Shoe Rosettes

Hi Friends!

Over the past few years in my free time, I’ve been translating an instructional article from a German magazine called Der Bazar, which was published in the 1800s. This particular article, from 1861, explains how to make fancy bows (“rosettes”) to put on women’s slippers, shoes, and boots to make them fancy! Rosettes and cockades were worn to decorate items like shoes and belts for ladies, but also worn as brooches, memorial pins, or even political pins!

Here is the original (the text is on both pages; the pictures that go with the article are on the 2nd page):

My translation is below, for those of you who want to try it!

Most sincerely yours,
~ Sarah


Shoe Rosettes
With 10 illustrations
With this rich selection of rosettes we offer our readers the opportunity to do justice on their own to the elegance required by fashion in regards to one’s chaussures.
We provide the rosettes in various levels, as well as their size and their original accoutrements — from the simple little cockade to the trimming decorated with lace and pearls as befits the costly velvet mule, the bridal boot, or ball shoe. A few of the originals shown in the given illustrations are only fitting for this type or that type of footwear due to their style, as pointed out in the note given with the individual descriptions when appropriate; no footwear is out of the question for the use of the remaining rosettes. For indoor slippers or mules, as well as with boots that one wears to the theater, in the carriage, or with evening clothing, fashion dictates that rosette decorations are a color that contrasts with that of the shoe, yet is in harmony with the rest of one’s toilette. With walking boots, though, choose trimmings that do not contrast.

No. 1 Rosette á la Pompadour

Materials: 90-100 cm black satin ribbon, 2 cm wide.
The ribbon specified above is basted into very small pleats and is set in a spiral onto a 4 cm round foundation, starting at the outside of the foundation in rows spaced as closely as possible, so that the pleated lines of ribbon stand up.
This rosette can also be made larger, in an oval shape, in which case the foundation is cut in the appropriate shape and, naturally, more ribbon is also used.

No. 2 Cockade Rosette

Materials: 40-44 cm black satin ribbon, 1 cm wide; one small steel buckle.
Lightly singe the ribbon, and tack onto a 3 ½ cm round foundation in 3 or 4 rows in a spiral; slide the buckle decorating the middle onto a smooth piece of the same ribbon.

No. 3 Rosette Impériale

Materials: 70 cm black lace, 2 ½ cm wide; 77 cm currant-red wired chenille; 19 middle-sized foam beads. *Translator’s note: Schaumperlen is unclear. It could be foam beads or foam pearls. I mostly see this word used to describe seafoam, so I’m not sure what kind of bead it’s referring to.*
Pleat the lace, and baste in 3 tiers in a spiral onto a 3 cm round foundation. Fasten 8 chenille loops between the first and second lace tier. Every loop should have a black foam bead in the middle. Fill in the center with a tuft of chenille loops, the outermost and innermost of which should likewise be decorated with beads.

No. 4 Rosette for Morning Shoes and Mules

Materials: 67 cm brown satin ribbon, 4 cm wide.
In terms of the arrangement of the 6 individual bows and both of the ends that comprise the trimming, we refer you to the illustration, since for this rosette, looking at it is the surest explanation. The bows appear to be held together in the middle with a loosely attached short ribbon loop, but you can pull this smooth through a wide curved buckle to give the whole thing the true character of a shoe rosette.

No. 5 Rosette, Noeud Papillon

Materials: 40 cm black satin ribbon, 1 cm wide; 20 cm of the same ribbon, 2 ½ cm wide.
To arrange this rosette, form 4 individual bows of a 5 cm ribbon length each, and tack these in a half circle to the foundation.  The inner decoration is a cockade made of the narrower ribbon, done just as in No. 2.

No. 6 Boot Rosette

Materials: 140 cm brown satin ribbon, 2 cm wide; a steel buckle.
The long, narrow shape of this rosette makes it suitable only for decorating boots. Cut the foundation for it in a tongue shape, 8 cm long, with one end 4 cm wide and the other end 2 cm wide, and rounded on both ends. Begin on the narrow end and attach the ruffle in two single rows, so that each forms a half circle. On the third row, which follows the second in the same shape, continue the ruffle straight away continuously around the wide end of the foundation and then towards the middle in spiraling oval rings, as far as it reaches. The empty space remaining within the ribbon decoration is covered with the buckle, drawn upon the remaining brown ribbon. The illustration will truly enlighten the understanding of the arrangement described here.

