker but shows another view - namely the top - of the shoes:
They appear to be an espadrille/wedge with a natural "rope" lower and red fabric upper.  The toe strap and ankle strap appear to be separate pieces of fabric as well, rather than a slingback style.  Sitting down to watch the film, and just re-watching this scene over and over, verified this and gave me a better look.  To a certain degree, this is also what pretty much all cosplayers of this costume have gone with, which is never a sure things but is generally a good sign or at least a good back-up verification when trying to decide just what is going on with a costume.

I spent quite a bit of time looking for just the right shoes online, primarily on eBay, Payless Shoes, and the like.  I found some viable options, all of which were A) good for my budget but needed alteration, or B) mostly good as-is but a little pricey.  Then by chance I found these at a local thrift store:
On an unrelated note, this is the first costuming photo taken in the new apartment in the new city.  Yay!
The natural lower part wasn't quite right, being a flat woven "fabric" rather than looped "rope," and the upper was a slingback rather than two separate straps and needed a bit of alteration - bow removed and all-over red paint.  But they were a stupidly good price and fit fairly well and, most importantly, were comfortable.  They were something I felt I could realistically wear for hours on end while running and standing around at Disneyland.

The first step was removing the bows - easy enough -
followed by the first coat of paint:

The paint is Jacquard Textile Color in 106 True Red.  I've used this brand before in 110 Violet for my Daphne Blake shoes, but the base of those shoes was a tan suede, so I only needed one coat for full coverage.  The fabric of these shoes, being cotton-based, absorbed the paint differently, which also meant it didn't dry as quickly.  The paint was also a lighter shade to begin with so the pattern showed through on that basis alone as well.  It obviously needed at least a second coat if not a third.

To be sure the first coat was dry and wouldn't compromise further coats, I let the shoes sit for 24 hours (I also figured this was a good idea given the much more damp climate I live in now - no more desert quick-dry).

To be continued pending coat number two.

So three more coats later...  Yes, four coats total.  Each time a new coat was applied, it looked notably better that night right after painting.  But by the next night, it had soaked in and dried enough that the pattern was showing through more than it had seemed previously.  

This is after two or three coats (I took it two days after the first coat, but I don't remember if I was photographing the second coat before starting the third or photographing the third coat after finishing it):

Better than after just one coat, certainly, but the original pattern is still too visible for my taste.

For comparison, this is the same coat with the flash on:

The flash brightens the whole surface enough that while the blue on the sides still seeps through a bit, a lot more of the overall base is washed out.  With that in mind, I stopped after doing the fourth coat.  As far as appearances go, I think there's still too much pattern showing and I'd like to keep painting, but I'm worried about overdoing it with the layers and having the whole application get ruined.  So I'd rather stop now and hope the pattern isn't too obvious while I'm wearing the shoes than ruin what I've got.

Without getting drastic - I could cut away part of the side to make the straps more accurate - there's not much else to be altered, and I've already decided that I'm happy enough with them as-is.  They could be better, but the shirt I'm making won't be screen-accurate either.  So someday when I buy the authentic Romanian blouse, I'll probably get better shoes too, but for now I quite like these.

*All photos are property of their respective owners.
*My use and opinion of the products listed are by personal choice and local availability.  I am not paid to use or endorse them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

That's a Wrap!

After five long days of shooting, we finished principal photography on Cannibalism in the Cars (working title) on Monday.  As such, my direct involvement is finished, though being an independent and voluntarily-staffed production, and being that I know the director, I may get called in to help with other aspects of post-production from time to time.  

Overall the shoot was, I think, a huge success.  Our cast and crew were all amazing, as were the volunteers at the museum where we filmed and the friends and family who stopped by from time to time to visit and help out.  There were a few small problems here and there, and I know I for one already have a running list of things that worked and things that didn't and should be changed next time around (fingers crossed).  But problems of all sorts have to be expected on a project like this, and considering what we were up against - financial and time constraints, large cast with small crew, wind and a heat wave - it went off incredibly well.  As challenging as it was at times, it was mostly a heck of a lot of fun, so I'll definitely miss all of it.  (On the other hand though, being done with my bulk of the project and now also being near the end of school's semester, I now have more time to work on personal and commissioned costume projects and therefore also to update this blog more regularly.)

I was holed up in wardrobe, on set, or running between sets for most of the shoot, so I didn't get many photos of the production process or actors in costume.  Until I can get copies of the "official" photos taken over the long weekend, I do have a small number of mine I can share:

Wardrobe department.
Two double tier racks (left and far right) and one single tier rack (center).
Prop table.
Green screen around the train car which featured as our primary set.
Train car interior (taken by phone camera, hence the poor quality).
These on-set photos are courtesy of Trisha Fortney, one of my lovely interns (yes!  I even had interns!) who was kind enough to take my camera out to one location while I was costuming actors for another.
Locals who brought their horses in for the scene.

