I decided to try to make my own shoes. In some ways, I think shoes are easier than sandals. I can't seem to make sandals that don't slip around or chafe.
I decided instead of leather, I would use fabric. I got the idea to use fabric from Simple Shoemaking.
I got the pattern from a web site that has shoe patterns from medieval periods. I used the pattern for the Front Laced Shoe, which they said was based on the shoes worn by the Bocksten Man who was found in a bog in Europe.
I made my best guestimate of a tracing of their pattern, then cut it out a little larger and trimmed to fit. I cut it out on a piece of fabric, actually a burned cloth napkin I got at Art From Scrap for 10 cents. I pinned it to my foot and to the sole from a pair of flip-flops. I kept pinning and trimming until it seemed I got a decent fit. Then I used the cloth napkin as a pattern for the fabric I really wanted to use.
For materials I used a green nylon skirt I bought from the thrift shop and some orange placemats the lady at Art From Scrap gave to me. I also used flip-flops from Rite-Aid. I added the orange trim to make the shoe stronger and give me a finished edge around the bottom. I sewed the green fabric (two layers) to the placemat fabric and glued the placemat fabric to the flip-flop sole. Inside where my toe is I sewed additional fabric so my toenail doesn't cut through the nylon too quickly.
I didn't cut the little notch at the lacings deep enough so they are a bit of a struggle to put on. Also, it turns out my right foot is bigger than my left so the right shoe feels shorter.
Still, for a pair of homemade shoes, I think they turned out great. I have some other fabric and will try another pair. But for now, I think I'll take a walk in these.
Update: I went for a walk and I am in a state of disbelief. I actually made a pair of shoes. They fit, they don't feel weird, they don't chafe or slip, they didn't fall apart. They feel completely normal and they are super comfortable. I'm totally stoked! I can't wait to make another pair.