Turn your sneakers into a corset top with this surprisingly simple tutorial

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On this episode of In The Know: Upcycled, style icon and DIY fashion expert Wandy the Maker (@wandythemaker) reveals how to transform a pair of shoes into a fashion-forward corset!

What you’ll need: 

Step 1: Remove the soles

Start by grabbing a pair of shoes. Wandy recommends using high top canvas sneakers because they have extra fabric to work with. To remove the sole, cut around the edges of the shoe with a box cutter, then use scissors to cut through the lighter fabric. Remove the entire sole including the toe box of one shoe, then repeat this process for the second shoe, but leave the toe box intact. Make sure to work on a stable surface like this table so that the shoe stays sturdy while you cut it. 

Step 2: Start shaping the fabric

Once you’ve removed the soles, it’s time to start working with the shoes’ fabric. First, remove the cardboard heel box from each shoe and remove the shoelaces. Then, cut the tongues off the shoes and cut down the middle of each shoe’s heel so you can lay the fabric flat on the table. Finally, take the shoe without the toe box and cut it down the middle into two pieces.

Step 3: Clean up the fabric

Take the piece of shoe that still has an attached toe box and lie it flat on your table. Fold a length of bias tape over the rough edges at the top of the shoe and use pins to hold it in place. Then, use your sewing machine to sew the bias tape onto the shoe using a straight stitch. 

Step 4: Start sewing!

Now that your shoe pieces are looking nice and neat, it’s time to sew them together! The piece of shoe with the toe box intact will be the centerpiece of the garment. Place the two shoe halves on either side of the toe box centerpiece so that they look like wings. Pin everything together to keep the pieces in place, then use your sewing machine to attach all of the pieces.

Step 5: Add the finishing touches

At this point, the fabric part of your corset is done. All that remains is to add some cord to hold everything together. First, use a punch tool to punch two holes in the top of the garment, then use your eyelet tool to add an eyelet. Next, feed a shoelace through the eyelets to create a neck strap. Once that’s done, cut 15 feet of elastic cord and feed it through the other eyelets on the garment. Secure the cord in the back using a cord lock, and your one-of-a-kind corset is complete!

You’ll be the envy of fashionistas and sneakerheads alike when you wear your corset out on the town! As Wandy notes, “Whether it’s hopping on new trends or experimenting with new styles, there’s nothing more satisfying than creating your own piece of clothing that nobody else has.”

More from In The Know:

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5 online thrift stores that make it easy to shop sustainably from home

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Gen Z fashion designer Anna Molinari makes chic looks out of recycled trash

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