Adventures Into Shoemaking

Some sort of extra delusional part of my brain thought that perhaps it would be easy to make a pair of shoes.

They were even sandals. How hard could it be?

Turns out it takes a fair amount of skill and aptitude. Next time I'm tempted to take on a project like this, remind me that it requires math, patience and blistered fingers.

I've been seeing a lot of these cuff type sandals this summer, and I love them! The ones I found were around a $100 (give or take a hundred or two), so the next logical process in my brain was to make them myself... which is of course my answer for everything in life. One of these days I'll learn it's never that simple.

I was going to make this post a tutorial until I quickly started realizing I needed to make a dozen pairs of shoes before I was competent enough to photograph the process.

Sure I took pictures. There was some of this.
A little of that...

And a bit of this...

Problem was, for every three steps forward, I took about two and a half steps back, which makes it particularly difficult to recreate. It was hard enough to get the right shoe to look like the left shoe (and I was only marginally successful).

Working with leather has always given me a case of nerves and put me in dire need of smelling salts. I think it's because I'm used to working with sale or clearance fabrics and I tell myself it doesn't matter if I ruin it. Leather holds the higher status of being both difficult to replace and quite expensive... plus, a cow somewhere made a pretty big donation. All good reasons to make my scissors quake in my shaky hands. Am I sure I'm cutting out exactly what I need and not a millimeter more?

All in all though, I am relieved with the results. The soles are leather and the rest is cashmere wool. They feel heavenly, like your ankles are ensconced in soft clouds.

They look a little forlorn without feet in them.

As always, it's all about the small details. I did some leather working on the bottom just to take it up a notch. Plus, tattooing the bottom of your shoes is a whole lot easier than your skin.

Next shoe making dream? These.
3 sprinkles of fairy dust:

Sometimes I think you might be a tiny bit crazy. I'll tackle a myriad of DIY projects... but SHOES? Never. Yikes. And very, very impressive.

Ez! You are crazy! Brilliant and crazy! How on earth do you do so many things and succeed expertly? If you were amongst the second generation on earth, I'll bet you would have come up with I-phones and everything in between!

wow, I am so impressed. Those are adorable. It would just never enter my mind to make shoes. You are pretty amazing.