With winter wrapping it’s icy fist around us, it’s hard to find ways to escape the chill. I didn’t have much planned on this grey day, so I thought I’d throw together some moccasins. You know, to keep my toes warm!
I have majority of a moose hide, draped on the back of a chair, just crying to be made into something. So with the decision made, I dove into the project.
I used a pattern pack that I picked up at Tandy Leather some time ago. Patterning hurts my brain so when the opportunity to use one is available, I am grateful. I chopped a piece of some veg tanned leather, that I had laying around, to use as the insoles for the mocs.
The pattern pack provides patterns for a variety of sizes. I took the size I wanted and photo copied each piece out that I would need onto paper. I then cut out the paper pieces to trace onto the hide. Choosing your placement is important and the fact that these were for myself I chose to use areas of the hide that was scarred. I like using pieces that have blemishes as it reminds me that what I am using/wearing was once a living creature. They lived and ate, and slept and bred, and these marks are a symbol of their life.
Now that the easy part was done it was time to move onto a little more tedious part of the project. Hand stitching leather is so much easier if the holes are pre-punched. And the pattern provides all the stitch holes. I used a pen and marked them all, then grabbed my awl and began to make the holes.
After all the holes were made, I measured out the lines for the fringe and cut it up.
Using the pattern, I cut the insoles out of the thick veg tanned leather. I believe it to be a 8/9 oz hide but I am not certain. All I know is that it’s thick. The part I love about using that leather for the insole is that it will shape so nicely to my foot and feel amazing against my bare skin. All the while keeping my toes toasty and protected.
Once the insoles were cut out, I used the slicker to smooth out the edges and then applied contact cement to the rough sides of both pieces. I waited a few minutes to let the glue dry then stuck them together.
I stitched the fringe to the heel piece for both sides and began to hand sew the mocs together, using artificial sinew.
The moccasins came together nicely! As I sit writing this I have them on. I can already sense the leather insoles shaping around my feet, truly becoming mine. I feel pretty certain that I will be padding around in these until sometime around June or so. They’re warm and cozy, and also pretty darn cute!