Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Handmade Lether Shoes.
Now here is the whole story: My husband has very wide feet, and finding shoes for him is very, very, very hard. Especially considering the fact that he walks a lot, so they need to be comfortable. After trying to find him new shoes for a couple of weeks, I gave up and decided to try my hand at shoe making.
In order to make these shoes I got a pair of sandals and mutilated them. I basically just needed a shoe sole, so the pair I got was chosen with this in mind. Everything was glued to the sole, which made it easier to remove without causing any damage. There are no holes or anything like that. There are two indents though on each side of the shoe where the sandal was glued together. You can see this indent on the picture, I couldn't mask it in any way. Sandals I chose for this mission had very soft soles, which made things easier. Usually you would need extra layer of leather on the sole for comfort, but because it was already soft enough I didn't need it.
The second material I used was the leather. I didn't have any tough, durable leather that is usually used for the shoes, so I used an old leather jacket. The use of softer leather has it's pros and cons. First of all, it's not as durable, I honestly don't expect these shoes to last more then a couple of month, if even that long. It also doesn't hold shape, so shoes don't look as good. On the other hand it's more comfortable because you don't have to wait till you break into them, they shape to the foot as soon as you put them on. My husband said he likes the fact the leather is so soft for that exact reason. Even moccasins as comfortable as they are took him a few days to adjust to.
I used moccasin shoe design for this pair. I hate following instructions, so I changed it a little bit to make it easier for me to figure it out. I had to cut out 2 shapes for each shoe. One was the bottom and sides and the other was the top. I glues the first shape to the sole with a mild glue, just so that it wouldn't move while I'm sewing it together. Once the glue dried, I sewed the sole to the leather. Next step was to sew the top of the future shoe to the sides and sew the back of the shoe together.
I used waxed hemp string for all the sewing and to make a tie.
When I was sewing the sole, hemp cord was going through the bottom of the shoe and would be touching the ground, so I used some soldering magic and berried the cord in a layer of melted rubber. It solidified very fast and now all of the cord is protected and is less likely to wear through.
It took me 2 days to get these done. Figuring out how to size it was one of the hardest parts. Sewing through leather was a nightmare. Needle had no problem going through the rubber though.
Now totally of topic, have I mentioned I got myself on a new schedule? Today is the day I'm supposed to draw and paint. So hopefully I'll be able to come up with something new and exciting. I was actually so busy with everything else that I haven't drawn much in the last month.