the fine art of making mistakes and doll shoes

The fine art of making mistakes...and doll shoes

No one likes to make mistakes or waste time on a project, but if you wait around forever expecting to get great at something, or spend all your cash to purchase all the "perfect" supplies but never play around with them you are guaranteed to never make what you desire.

This post is also about things I am learning on my journey making shoes, tiny doll shoes, which I still consider myself still a newb at, despite pinning a crapload of tutorials, photos and owning some pairs for my dolls.

It could also be reflected or applied to other disciplines of making, crafting, art or regular life if you so boldly choose.

So join me on setting the bar low and raise your hands if you've ever had these moments in making happen to you!

Plan to Fail

I'm a shoe is half empty kinda gal, and planning to fail may sound kinda negative, but just knowing I'm not placing grand expectations on myself to create the most amazing item the world has ever known helps me take some of the stress of creating off my poor stressed mind.

If it is a "failure" aka looks ugly, falls apart, etc. try again after you have eaten or showered or gone outside. 

I sewed this pair THIS WEEK believe it or not because I'm trying out something new, I don't expect it to look good, or right the first time through! Good things will take fine-tuning.

new shoes


Rip Things Apart

Learn how things work, take them apart, get messy! Ordered a pair of doll boots you really hoped fit your dolls but didn't fit any of them?

doll boots

Rip them apart angrily but save the pieces to make a pattern!

Then use that rage of wasted cash and some nice leather scraps you have on hand to make a set of your very own, that actually fit your doll! 

Only YOU Have Super Magnified Vision

While making miniatures, we often work under magnification. I will also often make 2 of said objects so that I can always display or sell the most perfect of the two items, leaving the other one as a second, or one of my dollies will call dibs.

With shoes, I got really, really obsessed over stitches, glue, needing perfect symmetry. Which yes, is good, but can be taken to extremes at times. 

I have to remind myself that from a photo, or from farther away, the item looks great, works with the outfit or theme, or is perfectly balanced for its intended purpose. 


PERFECTIONISTS take a breath and remind ourselves that sometimes you have already succeeded and your work is good enough, smart enough and gosh darn it people like us and our work the way it is!

Especially when you are starting out, it's ok to make things that aren't so great, cause trust me, you will see them and work towards learning to fix them!

second set of shoes 

No need to lose sleep or go without lunch making things uber perfect. 

Don't Do What Everyone Else Does

I'm game to make a thing from a pattern once, then adapting that pattern to fit my needs or crazy thing I see in my head. 

Check out the internet and if there are 100 patterns for the item you want to make, I'd recommend making a different item, could be similar yes, but make yours stand out, meet a different need, out of a different material, work for your goals or needs. 

interchangeable lacing shoes

I like change and enjoy creating an adaptable design. Could be freaky, or every day. Make it you! (Not Soylent Green) I know you can do it! 

Just Do It

Hoarded all the materials needed but scared to waste them? Just. Do. It. Worst thing that can happen is you garbage it all. No one will die (hopefully). Reminder: Dispose of all hazardous waste in a proper manner. I don't know what you are cooking up...

Tip: Lay out your materials the night before so they are ready to rock the next day. This always helps me tremendously, I like to cut out all pieces on one day and sew or glue the next. (p.s. this doesn't mean that my workshop is a clean workshop...)

the workshop

This way the anger and frustrations of things not working is less and fewer tools get thrown around the workshop. 


I hope you have at least had one laugh today, and that my musings and true stories lead you to get a bit more experimental and less stressed at making mistakes.

If you aren't having at least a bit of fun, it might be time to take a wee break, even just a night or weekend, and go back to something you enjoy and don't take things too seriously. 

dru in her handmade boots minifee

Till then I will taking photos of my new boots on my dolls, sharing them on my dollie dedicated IG account @stellarBJDaccessories and having fun doing so!

Play Always,


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