After attending Sandal Making 1 at the Chicago School of Shoemaking, I decided to try to make some shoes on my own. And what better way to get a project done then to have an impending deadline… like my brother-in-law’s birthday.
My brother-in-law is the perfect recipient for custom handmade shoes. He’s a bit of a clothes horse and he likes stuff other people don’t have. So – I thought my custom shoes would fit the bill perfectly (despite the fact that I had no idea what I was doing.)
I started by stealing a pair of his flip flops which I used to determine the size of the insole and the sole. I cut the insoles out of leather, then stained and sealed them. I sewed the main straps from some upholstery fabric and fashioned the piece between the toes from a grosgrain ribbon. And to give it a personalized touch – I monogrammed the ribbon before stitching it all into place. To connect the straps to the insole, I punched holes in the leather and fed the straps through, glueing them on the bottom side. Finally I glued the shoe tops to the vibram soles. My dad stepped in at the end for help with trimming and sanding, but I put on the fishing touch of painting the edges with edge dressing. And what a difference this makes – it gives the edge of the shoes a nice clean look.
I have to admit – I was pretty impressed with myself. He really seemed to like them too. Too bad they are a little loose. ugh.