Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The selfmade leather shoes

I have wrote about these shoes before but I feel like I should give a bit more detail about how I made these and why I made them in the first place.

When I decided to make these shoes I already had some sewing experience.. Repairing my own clothes, repairing my kids stuffed animals and even making my own clothing however this turned out to be something totally different.. Making my own shoes turned out to be a lot of hard work.
I got the leather from a jacket I bought years ago. I was not going to take the jacket with me on my journey so why not use it and make something useful out of it. It was somewhat of a motorcycle jacket, made out of black leather.

I looked for patterns online and I found a pattern for Anglo Saxon shoes on some reenactment website. No printer so I had to drawn it myself using my bare foot as a measurement tool. And then I start cutting.. no problems there. It's when I started hand stitching when I really ran into problems. I was used to stitching cotton, fleece and wool but this was a lot harder to do, at some moments I almost gave up. Broken 3 needles, fingertips were all sore and had scratches. But after 6 days the shoes were finished and the results are on the pictures below. If you look closely at the pics you'll see that each shoe is made out of a single piece of leather. The white inner layer is fleece for comfort and warmth.

So do they fit nicely? Hell yes!
If I wear these and put on socks as well then they become to warm for comfort when I'm inside. Wearing them feels like wearing slippers but they do a pretty good job as shoes. Some time ago I was walking these in my garden while it was snowing. There was snow everywhere and I expected the shoes to have no grip at all since they are "sole-less", I was in for a big surprise. Not only did I have enough grip, I also realised that they were completely waterproof.
My ancestors most likely were not Anglo-Saxon but "Germanic" Saxons.. Still they would wear the same type of shoes or at least the design would look familiar to them. Wearing them gives me the same feeling as a Native American who puts on Moccasins for the first time, or a Greek wearing ancient Greek sandals... a sense of patriotism..

When I head out I will be wearing typical, common sneakers, They are alot better when your cycling because of the pedals. But I'll be carrying these Saxon shoes in my bag for later use, when the adventure truly starts. Enjoy the pics.


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