Local musician Fiddlin' Pete.
On Facebook: Eastern Sierra Community Film Project: Mark Twain Short Film
                             Stainless Films
Laws Railroad Museum:
Lone Pine Film Festival:
Lone Pine Film History Museum:

*All photos are property of their respective owners.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ruby Slippers Prototype - Sequins

I took advantage of my day off this week and sequined my prototype ruby slippers.  This wasn't really on my costume schedule so to speak, but I've had most of the supplies for a while now and I've been eager to start it (which is why this is up before the post on the first step of Sally Jupiter, which was actually finished first).  This was my first time working with sequins in any way, and the first time I had used a hot glue gun so extensively.

As always, I started doing nothing but research on the originals, then comparing them to what replicas - wearable or not, available for sale or personal projects - were out there and what I thought I could manage.  I was lucky enough to find a photo of the originals on display that included in the shot part of the display notice, which details how and with what materials the originals were made.  I don't know which display it was from, and the photo itself was posted nondescriptly on tumblr.  Another great source was Schrum Studios, which sells very authentic-looking and high-quality replica supplies (if I ever make a screen-accurate pair for display and really put some money into it, I'll probably use their supplies).  Paraphrased in bits and pieces from both sources: The original shoes were plain white silk pumps from Innes Shoe Co. in Los Angeles which were custom-dyed red.  The sequins were burgundy, darker than "normal" or most used today so they would appear the right color on film after the Technicolor process (to my understanding, Technicolor lightened certain colors, so items would have to be made in just the right too-dark shade so they would show up as truly desired on film).  Unlike most (if not all replicas), rather than being applied directly onto the shoe, the sequins were instead sewn onto an overlay pattern, which was then sewn onto the shoe.  The bows were made from red leather, covered with red organza beaded with square red glass "jewels," red bugle beads, and silver-set red rhinestones (called, more formally, rose montees).

For my replicas, I wanted the general shoe shape to be right, the sequin layout to be similar, the finished product to be comfortably wearable and cheaper and more accurate than at least most commercially-available replicas.  Basically, I wanted the right balance of budget to make them look better but remain cheaper than commercial options, but not put in so much time or money that it would cut into my other projects (this being a largely secondary endeavor) or that I'd be afraid to wear and potentially damage them.  Maybe a tall order, but it worked out.

The hot glue gun I was going to borrow never materialized for various reasons so I finally broke down and bought one.  It's a Surebonder high temperature 40 watt gun that uses the standard .44" glue sticks.
It was under $10, and I lucked out finding some cheap loose-in-a-bin 10" sticks which I stored up on for future projects.  So despite my initial hesitation, I don't feel so bad about dropping the cash for it, because I figure the more I get into diverse costuming, the more handy it'll be to have a glue gun on hand (I've already used it for another small project - Sally Jupiter's earrings - since).

The sequins are Wrights 1/4" in plain red (not the rainbow-y sparkly red).
I bought whatever was remaining on the one spool the craft store had, which was I think around 20 yards on a 24-yard spool.  Whatever length I had, I ended up with a little extra after completely covering and trimming both shoes plus discarding a few sections due to mistakes.  The two tutorials I was loosely going by each used about 20 meters total.

For the shoes themselves, I'd been looking for something that was similar in shape to the originals, because I wanted to get mine looking as accurate for cheap as I could manage.  To look the part, they needed to have a slightly pointed but rounded toe, a medium-height curved heel like a cross between a Cuban heel and French heel, and a vamp/toeline that crossed roughly the center of the top of the foot.  For personal reasons, I also preferred something with a non-slip sole, and I needed a slightly larger size than I usually wear for heels in order to fit into them while wearing socks.  Pretty strict requirements, at least for my budget and my store options.  Luckily, that style of shoe has been popular for businesswomen and such in past years, so there tend to be pairs floating around the thrift stores and yard sales here if one looks regularly.  The shoes I finally found are just some plain pleather pumps I got at the thrift store.
The toe and heel aren't perfectly accurate but are still better than I anticipated, the vamp/toeline placement feels good for my feet, the soles are nicely rubberized and haven't slipped on anything yet (knock on wood), and I was lucky they were a size 8.5 (about one to one-half size too big, perfect for any socks).  As a bonus, the surface material was slightly texturized which I thought might help the glue adhere, and the insoles were padded plus there were also added cushion on the heel on the inside.

