Sewing shoes

After I had a hard time sewing moccasins, I decided to make something easier to get my enthusiasm and courage back before finishing them. And are there easier shoes than sandals? I doubt. So sandals were my choice, the medicine of self-confidence.

I had slightly thicker leather this time, but surface treatment was different, much more suitable for sewing shoes, which was a great experience and lesson. Not only thickness matters!

Another good experience is that having real pattern worth! Unlike the moccasins, I spent time preparing 3D duct-tape pattern exactly on my foot. It’s nothing complicated and thanks to it all the sandal parts fit perfectly.

The only problem was material shortage. Originally, I bought this small piece of leather to make a tablet case with the intention to make a simple zentangle drawing on it. Then I changed my mind for sandals instead. And you can imagine the difference in material demands between shoes and a small tablet case 😊

Finally, I so-so put the pattern down on the piece of leather, using  every available scrap. Actually, I would like to have tapes over my instep longer, but there was no more to take.

After cutting all the leather parts and sewing them together (with a great help of awl) I glued the leather insole to the sole, which I cut out according to the pattern, using a 6 mm thick shoe sole rubber sheet. I left the glue work for 24 hours with a heavy load on top of it.

sandal_in_mirrorThe final step was to place hook-and-loop fasteners and the work was done! Not perfect, but pretty good I would say. I didn’t break any needle and didn’t cause any injury 😀

Your comments and improvement recommendations are welcome!

Thanks for reading,

Ivana

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A little handcrafting

Recently I decided to buy a new wallet because the old one was getting old and ugly. Easy peasy you would say. But I found bugs on each available wallet as if I didn’t want to really buy it or I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the old one. I felt to be in a “rubber” mood when everything looks sticky and tails back. Exactly the right time for the third (alternative) way!

And it came to me suddenly – I could make the wallet by myself! An excitement came along with the idea, so I was a step away from realization.

Although I have never worked with leather, I bought a small piece of wasted leather, a special needle and thread, made up a pattern, and the project began.

It cost me a lot of patience and even pain caused by a rebellious needle, but finally I succeeded! My first crafting experience with leather has materialized into a product I can use every day and be proud of it despite all the imperfections.

The result brought me to a more ambitious idea – I could sew simple leather shoes!

Then I remembered how much I desired to have Native Americans moccasins in my teen age. At that time I wasn’t interested in dress and makeup like my girl schoolmates, but I read a lot of books, especially adventures of the America settlement era. One of my heroes was Apache Chief Vinnetou from the books of Karl May and from there came my teens’ desire to have moccasins like he had.

I kept the wish for moccasins secret because my reasonable part considered such desire foolish even at that age. But today? Everything’s possible! And I could make the moccasins by myself!

So I bought another piece of wasted leather and the project number 2 began. It took me a long time to make up the pattern with a minimal amount of leather, but I succeeded. This led me to expect that all other steps would be as smooth as in the previous project, which turned out to be false.

Within the first few hours I broke two needles, even though they were specifically designed for leather sewing. The second accident almost caused me an injury, so I took a break.

I still wish to have the moccasins, I want to buy another needle, finish my project and walk in the shoes I made myself. But I also feel doubts and need encouragement.

Maybe the teens’ desires belong to the past and it’s better to keep them there and focus on the present desires instead. What do you think?

With love,

Ivana