Thursday, 19 April 2012

Handmade Nautical Sandals!!!

Now, don't flip out. I want you to be calm. Ok? Good. Because I have something to tell you. Ready?:

I MADE SHOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously. One week ago, I made some shoes. Real shoes like shoes that you could buy in a shop. Except you can't buy these in a shop. Because I made them and they are unique. I was able to choose the colours and (with time considered) the style. They are heavily inspired by a pair I saw on the ASOS website which looked comfortable, cute and relatively simple to make, but ultimately they are one of a kind.
So how did this incredible event come to pass? Let me explain. More than once on this blog I've mentioned my recurring obsession with making footwear. I guess through my desire to be 'wardrobe self-sufficient', making footwear became like some sort of handmade holy grail. I've got files of images and website links saved all containing clues as to how I might go about creating my own footwear. But I had yet to attempt to make anything because I couldn't see how anything I would be able to make would be either wearable or not looking like something belonging to a viking! Or like I'd wandered outside in my slippers.
Well, a very lovely lady called Emily, who reads my blog and must have seen my online longings for self-made footwear, emailed me offering me her assistance to make my dream become a reality! You see Emily studied cordwainery in both her native Australia and in London, and currently works for a theatrical footwear makers.
Lucky for us all, Emily has a wonderful blog where she documents the truly amazing footwear she and her colleagues create for stage and film. And more recently her ventures into sewing. And even luckier for us, she has signed up for Me-Made-May '12! I'll wager that she'll be the only participants who regular wears hand-crafted footwear as part of the challenge. I can't wait to see her documentation photos from the month.
So, keeping in mind how cool it'd be to be able to wear my sandals (weather permitting) during Me-Made-May, we consulted our diaries and hooked up in London last weekend for the shoemaking sesh. I'm not going to explain the process because it took a whole day and I've probably forgotten some of the stages, but I've more or less documented some of it plus some glimpses from the fascinating workshop. The day was soooo interesting, seriously one of the enjoyable days of my life! A HUGE thank you to Emily is in order for donating a chunk of her spare time and much patience to someone she didn't previously know to help make them VERY happy!













46 comments:

lladybird said...

Whoa, that is REALLY cool! And you ended up with an adorable pair of shoes - they totally don't look homemade at all. Color me jealous :)

Handmade shoes are definitely the coolest addition to Me-Made-May, in my book :)

Anonymous said...

The whole process looks like more fun than one should be allowed to have. I am green with envy.
Claudine (couturearts.wordpress.com)

K.Line said...

This is truly unbelievable. Oh how I wish I could do this.

quietandsmalladventures said...

wow, those are amazing!!!!!!! congratulations!!

Jennifer said...

Wow! I'm jealous :-) This sounds so fun and you're new, unique shoes are very cute! What a great addition to your Me-Made-May lineup!

Kestrel said...

Wow, so cool! They look really nice and I admire your total devotion to handmade too.

MrsC said...

Far out, that is beyond maker's cool!

Vintage Girl said...

Only you could think of this, I am floored by your talent and amazed to see your dreams come true. How delightful to make ones own shoes. I see more in your future... keep us posted.

Sølvi said...

This is beyond cool! Love, love, love it! :-)

Miss P said...

Oh m y gooooooooooooodness!!!!
So jealous! Clever you and what a lovely lady Emily is!
Px

Mary said...

What fun-the pictures are so interesting. I love watching this type of process. You will have to update us on how comfy those sandals are, and if you plan to make more. Really cute!!

Kelly's Korner said...

Oh wow!!! That's been one of my dreams for years! Way to go! They are super cute!

Scooter said...

Oh, my gosh, shoemaking has recently been an obsession of mine--It's so cool to see other newbies trying it! It's awesome that you were able to find someone to help you explore this area.

And beautiful sandals,congratulations!

liza jane said...

Ack! So incredibly cool! I want to do this, too!

Kat said...

That is so cool! Love the colour and style.

Madalynne said...

This is so cool! I know so much about sewing garments but absolutely nothing about shoe making. When I was a student at SCAD, a portion of the fashion building was dedicated to accessory and shoe design. It looked interested but never interested me (I love making dresses way too much) until now. The pictures of your day are awesome. You can tell how much you were into into. And what a wonderful lady Emily was for showing you the ropes of shoe making!

Amy said...

You lucky duck! They are very cute!!! Those are going to be fun to wear this summer. Thank you for sharing some of the process photos with us. And I really like Emily's blog, so thanks for sharing that, too.

