Harriet the Spy – High Top Sneakers

Day 2 of Harriet the Spy tutorials will attempt to make Converse All Star style sneakers to go with her other ‘spy clothes‘. Harriet was completely ahead of her time. Back in 1964 girls just weren’t wearing high tops. Thanks for blazing the way Harriet!dsc_0483


  • black or blue canvas or heavy weight materials(see Note)
  • black or blue lining material
  • interfacing (optional) – I didn’t use it, the canvas was sturdy enough by itself
  • McCalls pattern 3469
  • white craft foam
  • matching thread
  • 12-16 silver or white eyelets
  • white soutache (I used White 5mm Elastic Trim from Hobby Lobby)
  • white lacing (I recommend White 1/8″ Poly Soutache braid, but I used scraps of elastic I had on hand.)

Note: You’ve got another choice to make with your shoe color. The book jacket cover shows black high tops. The description in the book (at the end of chapter 2) says Harriet wore “an old pair of blue sneakers with holes over each of her little toes.” I’ll let you decide how accurate to make these.

You’re going to follow the general directions for the sneakers / View F of McCalls pattern 3469.



When you cut pattern piece #19, you’re going to make it 1/2″ longer.




Pattern piece #18 also needs to be modified. You’ll be gradually adding 1/2″ extra material to the tongue of the shoe. I folded it in half and cut to make sure it was symmetric.



You’ll also use piece #18 to cut out craft foam to make the ‘rubber’ toe of the shoe.

Cut piece #16 (sole) from the white craft foam too.

No changes are needed to piece #20.

Sew everything together according to the pattern’s directions.


When It’s time to add the sole (#16), I simply glued it on with the glue gun.



Glue the foam toe of the shoe. You might need to trim the foam a bit to help it fit. I make sure the foam did not overlap with the sneaker side. Be careful, I burned myself on this step .


Add the soutache to the bottom and sole of the shoe. This step will cover the seams and edges and make it look much prettier. Be careful not to let the glue squirt out over the top of the soutache. You can see it on the toes of one of my shoes (first picture on the top – right shoe) and it doesn’t look nearly as good as the other shoe.)


Mark and add 3 eyelets on each side of the sneaker. You’ll have 6 total for the laces on each shoe. If you want to be really fancy, add 2 to the bottom inside.

I used a hand cut vinyl circle and star for the inside symbol. If you’re lucky enough to have a vinyl cutting machine, you can whip two up easily for the insides of the shoe. You can also glue foam or fabric for the same look. Lace up the shoes and you’re done!

Our last piece of spy equipment is coming up – Harriet’s tool belt!


2 thoughts on “Harriet the Spy – High Top Sneakers

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