Aug 7, 2013

Fringed tongue

The summer has been pretty lazy in here as well in my personal life. But that´s how summers should be, right? But now I think I will carry on revamping my shoes. The revamping in the last post was a lot work. Now I´m going to keep things simple and quick.

First, as an introduction, I must say that I absolutely love the 40's contrast colors, color blocking and two tone elegance, especially in shoes.

(From here)

 (from here)

  (from here)

(from here)

I have these lovable 1930's brown shoes that I bought in near mint condition. I have treasured them and worn them only in a few special occasions.

I adore them as they are but I needed a pair of simple shoes in solid color to test this easy way of modifying your shoes. I got an idea from this picture:

(from here)

On the shoe second from the top there is a fringed tongue. Fringed tongue is often associated with loafers that were also a popular look in the 40's. I thought the mix and match of rougher and sporty loafers and sophisticated heels looked kind of cool. So I went with the idea!

First I  dug through my supply of leather scraps to find a suitable piece and color. I ended up with forest green. Then I measured the front of the shoe and made a paper pattern. You can make the pattern in any size you want to, but I wanted to cover the lacing. Here are the measurements I used:
top: 4 cm/1,6"
side: 7,5 cm/3"
bottom: 5,5 cm/2,2"

I folded a paper in half and drew the pattern on the other side. The top of the pattern I drew on the fold so when I cut it out the pattern was duplicated and the duplicates attached from the top. I needed to make the pattern double so the leather would cope with piercing and wear. I shortened the back piece a bit. Then I drew the pattern on the leather and cut it out.

When the leather piece was cut I made some detailing to the bottom with croppers.

Next it was time to cut the fringes.

And the last step: punching the holes for shoe laces that keep the tongue in the right position. I used a leather punch too for piercing the holes. (Okay, okay. My boyfriend used it. I couldn´t press hard enough..) I folded the duplicate piece back to make even holes.

Then I pulled the laces through the holes. The duplicate is again folded back so it will strenghten the tongue.

I also found this Etsy-shop where you can buy these tongues ready made and another blog post with a DIY instructions for a bit different fringed tongue. Those findings were helpful in this project!


  1. Oh my goodness! That is SO clever!! I have some modern shoes that resemble vintage styles that this would look great on!

    1. Go for it! It´s an easy way of modifying shoes without doing any permanent changes!