Brianne (caughtinlimbo) wrote in t_shirt_surgery,

Chucks tutotial

First I just want to say thanks for all the compliments! I typed up a tutorial at the request of a few people, so here it is. Be warned, I like to talk a lot so it's a bit long-winded.


Okay, well I’ve never made a tutorial before, so I hope it is clear what I’m talking about.
I What you will need:
- Canvas: I bought half a metre of the whitest canvas I could find. (Want to know a secret? The inside of the canvas is red!) You might need more than half a metre, but the bolt of fabric that mine came on was pretty long.
- Non-stretch fabric liner: I bought a metre of non-stretch pink cotton, but I should only have gotten half a metre (it was clearance - $1 per metre in full metre increments only). Again, it depends on the length of the bolt.
- Grommets: I used a total of 52 (13 on each side of each foot) of these. For higher chucks or closer spacing, you’ll need more.
- Shoelace material: I doubt you’ll be able to buy shoelaces long enough, so get yourself around 6 metres (more if you have larger calves or if your chucks will be higher) of fabric-y ribbon, or ribbon, or whatever you feel like lacing them up with. I bought five metres, so I can’t lace mine all the way up.
II. I didn’t take pictures throughout the process, but I made a nifty drawing in paint.
A: The length that you would like your chucks to be (starting from the ankle of your high-tops) PLUS two inches
B: Measure around the ankle of your high-tops. Use this measurement PLUS two inches.
C: Measurement from the ankle of your chucks to the thickest part of your calf.
D: Measurement around the thickest part of your calf. This part is quite subjective. Measure to how wide you want the gap between the two sides of grommets, then add two inches. Keep in mind that the gap should be less wide than the tongue of your shoe.
E: Measure the length across the upper edge of the existing tongue. Use this measurement PLUS two inches.
III. Making the chucks
  1. Cut each piece to the appropriate lengths. I would recommend just measuring and cutting one leg piece and one tongue piece, both out of canvas, and using those to trace and cut the rest (saves time!). I cut the leg pieces by making a straight line from the ankle to the widest part of the leg, and continuing that straight line. It resulted in the gap being wider at some points than at others, but personally I don’t mind it.
  2. Measure and mark an inch from the bottom of the canvas pieces (leg and tongue). Fold along the marks you’ve created, so you have a one-inch hem that has not been sewn. Sew along the upper edge of the pieces folded up, leaving about half a centimeter. Only do this with the canvas pieces.

  3. Place one canvas tongue piece and one liner tongue piece together, wrong side out, so that the unhemmed edges match together and there is an inch of liner fabric sticking out below the hemmed edge of the canvas. Sew the pieces together along the three unhemmed edges, one inch in. Do not sew along the bottom. Once sewn, cut a diagonal line across the top two corners outside of the lines you have just sewn. Flip the piece inside out, and use closed scissors or something slightly pointy to push out the corners. Do this with the other tongue pieces, and then the leg pieces.

  4. You now have four pieces which probably need to be ironed. Iron them flat. Sew the canvas and liner together at the bottom without hemming the liner, as close to the edge of the canvas as possible, on all pieces.

  5. On the two leg pieces, sew straight lines following the edges of the fabric a little less than an inch in from the edge (so you’re sewing through the inch that was sewn inside).
  6. On the two tongue pieces, sew similar lines. You may want to make the distance from the edge smaller, though, as the tongue is a smaller piece of fabric. My lines are about a centimeter from the edges.

  7. Cut the majority of the liner fabric that is hanging below the canvas off, leaving only a few millimeters. Fray these. You now have pieces that look like this.

  8. Measure your material so that the grommets are equally spaced apart. This was one of the most frustrating steps for me, because I’m a perfectionist who rarely does anything perfectly. Once you’ve measured placement on one side of one leg piece, use that to give you spacing for the other side, and both sides of the second leg piece.
  9. Once they’re measured all nicely, cut Xs where you’ve marked the placement. Install your grommets (the packaging should come with instructions).
  10. Hand-sew the pieces you’ve made to your shoe. I suggest doubling the thread up by threading the needle and taking twice as much as you think you need, then tying two ends together. My pieces wound up being slightly too wide to be sewn on correctly, so I sewed the bottom corners of the leg pieces to the shoes first, and then sewed around the ankle. I made little dart-like things that stick out in order to make the leg piece fit perfectly on to the shoe. And they were complete.

They were difficult, but once they were finished the product was extremely satisfying. I’ve worn them three times since I finished them at the beginning of December, and  have had no problems. At first I was wary of the hand-stitching, but it’s held up through lots of hard tugging. I would suggest backstitching. There is an example of how to backstitch at the bottom of THIS page.

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