Saturday, August 24, 2013


I was saying to Andrew that I'd really like to get a good pair of moccasins before this winter. My feet are always cold, and with a "when in rome" mentality, I think it would be neat to have a pair of moccasins while living in the far north, just a hearty stone's throw from a reserve. But a pair of hand crafted moccasins around here runs somewhere between $80 and $120. I understand why, and I don't begrudge them for charging that for something so tough to sew and expensive in materials. Right now though, I feel like that's money I could be putting to better uses. Then I started really thinking about it. I've got a chunk of chocolate brown suede that was given to me by a friend sitting around gathering dust, and I even have a nice, dark rabbit pelt that I could use to trim a pair of moccs... hmmm...

 I drew the template for the moccasins from an online guideline. I wish I had left an even larger margin around the edges of my foot than it called for though, then the slippers would have taller sides on them. As it is, they'll be very low. Oh well.
 This is what that same template looks like cut out in the suede.
 Here I've sewn up the toe puckers and heel cup. All that's left to do is add the uppers (called vamps) that I want to do some beadwork on first, and then the rabbit trim around the edges. Or maybe I'll just add a cuff of the same suede to add a bit of height to the sides, and save the rabbit for another pair. I do have enough suede for another two or three pairs. I might put a liner fabric in them, or I might not. Haven't decided yet.
And this is a close up of the stitching along the heel cup. Pretty happy with how they're turning out so far!! Stitching suede by hand though is no easy task. It's not bad through just one layer, but with a heavy needle, and doubled, thick thread, it's a bit of a bugger to muscle through two layers. I've been wearing my leather gardening gloves to help me grip the needle and help protect my sensitive finger tips. Really not a project for the faint of heart, or upper body strength! Any leather stitching I've done in the past has been through pre punched holes, but the suede really didn't seem thick enough to warrant it. Now I'm not so sure!


small farm girl said...

I can't wait to see the finished project!!!!!! How about putting the rabbit fur INSIDE of the shoe? It would keep your feet warm! Lol

Sam Sheehan said...

I thought about it, but I would need another pelt. There's just not enough fur on one rabbit to cover two feet! I might make just a fleece liner for them though