If there had not been a Netherfield ball to prepare for and talk of, the younger Miss Bennets would have been in a pitiable state at this time, for from the day of the invitation to the day of the ball, there was such a succession of rain as prevented their walking to Meryton once.
No aunt, no officers, no news could be sought after; — the very shoe-roses for Netherfield were got by proxy.
Even Elizabeth might have found some trial of her patience in weather which totally suspended the improvement of her acquaintance with Mr Wickham; and nothing less than a dance on Tuesday, could have made such a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday endurable to Kitty and Lydia.
-Pride and Prejudice
During the Regency women’s shoes took a dramatic turn from the high-heeled bejeweled creations of the previous generation. Instead, simple kidd leather or satin slippers were worn, and dainty ankle boots protected feminine feet when venturing abroad. Adding to the over all effect these shoes were often adorned with ribbon, flowers, bows or rosettes.
When searching to complete your Regency ensemble, it can be difficult to find shoes that look period appropriate which are also comfortable to wear. The addition of shoe roses to an already owned pair of flats can transform the look from 21st century to early 19th century in a few moments. As shown in the photos of antique shoes, the trims added were the same color as the shoe they adorned, so keep this in mind while choosing your ribbon.
Make Ribbon Rosettes to Adorn your Shoes
Wire-edge ribbon which can also be found as wired ribbon, is a very versatile ribbon to use in crafts. You can find the ribbon in craft and fabric stores or your local florist may have an ample supply. Wire-edge ribbon is most commonly seen in bows on floral arrangements or on fancy gift wrapped packages. The ribbon is called wire-edge because a thin wire is encased along the edges of the ribbon giving it body and the ability to be shaped.
My favorite thing to do with wire-edge ribbon is to make flowers, especially roses. You can find great ribbons sold by the spool or you can get some fancier ones by the yard. I like using variegated and ombre ribbons for the flowers. Variegated ribbons are shades of one color while ombre ribbons use a blend of different colors. The following photos show the different ways flowers can look by how they are manipulated.
This is a rolled ribbon rose that is made by gathering one long edge of the ribbon. Do this by pulling out part of the wire along one edge and then gather. You then roll the ribbon along the gathered edge.
This is a gathered rosette and a folded rose. The rosette is made by sewing the short ends of a length of ribbon together forming a continuous loop, then use a basting stitch about one third of the way from one edge and gather. The folded rose is shown at the end of the article.
These two roses are made from the same ribbon. The bottom one is the rolled ribbon rose while the top one is the folded ribbon rose.
Here are leaves made from various widths of ribbon. Notice how the leaves changed when using different sides of the variegated ribbon. I used the directions for boat leaves found in The Artful Ribbon by Candace Kling. The rosette instructions can also be found in this book but the roses are made a little differently plus there are several more types of roses as well as many other flowers.
Here are a couple of different looks to the folded ribbon rose by using checked and plaid ribbon.
Here are the steps to make a folded ribbon rose:
First cut a length of ribbon 18″ – 24″ (ribbon length will be shorter for narrower ribbon – 1″ and longer for wider – 1-1/2″). Begin by folding down one corner as shown in photo.
Second, roll the pointed end to the inside as seen in the next photo.
Next, fold the long length of ribbon down as shown. Then begin turning the small end toward you.
Continue to fold the ribbon down as you continue to turn the flower. When you reach the end pinch the bottom to temporarily secure the rose. Most instructions I’ve found say to use floral wire to secure but I find it stays better if you take a few stitches with needle and matching thread through the bottom.
Once your rose is complete, you can affix it to your boot or slipper with a few stitches or even glue. Voila! Instant Regency Fashion. You can also experiment with bows, jewelled buckles and other instant decorations. Have fun decorating!
Ribbon Rose instructions and photos by Donna Lannerd, for CraftCritique.com, July 9, 2007. Used with kind permission.