Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A splash of colour (with added stash-busting!)

Did somebody say "butter-soft turquoise leather, flat, slip-on winklepickers with contrasting red leather binding along the topline"?
You did? Well that's an amazing coincidence because I just made myself a pair!

These shoes have been on the back burner for a while, but I finally finished them yesterday. I've been trying to inject a little more colour into my wardrobe and I believe these shoes will do just that! 

These shoes are also the result of having decided that I must make more use of my leather stash...
This is my stash. It usually lives piled up on top of the bookcase that contains all of my making stuff in my little sewing corner. I have owned some of this leather for YEARS! When sorting through these leathers I discovered that this stash contains the first skin of leather I ever bought (this was over a decade ago!) and it felt like such an important purchase that I was then too nervous to cut into it! Crazy! What's the point of having all this lovely leather if it just sits up on top of the bookcase? I have resolved to make the most of the stash and make things that I am proud to use!

So, starting with some lovely soft turquoise lamb leather and (what I think may be kangaroo skin) red leather, I made myself some more pointy shoes. The turquoise leather is more of a garment weight - it's quite floppy and not quite robust enough for everyday footwear, in fact when we use lamb for footwear at work we usually add an iron-on backing) but I wanted these shoes to be really soft and to have a bit of ease to them. Rather than my usual variations-on-the-oxford-brogue-theme, I wanted the design to be un-fussy but still with impact, and to let the lovely leather speak for itself.

I have had these winklepicker lasts for years. They are my size but are a little slimmer across the joint (the widest part of the foot) than my feet. I have added a layer of cork at the inside joint to allow for my knobbly knuckles (that's the metatarsal-phalangeal joint of my big toes, if you're being all fancy about it) and have added a leather patch to add a bit of bulk to match the lasts measurements to my own.

Despite only working on these shoes sporadically over the last few weeks, they are very quick to put together. The most time was spent making the pre-finished sole. I wore them for the first time today and they were very comfy, although my toes have ended up a bit red - not from the shoes rubbing, but because of the dyes in the red lining leather! Overall, I'm very happy with how they turned out, and I now have a simple slip-on pattern with endless possibilities for variation.

So blue, so pointy!


  1. Amazing in so many ways! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh wow, I love the pointy toes and the colour is just gorgeous!! I am so envious right now!

  3. Gorgeous! I want some

  4. These are so epically amazing! I love how simple you left the design, they really pop and the turquoise and red combo is one of the best ever IMO! So clever to see how you added to the last to match the measurements. I'm glad they are super comfy for you.