Carolyn said...

omigosh, those are completely and utterly adorable, and to say I am insanely jealous is an understatement! I have been obsessed with the idea of making my own shoes too, ever since reading "The Makeshift Project" blog. I was completely entranced by Natalie's journey when she spent a year documenting her daily outfits; wearing all gear entirely made by herself, including shoes!
I am definitely checking Emily's blog out too, thankyou!

Tasha said...

Ok, this is SO cool! I also have a (long-term) shoe making dream, how fantastic to have all the equipment and be able to go for it!

futurenakano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
futurenakano said...

Such a cool opportunity! The shoes came out great!

Cynthia said...

So cool! Those shoes came out really cute and what an unique experience

Christina said...

So cool! And the blog is amazing, too.

Stephanie said...

WOW! I'm super impressed! Would love to make my own shoes :)

Alexei said...

I like your determination, and a great design to choose too. Being a shoe maker it's great to see so many readers enthusiastic about your sandal making. If anyone is interested I can put them in touch with someone that could run a course guiding them through a similar process to make themselves a pair.

Marie said...

Simply...WOW!!!

Alana said...

Dude, you made your own shoes?! That deserves some serious flipping out!

sorbetsurprise said...

That is fantastic! I bet it was a really interesting day and your shoes are really cute!

Claire (aka Seemane) said...

Shoe making has always fascinated me - the whole engineering of it etc. seems like a lovely jigsaw puzzle to fathom out!

I wonder if you can take this further - and deconstruct 2nd-hand shoes, to re-use parts and add in new bits of leather etc. to make new-to-you shoes ? Hmm... food for thought methinks :)

Alexeii said...

Hi Claire, on your question about deconstructing 2nd hand-shoes| yes you can and I do, the main issue is how you deal with the seams (incorporate them or use patterns that mean you don't need to) . It is a lovely design constraint to work with.

Hillary said...

SOOOOOOOO COOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!! Both the experience and the shoes you made!! Well, and your friend, obviously!! Extra awesome!!

Veronica Darling said...

SHUT UP!SHUT UP!SHUT UP!SHUT UP!SHUT UP!SHUT UP!

I cannot even think straight right now, ZOMG and totally congrats on making shoes! WOW!

Carmen Bouchard aka CarmencitaB said...

Very cool shoes! I wish I could find someone to teach me stuff like this!

Melizza said...

Holy crap. You made shoes! They are pretty hot. I would so buy a pair. Or heck, give making them a try as well.

Tabatha Tweedie said...

They are AWESOME!

Ali said...

This is the coolest thing. Ever.

Donna said...

That is pretty much the Holy Grail of Me-Madeness - awesome!!

Lavender said...

Argh!!! So green! I love your sandals, and am dying to make my own. Prior to working for years as a seamstress, my mom worked in a shoe shop (total blue collar here), but it's long-closed.

Cassie Stephens said...

Amazing!! I love your nautical shoes (and your blog which I'm just now discovering!) how lucky are you...I wanna make my own shoooooes. Thank you so much for sharing!

StephC said...

Cool! Very very cool, love that you made your own sandals! :)

velosewer said...

Amazing.

Gabrielle said...

I love these sandals. They are just beautiful - you've done such a great job with them! When I was a kid I had 2 years in a Steiner school and one year my class learnt how to make leather sandals. It was lots of fun - cutting and dying leather, gluing and hammering - but they all looked amateurish compared with yours.

Tors said...

They are FABULOUS! Great design and colours, so very you and how cool is it that you made them?! Amazeballs!

sosusie said...

wow wow wow wow wow wow wow.
I decided this week that I'm going to do a shoe making course because I just can't get shoes to fit me and thinking of joining this month's me made challenge and what it might mean to me I realised that I want to smarten up a bit, look a bit more like I've considered my wardrobe and one big stumbling block is that I can't find shoes to fit aside from things like converse. I feel SO inspired by your shoes.
I haven't yet signed up for the challenge but I want to and maybe it's not too late because I wasn't going to do something that involved wearing something every day and yes it would still be a challenge for me.

Chase Clark said...

Goooo Zooooo! You rock!

MK_Ultra_Reject said...

Cool sandals!!!

I found a book, Make Your Own Shoes by Mary Loomis Wales. Just ordered it. I've been wanting to make my own shoes for the longest time because I have extra wide feet and wear a size 10.

It's just recently, that I also found the soling material and the cushioning material in sheetform at retail. And it is very affordable. So, I'm going to be making my own shoes, plus making my own boots and flip flops.

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