|Shoes from the Museum of London's collection.|
Paper and pencil for patterning
1 foot square of thick veggie tan leather for sole- Mine are made of buffalo since I found a scrap to experiment with
1 foot square of thinner leather for shoe upper- I used goat skin
exacto knife and cutting mat
Cut out pieces of shoes. Remember to make mirror of the shoe. Now is a great time to use punches or knives to apply any decorative slashing and punching. Each one of my shoes has 2 rows of small slashes. While wearing them I have learned that the more slashing or punch work you do the looser the vamp will fit. Be careful of overdoing it on a pattern that fit well before you slashed.
Use clips to join upper pieces to sole and punch out holds for leather needles to go through. Stitch through shoes using 2 running stitches or a cordwaining stitch. Weave string into stitches. I placed the suede side to be walked on in hopes of better traction, remembering my ballet slippers as a child. Also like those slippers the suede is becoming shiny and slick from wear.
Flip your shoe right side out. If leather is stiff, apply a little water with a damp sponge.
And there you have it! I am surprised it took me so long to try this relatively simple process. Go make some shoes and dance!I've had a lot of fun showing these off and now have plans for several other pairs with different bits of slashing or dyes.
|Slashed Vamp from 16th century. Currently at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.|
Gardiner, Julie, Before the Mast: Life and Death aboard the Mary Rose, Oxbow Books, 2013.
Grew, Francis and Margrethe de Neergaard, Shoes and Pattens, Museum of London Books; 2001.
Museum of London Image # 002264.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Accession # 29.158.893
Metropolitan Museum of Art Accession # 29.158.477