I made these, Yes I made these shoes all by myself after seeking to further understand the shoe making process. Also because these shoes resemble the style of Mexican Huaraches (sandal) of Dahlia.
After searching online for short courses on shoe making I came across the business "The Shoe Comaradarie" who operate out of Brisbane, Australia. It was perfect as I could make a pair of shoes in a day, gain some knowledge of what is involved however avoid a full course. The Shoe Comaradarie offer a full day experience of choosing one of their styles and making that style in a group environment.
Lisa who owns and is the brains behind this great little business will send you the styles and help you to measure your foot to ensure you get the best fit prior to the day. Lisa ensures that you have the correct shoe lasts and all the equipment ready on the day. The sole has to be made in advance as this would be a bit difficult for us novices and also to keep the experience to a workable length.
To start with we had to trace and cut out all the leather components and punch the buckle holes. Next came the leather strip weaving through the top section of the shoe. This process is quite time consuming and not as easy as one would assume.
Gluing is an important step as after its applied it needs to be left for some time to make sure its tacky and you don't get it coming apart later. Then we adhere the top woven section of the leather to the inner sole. To achieve the correct shape and a good fit, a shoe "Last" is required. (Besides the hole punches, knives and bevels, the Shoe Lasts are an integral and costly part of shoe making as they are not adjustable and you need one in each size.) So as a manufacturer you need to invest in multiple sizes and styles of lasts to meet client needs and quantity demands. Something I learned when seeing my Huarache suppliers in action.
Once the top section of leather is glued to the inner sole, I had to then glue on the base section of the sole, leave that to dry and then add the finishing touches. This involved using an electric sander to smooth the rubber base sole to give it that professional finish.
I was pretty impressed with my end result and I thoroughly enjoyed the creative process and little high I had in the end. That might have been from the glue!
I ended up altering the shoe due slightly in experimentation of styles I wanted to design, however I loved the original shoe design also. I can vouch that the soft leather used is super comfortable and so is the shoe in general. You will see me wearing these very often. So funky!
When you have a dream or love for something that you can turn into a business, go for it. Don't be afraid to experiment or get your hands dirty in investing time going after that Dream.
Much love from the Perfectly Imperfect Kat. xxo