Video Sew Along: 18 Inch Doll 80's Hightop Sneakers Pattern

Hi and welcome to the on-demand version of the 80's High Top Sneakers for 18" dolls video sew along, brought to you by our friend Connie Tkach of the sewing project sewing school!

This was originally a live sew along on Facebook and we've archived it here so anyone can follow along with the videos to make these adorable shoes.

There are four videos in this sew along that take you from gathering the tools and materials you'll need, all the way through every step, right up to lacing these cuties up.

And, bonus, Connie has TONS of helpful tips and tricks for doll shoe making, and even adds in a few short cuts not included in the pattern that will make your high top sneakers project go even smoother.

You will need the 80's High Top Sneakers pattern or the 80's High Top Sneakers with SVG Files Included (to make Part 2 crazy easy), so go ahead and grab the pattern if you don't have it already and then follow along with the videos below. Have fun...

Introduction: Gathering Project Materials and Sewing Tools

Highlights of the Introduction video:

  • Tips on where to get faux leather vinyl and which to choose
  • Pros and cons of using contrasting vs. matching thread
  • What craft foam to use for different parts of the sneaker
  • Cardboard vs chipboard for inner soles pros and cons
  • Tools to punch the shoelace holes
  • What kinds of cord to use for the laces
  • Dollar store chopping mats for templates (amazing!)

Connie discusses a doll cobbler's stand you can buy on Etsy and you can click here to see that listing.

Part One: Preparing the Pattern Pieces

Highlights of the Part One video:

  • Awesome tips and tricks for working with faux leather vinyl 
  • How to use the Dollar Tree chopping mat to make a template
  • Tips for cutting the cardboard and craft foam soles
  • A easy tip to punch perfectly symmetrical laces holes on the shoe upper 
  • How to glue the top applique to the upper (which we'll stitch later but doing it now allows time for glue to dry)

By the end of this video you will have all the faux leather vinyl pieces cut, uppers with holes and upper applique glued, soles (2mm foam, 6mm foam, and cardboard/chipboard).

Have a Cricut Maker and want to skip the cutting steps? Grab the 80's High Top Sneakers Pattern with SVG Files Included to let your machine do the work for you!

Part Two: Assembling the Top of the Sneakers

Highlights of the Part Two video:

  • Pros of an adjustable satin edge foot with clear plastic for edge stitching
  • Tips for which needle to use for this project
  • Tips for constructing and stuffing the high back of the shoes
  • An easy "cheat" to skip a difficult top stitch from the pattern :)
  • Another easy "cheat" to glue the back applique instead of stitching

At the end of this video you will have the entire upper shoe completed.

Part Three: Attaching the Inner and Outer Soles

Highlights of the Part Two video:

  • Tips on which glue to use for the soles
  • How to cut slits to make a smooth curve on your sneakers
  • Constructing the inner soles with cardboard and craft foam or fabric
  • Gluing the soles to the shoe upper with cobbler stand or doll foot
  • Attaching the outer soles (6mm foam)
  • Apply the trim around the base of the sneaker
  • Making the shoelace and lacing the shoes

And once you're done with this video, you're last step is click here to head over to our Patron Made page and share a picture of your completed 80's High Top Sneakers!

Check out the finished products of some of those who have already participated in the sew along below... 

Made by Helen Matthews Webb


Made by Liana Gooding

Made by Judith Jansson Versey


Made by Patti Youde



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