How to make Regency Men's Boot: On a Budget

As the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, KY fast approaches, I find myself in a bit of a pickle.  I've run out of money to spend on it.  I've been working so hard on the gowns and gentleman's attire that I neglected to think about authentic looking Regency Shoes.  I have a pair of black, pointed-toe flats that will do for me in a pinch, but my poor husband didn't have such luck.  I started browsing the Internet for Reproduction Men's Regency footwear and found some beautifully hand crafted boots here ....  but there's no way anyone will be able to squeeze $935 out of my pocket book.  I had also heard of people using Equestrian boots, like these here but I still wasn't willing to pay close to $200 for them.  So, what was one to do...

Well, I made my own creation, of course.  And whether or not they will pass as Regency Era Men's Boots, I'll let you be the judge... just don't tell me what the verdict is... I get my feelings hurt easily.

I started off purchasing a pair of cheap, leather-look-a-like riding boots from Dover Saddlery for only $43.  Here they are.  You can see in the original picture on the website that there is a slight curve to the top. 

I trimmed evenly across the top edge of the boot to straighten it out.

I found some vinyl remnants on the clearance table at Hobby Lobby and snatched up a large sheet of it for only $1.50.... which will be enough for several boots and then some.  I measured around the top of the boot, added 1/2" seam allowance, and cut it to the length I wanted it.  I made 2 of these; one for each boot, then, I stitched the ends together, right sides together, like you see in the picture above.

I will call these "cuffs" for lack of a better word.  I turned the cuffs right sides out, folded one edge in 1/2" and pinned.

Then stitched.

Here they are... upside down, actually... the raw edge will go toward the top for the next step.

I scrunched the cuff inside the boot, right side of the cuff to wrong side of the boot.  Raw edge toward the top of the boot.  I had to do quite a bit of easing when I stitched, for some odd reason, which wasn't easy to do AT ALL.  Stitching this part together was VERY tricky....  I would recommend going very slowly. (I broke a needle the first time because I was trying to go too fast.)  The boot is extremely awkward to maneuver under the sewing machine, and the layers of vinyl were tough to sew through.

When you are done stitching, pull the vinyl back up through the boot.

Then pull out your muscles, because working the cuff back down over the outside of the boot required a lot of them.

And here it is!  I am thinking about top stitching around the very top edge of the cuff, but other than that, I think it makes a very passable Regency Gentleman's Boot.  Not spot on, of course, but lovely for someone on a budget if I do say so myself!


Adelheide said…
Those are great! Excellent job being resourceful on a budget, I commend you!
ZipZip said…
Dear Jenni,

Oh, well done, well done!!!!


Anonymous said…
This is fantastic! I'm working on a Mr. Darcy costume for Halloween and I had no idea what I was going to do for the boots other than get some flimsy, cheap pirate boots from the costume store. Thanks for posting an affordable alternative.
Anonymous said…
You did a fab job. They look great!

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