Between knitting and sewing, I’ve made a lot of what I wear on a daily basis, almost from head to toe – hat, scarf, shirt, sweater, dress or skirt, socks – which got me to thinking: could I make my shoes, as well? As luck would have it, I found an incredible instructor here locally in Portland (you can check out his website at www.laughingcrowe.com). He offered both classes and private lessons – I opted for the latter, to give myself more flexibility in terms of time and project.
We scheduled four days in a row, 9am-5pm, for the lessons. In the end, we were able to move faster and I was able to stop an hour or so early on most of the days, and we needed only a few hours the last day, but it was still an intense and time-consuming process. I learned an incredible amount, not only about how boots are made, but about their history, why they’re shaped the way they are, about leather and how it’s made and used, and a plethora of other information that I never even thought about.
The process itself required both machinery and a variety of hand tools – more gluing and less sewing than I expected. Many of the steps were challenging physically, and I would have done better if I had more than a passing familiarity with using hand tools. However, none of it was impossible, and my instructor did an excellent job of letting me do most of it, but stepping in to help if needed to keep me from ruining the final product.
Here’s a photo journal of the process – I didn’t take pictures of each step, by any means, and there are a lot more steps than I expected!Pin It