No. 7 Rosette, Noeud Papillon

Materials: 40 cm ponceau satin ribbon, 4 cm wide; 15 cm black lace, 3 cm wide; a small steel buckle. *Translator’s note: ponceau appears to be a bright red-orange.*
Make 4 individual bows from the ribbon, each made from a 5 cm length; additionally, make 3 shell-shaped leaves, just like those given in the description of No. 11 — and arrange both sets on the foundation cut in the shape of the rosette — the 4 bows in a half circle on the outside, the 3 leaves in the middle, and the two separated by the black lace. The point where the 3 leaves meet is covered by the buckle drawn onto a piece of the ribbon. When placing this rosette, the straight flat side is put toward the top.

No. 8 Rosette for Morning Shoes and Mules

Materials: 78 centimeters gray taffeta ribbon, 2 to 2 ½ cm wide; 70 cm black lace of the same width.
The foundation of this rosette must be 6 ½ cm long, 4 cm wide, and in the middle, in the shape of the rosette, somewhat narrower. Form 12 individual bows, each made from a 5 cm length, and tack them to the foundation in threes on either side, in horizontal rows and alternating with a crinkled black lace. Fill the gap between these trimmings with 2 small bows set opposite, one pointing up and one down, and cover their attachment with a flat ribbon drawn through a curved buckle.

No. 9 Lace Rosette

Materials: 66 cm black lace, 2 ½ cm wide; a small piece of wide currant-red ribbon or silk cloth; a steel or bronze button.
Cut a 3 ½ cm round disc from strong paper, cover it on one side with lining gauze, and on the other with the colored silk cloth. Divide the black lace onto it in 2 pieces, one 23 cm long and one 43 cm long, and baste each piece in very small pleated folds. On the back, halfway up the width of the lace, draw a fine black silk thread through each pleat, to hold them in evenly in place. Set the longer of the two trimmings around the edge of the round piece, so that it extends beyond the edge by 2 cm all around. Pull the shorter trimming together into a rosette and place it in the center of the red backing, so that it it only appears through the airy lace background.

No. 10 Rosette with Tassels

Materials: 78 cm dark blue taffeta or satin ribbon, 2 ½ cm wide; 33 cm black lace, 3 cm wide; 7 cm very narrow black lace; 2 small blue silk tassels; one small steel buckle.
To make the 15 petals of the rosette, cut the blue ribbon into 5 cm pieces, leaving a 2 cm piece to secure the buckle. To make each individual petal, do the following: Fold both corners of the upper long edge down to the middle of the lower long edge, in opposite directions, so that you form a triangle. Turn the triangle over, and fold both corners from the sides down and somewhat overlapping, so that they extend beyond the bottom edge of the triangle, and so that the top forms the dahlia petals you can see on the illustration. Trim the points that overlap and point down, and fold the lower side corners to the back, so that the the petal gets narrower toward the bottom. Form all the petals in this way, and then decorate every one of them with 3 steel or gold beads in the top of the opening, which you string together and fasten with one vertical stitch. Baste the petals in 2 open circles onto a round stiff foundation you have cut from tulle, gauze, or linen, which has a diameter of about 3 cm, and on one side, following the shape of the rosette, it must be bent and flattened. The arrangement of the petals can be clearly seen on the illustration. Gather the wider lace and surround the rosette with it, by basting the lace to the back of the stiff foundation all the way around. The two tassels can either be thread-covered or made of creped silk. Fasten them in the middle of the rosette such that they hang down through the open side of the surrounding petals. Finish the entirety by taking the narrow lace, pull it together into a small rosette, tack it to the remaining space, and then slide the small horizontal buckle onto the piece of ribbon set aside for this, and fasten it on top. This rosette should be set upon the boot or shoe in such a way that the tassels fall toward the toe.

No. 11 Rosette à Coquille

Materials: 88 cm white satin ribbon, 2 ¼ cm wide; 38 cm white blonde, 2 ½ cm wide; a small steel buckle.
The shell-shaped leaves making up this rosette are folded individually from an 8 cm piece of the ribbon given in the “materials”. Lay the folds from the middle of the bottom edge diagonally toward the corners of the top edge, in 3 folds, first on one side, then the other, which simultaneously form the veins of the leaf and have to reach over one another somewhat in the middle of the leaf. Due to the folds in the middle, the leaf obtains a length of about 3 cm. Trim the bottom to form a straight line.
Cut foundation of this rosette in the shape of a heart, 4 cm tall and 5 wide, and then stitch down the white blonde along the outside edge in folds. On top of this, first place the 7 outer leaves and then the 3 inner leaves as seen in the illustration. A leaf also covers the center, and place atop it the buckle drawn onto a piece of ribbon in a contrasting color. Instead of a leaf, you can take the ribbon that is through the buckle, pull it tight, make a small bow, and stitch in the middle with the buckle. When placing this rosette on a shoe, the pointed side of the rosette should be on the lower side.

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