Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Homemade Shoes, by Janel Shoemaker

I thought if this worked out, I would change my name to "Shoemaker" in pride!  But that's as far as I'll take the idea-- that subject line right up there  :-)

My daughter has really hard-to-fit feet.  Her little toes stick out farther than expected.  In regular shoes her little toenail gets rubbed against the side, or if we order much larger or wider shoes, then the footbed is thrown off and the whole tread is wrong.
She used to be more willing to endure ill-fitting shoes, but she's gotten more sensitive about it over the years.  We've tried various specialty shoes without any luck, and we don't have enough money or live anywhere near a place that makes real custom shoes. 

This summer it's come to the point she refuses to wear painful shoes any more, so she's been going around in flip-flops or some soft leather slippers that are dark enough in color to be "moccasins".

I decided to give it a try. There's lots of ideas on Pinterest but of course I can't use any pattern, that's the whole point  :-) 

I just traced around her foot, made a rough pattern and started making tests.


What shall we use for sole material?  I think that doormat was a bit too cheerful, anyway.

It can still be our doormat, I only needed to trim off one side. 

The first prototype shoes, made out of tapestry material...


With soles cemented on! 
Kept on finding one design flaw after another.  Her heels would pop out of the shoes when she tried to walk, so I added elastic around the top. 

And they're suitable, and on her feet!
She has shoes that FIT RIGHT and are comfortable.  Can this really be true?

Just don't look too closely at the patch job on the left toe... I had to make a design adjustment at the last minute before she went off to youth camp! No time to make another pair from scratch.  Hand stitching in panic. I really do rise to the occasion WHEN NECESSARY! 

"If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done"  :-)

I'll make more, and the next pair will look even better! 

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