Chuck-T Fabric Overlay Tutorial

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If you’d like to add a bit of your favorite fabric to your Converse, it’s pretty easy! It took me less than an hour. I’ve only finished one shoe but I was also taking pics while I was doing it so you might be able to do it in around 30 minutes. Please look through the entire tutorial before deciding if you want to proceed! I don’t want you to hold me responsible for ruining your shoes.

The shoes I did this on are really old and disgusting so I’m sorry you have to look at gross shoes. I tried to crop out the holey heel but it might have snuck in on a pic or 2. Anyway, let’s get started.

In addition to your shoes, you will need the following supplies:

  • 1/4 yd SF101 (woven interfacing)
  • 1/4 yd fabric
  • 1/8 yd Heat n Bond Lite (or a glue stick)
  • FabriTac (or other fabric glue)
  • Fray-Check (optional)

Begin by measuring the tongue of your shoe. Take your laces out, clip sides away from the tongue and measure the length between the end of the rubber toe to the tip of the tongue.

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Then measure the width at the top of the tongue. My shoes (US Women’s 9) measures 6″L x 3 3/8″ W. Now we need to add seam allowance (SA) to our measurements. Based on a 3/8″ SA, I added 3/4″ to each side, so my measurements to cut are 6 3/4″ L x 4 1/8″ W.

Based on your measurements, cut (2) pieces of fabric and (2) pieces of SF101. I cut mine at 6 3/4″ L x 4 1/8″ W. Fuse the SF101 to your fabric.

After your interfacing is fused, on the backside of your fabric pieces, mark a line 3/4″ up from the bottom.

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Press your fabric towards the line that you just drew. The bottoms of your fabric pieces should now be turned under by 3/8″.

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Topstitch 1/8″ in from the bottom edge. (Sorry I used black thread on black and it’s not really visible in the pics.)

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Now we need to prep the tongue of our shoes. Take your seam ripper and carefully remove the All-Star tag. I wanted to be able to reattach mine so that the shoes looked like they came with this fabric, but if you don’t want to reattach, you don’t have to be super careful or you could probably just leave it attached.

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Now we’re going to trace the top of our tongue so that we have a pattern piece for cutting a curve at the top of our rectangular fabric pieces. Nothing fancy, just plop your shoe down on a notebook page and trace. You don’t need to trace the entire thing, we just need the top curve.

Cut your pattern piece out.

Measure 3/8″ in from the top and side edges of your rectangles and trace the curve from your pattern piece.

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We are NOT going to be cutting on that line. We just want to use it as a guide to clip the corners. Measure 3/8″ above the curve on each side of each pattern piece.*

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*You might find it easier just to make the pattern piece 3/8″ larger and just trace that directly onto your rectangles.

Cut the edges from the top of your fabric.

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Now we’re going to use our fabric pieces and your pattern piece as a guide for cutting our Heat n Bond Lite. Trace your fabric onto your Heat n Bond. (If you’re using a glue stick instead of Heat n Bond, skip this step.) Set your pattern piece 3/8″ down from the top edge of the line you just drew and trace around it. This sounds more complicated than it is. Basically, you’re just drawing a line 3/8″ in all around the inside of the line that you just drew so that you end up with a horseshoe shape. It will be a 3/8″ wide strip that will go all around the outside edge (except for the bottom topstitched edge) of your fabric piece.

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Fuse the Heat n Bond to the edge of your fabric.

Clip notches out of the curves just in from the SA.

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If you’re using a glue stick, notch your curves and then apply a line of glue along the edges of your fabric.

Press your fabric in 3/8″.

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Now we need to get rid of the bulk from the bottom corners of our fabric. Clip or pin your fabric to your tongue and determine the amount of fabric that you need to trim from the bottom corners. The space between the sides of my shoes measured 2 1/4″.

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I measured 2 1/4″ centered on the bottom of my fabric, clipped the corners and then trimmed them.

I used the marks from my clips to cut the bottom corners off of the bottom. Then I liberally applied some Fray-Check to the raw edges. You could probably come up with something more graceful at this step but I knew those edges would be hidden behind the sides of my shoes so I just chopped them.

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If you would like to reattach your One-Star label, measure 3/8″ down from the top edge of your fabric and mark a horizontal line.

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Zigzag stitch the edges of your labels.

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Clip your prepared fabric to the tongue of your shoe.

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Shove your shoe underneath your presser foot.

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Zigzag stitch all around the edge of the tongue.

Now we have that bottom bit in front of the rubber toe that we were unable to stitch. I decided to glue mine down but you could handstitch if you’re feeling saucy.

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Mmm…glue.

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Press that glue with a hot iron. Lace your shoes up.

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Get out and show the world your new kicks.

 

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