Friday, January 21, 2011

Update on my shoemaking hobby

I haven't made any shoes for a while. I recently received a set of instructions for making "side opening, turned moccasin boots with button closures similar to what might be worn at renaissance fairs and buck skinner rendezvous." The instructions show how to make the pattern on the foot and how to make the moccasins. I want to try it.

I ordered a big piece of leather and some more Vibram Newflex. I will take a stab at the instructions and maybe end up with some cool boots. In the mean time, I started making another pair of sandals since I have all this scrap leather and sandals don't require really big pieces.

I discovered a trick. I put a heavy-duty needle in my sewing machine and used it to pre-punch stitching holes in the leather. I used my sewing machine manually, by turning the wheel with my hand rather than with my foot. I didn't just sew the leather because I need to use waxed thread and didn't want to hurt my machine or screw up the tension. It sort of works, but the holes close up again and it takes a lot of effort to push a needle through by hand. So I made my own tiny stitching awl with a needle pushed into a cork.

I've almost finished stitching all the tabs and heel sections for the sandals. After that, if I have any scrap leather big enough for soles, I can stitch them to the soles and then when my Newflex comes, I'll glue on the Newflex and have some awesome 4-tab sandals sort of like these (only not nearly as fancy or perfect).

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