Making shoes is one of my favourite crafts. Twice a year when the seasons change I make new ones for my children, either winter or summer shoes. They outgrow them so fast!
These I made for my daughter in autumn colours, using brick-red, ochre mixed with cream pearl and cranberry for heel covers (see below where to find them). The edges I impressed with leather stamps to give them something extra.
The lining is thin leather, I had only bits of different colours left, as you might notice in the photo above. Looks kind of funny, but then who will notice.
Here are a couple of photographs that show some of the stages of making the shoes like cutting out the pattern pieces and punching holes, some of the tools needed for shoemaking, dyeing all the pieces and stitching them together.
I use only a few tools and make the shoes completely by hand, it’s slow but I only make shoes for my family so that’s fine with me.
I use vintage wooden lasts, I find them mostly on eBay. It’s only recently that I’ve seen a few shops online offering new lasts, maybe more people ask for them now as shoemaking gets a bit more popular.
The leather I dyed with the best water-based leather stains I know of, you find them at Identity Leather Craft, a shop in the UK that sells leather craft supplies.
Making sandals is the best way to start with shoemaking. If you would like to give it a go check out my e-book How To Make Unique Leather Sandals which shows you all there is to know about creating beautifully handcrafted sandals.
I’m in the process of writing an eBook on how to make shoes and boots like the ones above, see my post about it here.