Spats are shoe covers, usually white, that are often used in costumes or to achieve a look such as a Victorian style. You can make white spats for your own boots and customize the spats to your footwear. By making your own, you ensure that the quality of the spats will be much better than the quality of spats you often find in a costume or party shop. Additionally, custom-made spats will fit better, and you can reuse the pattern in the future.
Things You'll Need
- Tailor's chalk
- White fabric
- Sewing machine
- 2 zippers
- Elastic, 1 inch wide
Zip or button up one of the boots. Lay it on its side on a piece of muslin fabric. Draw around it with tailor's chalk. Leave 3 or 4 inches between the boot and your drawing line. The muslin should be oversized for this step.
Cut out the muslin along your drawing lines. Use it as a pattern to cut another identical piece of muslin.
Put on your boot and pin the muslin pieces over the boot on your leg. Place the pins vertically. Make a front and a back seam with the pins. The seams must be straight down the front and back of the boot. Pin the muslin so that it is as snug or as loose as you want the spats to be.
Draw along the pinned seams with tailor's chalk. Draw a line around your leg where you want the top of the spat to be. Draw a line on the muslin where you want the spat to end at the bottom. Remove the pins and the muslin from the boot.
Lay the muslin pieces flat. Draw a second chalk line ½ inch away from the lines you drew in the previous step. These lines are for seam allowances and should make the outline wider. Cut the pieces out along this second line. Now you have a pattern for your boot spats.
Fold a piece of white fabric in half with right sides together. Pin the muslin pattern pieces to the white fabric and cut them out. Now you should have two of each shape and they should be mirror images of each other.
Sew the front seam of both spats along the seam lines. Iron the seams open. Sew 3 inches of the seam on the back, starting at the bottom along the ½ inch seam line. Press the seam open. Press the rest of the back edges toward the wrong side ½ inch, continuing the crease upward from the sewn area.
Pin a closed zipper inside the back of each of the spats. Line up the zipper opening with the unsewn part of the back of the spat. Place the pins perpendicular to the zipper. Topstitch the fabric ¼ inch from each side of the unsewn part to sew the zipper into place. Sew horizontally across the bottom of the zipper. Remove the pins.
Iron a 2-inch wide strip of stiffening interfacing around the inside of the bottom edges of the spats.
Fold under the top and bottom edges of the spats ¼ inch and press. Fold under another ¼ inch and press in place to make a hem. Topstitch these hems 1/8 inch from the edge of the spats.
Measure the width of the bottom of your boot just in front of the heel. Add 1 inch for seam allowance. Cut two lengths of 1-inch wide elastic to this measurement. Put on your boots and zip the spats over them. Pin the ends of the elastic strips inside the bottom edges of the spats just in front of the heels. Remove the spats and sew the ends of the elastic in place.
Tips & Warnings
- Sew a row of buttons vertically down the outside of each spat for a different style.
- Use black thread for the topstitching to add drama to the spats.
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images