Published on August 14, 2014 by Amy
Moccasins are soft leather slippers that were first made and worn by Native Americans. Though they have evolved into sturdier shoes, moccasins are still popular today. Deerskin leather is a popular favorite for moccasins, as it’s softer and easy to wear and work with. You can purchase deerskin leather from a leather tanner or an online retailer, but make sure that it is tanned before beginning your project. Use a sharp leather needle to make the sewing easier.
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1. Get a 2-square-foot piece of tanned deerskin leather for your moccasins. Fold it in half and lay it flat on your work surface. Put your foot on top of the leather with the stretchy direction of the leather going across your foot. Trace a wide arc with a pencil around your foot for the sole of the moccasin. Make it big enough (about a half-inch from your foot) to allow room for stitching. Draw a straight line across the bottom of the arc behind your heel. Cut along the pencil line.
2. Move your foot to a new spot on the leather and trace another arc around your foot for the upper, or vamp, of the moccasin, leaving only one-half inch between your foot and the line. The bottom of your traced arc should come to the middle of your foot. Cut a small curve at the bottom of the upper so that it contours for the moccasin opening.
3. Cut a one-fourth-inch strip of leather that is as long as the perimeter of the vamp piece. Thread the leather needle with artificial sinew. Whipstitch the leather strip along the perimeter of the vamp, right sides facing in. Pin the stitched vamp piece to the bottom piece at the highest point of the arc and the two bottom corners of the vamp.
4. Whipstitch the bottom piece to the leather strip along the vamp, so that it makes a pocket for your foot.
5. Fold the fleece around your heel, and cut a rectangle that wraps around your heel from the middle of one side of your foot to the middle on the other side. Trace an oval on the fleece around your foot for the sole lining. Trace a wide, rounded top “A” shape on your fleece, and add a small curve for the part where the leg meets the foot. This piece should drape around the foot like a blanket, covering the toes. Cut the pieces out of the fleece.
6. Sew the “A” piece to the heel rectangle by attaching the short sides of the rectangle to the tails of the “A.” Sew this to the bottom part of the fleece. You should have a shoe-like slipper that fits snugly, with the finished side of the seams inside.
7. Find the center of the bottom of the moccasin. Measure one-half inch from the center to the left and right and make a three-quarter-inch incision in the leather, so that you can fold the leather to close the heel of the moccasin. Bring the two outer sides in and stitch where they meet in the middle of the heel.
8. Stick the lining slipper into the moccasin. Trim it to size if you need to and use loose stitches to hold it in place. Sew the strip of fur along the edge of the foot opening, with the fur facing in. Trim away the extra fur.