I promised you that I would share what I made yesterday at the craft class I went too. So, here you go. A matching pair of high top leather sneakers.
It was a full day what with needing to be up early to drive across to Bristol for 10am start. Of course I took the wrong turning, heading there and leaving! I dislike driving in cities I am unfamiliar with, even with a satnav. But, I arrived in good time at the venue and met and chatted with some of my crafting colleagues for the day.
We started with introductions to Esther, from Leather, Needle, Thread and her coworker supporting her. Twelve of us had turned up to make a pair of leather sneakers. There was leather of varying shades all rolled up on the bar area and our places were laid out with our soles, the size had been advised at time of booking. We started with an introduction to what we needed to do with the templates and then it was like the Great British Sewing Bee, as we en mass headed to the leather to pursue and choose. Not only did we have to choose which colour leather to work with (ranging from primary shades to browns and black, and also metallic), we had to decide if we would be making a super low cut, low cut, high cut or super high cut. I chose the super high cut, which comes over the ankle bone.
Once done, it was on to cutting out the templates ready to cut the leather into the shapes required. So far, so good. Marking the leather and hole punching came next, to create holes for the sewing and laces. That bit hurt from the constant griping to cut the level hole or using a hammer and punch. As one of only two men on the course, our shoes being larger meant more holes to punch 😦
Following that it was on to the sewing the back piece to the two sides, then sewing the sides to the sole and inserting the tongue part. My first sneaker was challenging as my hands are larger than the space in the toe area of the sneaker, so I had to get help from the teachers to so the toe on the reverse pass. On my second sneaker, I copies the way another crafter that works with leather sewed hers; she put a needle on each end of the thread and worked the forward and reverse pass of the sewing at the same time through each hole. Much fast, although in my haste, I sewed the tongue on top rather than below on the instep. Unfortunately time ran out, so I had to bring it home and I unpicked and got to sewing this morning and soon had it finished.
I’ve put together a little video montage of images I took across the day and the finished sneakers.
I would thoroughly recommend this type of craft workshop if you have something similar near you. You can also order kits from Sneakerkits in Europe, UK and from a US and Canada partner shop, Chicago School of Shoemaking. I will add that I am not making any money from promoting these companies.