We’ve decided to study leather, flax/linen, wool, cotton and silk. In addition to learning about each fiber and how they are made, we also plan to do a “making” project for each of them. The first one we have completed is a pair of leather moccasins. We looked at many pattern and kits online but ended up choosing a pair of one-peice soft sole moccassins which we found the instructions for on a website called Native American Technology and Art. It is a great site which I am sure we will refer back to when we do our Native American block this spring.
Above is an example of the instructions that we followed. I traced around Ishaan’s feet and then measured and drew out all those complicated looking lines. Really they are not complicated once you read the instructions all the way through.
After we made and cut out the paper pattern, we made a mock up out of a piece of scrap fabric. I HIGHLY recommend that you do this as we had to make some adjustments to make the pattern work. We added about 1/2″ to the width of the flaps to make them a little bit longer when folded down. We also had to add a bit to the length and make them a bit narrower across the foot. The photo show the mock up just pinned, but I had Ishaan sew it up to practice his stitching. Also, it gave him something to do while he waited for his leather needle to arrive.
Once we were happy with our pattern adjustments, Ishaan traced the pattern onto his piece of suede and cut it out.
- tool to mark the holes or stitches
- We didn’t end up using this nifty little tool. I think it is for softer, thinner leather and couldn’t make a deep enough mark with it. I just marked the leather with a sharpie every 3/16″. We also did not end up using the glovers needle I got. I could barely get it through one layer of leather and I knew that Ishaan trying to force it through two layers would likely end in disaster. I just punched the holes with a leather punch that my mom had left over from her den-mother days. It made the sewing for Ishaan much easier and he just used thick waxed thread and a darning needle.