The tutorials I was following and a lot of the other handmade replicas I looked at glued the sequins around the shoe horizontally, which seems and maybe is easier than what I ended up doing.  But looking at the originals, there is a diagonal to the sequins, with the strings running vertically on an angle.  Despite my better judgement, I ended up doing something like that instead.  Luckily, there are a number of replicas out there using that same layout, so while I didn't have step-by-step directions with that process, I had plenty of finished-product reference photos.

I started several days prior by temporarily pinning some sequins to one shoe so I'd have an idea of what angles to glue them at and what gluing pattern to use - whether I wanted to do each side separately, or the toe separate from the sides, where I would start and finish, etc.  I ended up deciding on gluing each full side separately, starting at the toe and ending above the heel.  The heel would also be glued separately from the rest of the shoe, and each side of the heel would be glued separately as well.  I didn't leave anything pinned - all the pins came out and sequins came off days before I started gluing.  I also drew a line down the center of both the toe and heel to get an idea of where my borders for each side were.  (I didn't get any photos of this step, as I was making it up as I went along.)

When I got down to gluing, I started with one sequin at the very tip of the toe, and then looped the string up to the next row, then looped the string down for the next row.  Like so:

On the first side of the first shoe I kept an organized pattern of how many sequins I was laying down in each row (1, skip 2, then 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, etc.) but when I started on the second side, I realized the point of the shoe wasn't completely symmetrical (it tilted just slightly in one direction, making one side "shorter" to cover than the other) so I had to change the number of sequins per row.  After that on the second shoe I just put down as many sequins as needed to reach the center line without any numerical pattern.  I just continued that all up the side of the shoe, and did the same on the other side and on both sides of the other shoe.
This next part is a little complicated, because I was making it up on the fly in a moment of panic after realizing at the last minute I hadn't planned it out ahead of time.  I also felt like I didn't have enough hands as it was, and I was home alone, so no real opportunity to take photos or have photos taken while I was holding and finessing everything else.  (Hence, again, no photos of this step, which might have been useful).  To glue down the end of the string in back, I glued up to almost where I wanted the final sequin to lay.  Then I cut the string a few sequins up from there, pulled the now-loose sequins off the end of both the gluing strand and the long spool strand (and saved the loose sequins; important later), and put a touch of glue on the end of the spool strand so it wouldn't ravel in the meantime.  Then I put a dab of glue on the shoe under where the string ended, folded the plain (without sequins) bit of string under the sequins, and pressed the whole thing down.  Trying to cover all the black, I actually overlapped the sequins a little too much on the very last row, and it worried me at first because it looked odd.  But to make things match I had to do the same - intentionally this time - on the other side, and once both rows were up against each other, it looked fine and the extra overlap wasn't really obvious.

I repeated this exact process, minus the extra overlap this time, on the heels: starting with one sequin on the bottom inside center, then looping the rows up and down until I reached the top; cutting and stripping the string; and then gluing the end under and down.  After the heel was completely covered, I went back to the toe for touch-ups.  It doesn't really matter if the toe or heel is done first in this step, but I thought it would be better to let the heel set a while longer before prodding it.  

Even getting the sequin strings as close as I could to meeting at the center of the toe and heel, there were still a few gaps here and there.  On a red shoe it might not be so noticeable, but mine being black it was pretty obvious.  Here's where those extra loose sequins from the cut string come in.  Very carefully, I put a dab of glue over the "bald spots," making sure to get the glue on the shoe material more than the outer sequins, and used a seam ripper to pick up and place the sequins (with the ripper point through the sequin hole) on the glue.  I also used the point of the ripper to kind of layer the loose sequins under and around the sequins on the string.  If all the loose sequins are on top, it makes the gap-covering a little too obvious for my taste - too clearly a separate and distinct line - so I wanted them to blend in more.  I was careful not to get too much glue on the outer sequins or touch the gun directly to any sequins.  Both mistakes will melt the sequins pretty easily and quickly, or even just strip the red coloring. 

The last step - at least for the sequins - was to add a single string around the base of the shoe and along the top edge.  This is optional, based on what gluing pattern is used and how even the sequins are at the top and bottom.  On my shoes, especially because of the diagonal pattern I think, there were little spots of the shoe showing through along those edges.  So starting in the back, I glued a single strand horizontally all the way around the bottom of the shoe just above where the side meets the sole, and again the same along the very top edge.  I tacked down the end of the strings in back using the same technique as before.  At this point, the shoes look like this, recognizable but not quite done:

The next step will be to paint some detracting parts red, and make the bows.

*All photos are property of their respective owners.
*My use and opinion of the products listed are by personal choice and local availability.  I am not paid to use or endorse them.