My first step in the process of boot-making began with making an insert. I used mylar as a resist (See Fig. 2 and 'mylar'). Once I had my resist I felted around the resist using Corriedale wool roving (See end of post for 'Corriedale' and 'roving').
Once my basic felted shape was strong enough, I took the resist out of the boot and put them on my feet. I finished the felting directly on my feet. When the felted forms were dryish I cut them along my shin to the top of my foot and removed them.
I left them overnight and then put them back on my feet. I used plastic wrap as another resist and wound it around the felted boot form and then created a top layer of plastic. I then cut along the same line and pulled off both the plastic and tape resist and the felted insert. I then used the plastic and tape 'boot' and a rough pattern. I cut the shape of the pattern leaving me with basic shapes.
I traced these shapes onto heavy card stock, added seam allowances and went right to cutting the pattern out of leather. After two days of dying, finishing, conditioning, and spacing my sewing line I began to sew.
I started out by attaching the soles of the shoes to the bottom layer of leather. At this point I realized that it would be good to do some research on shoe soles, preferably made of recycled rubber or biodegradable squishy plastic. I will be posting my research in the future. For now, however, I will be using a much thicker leather to delay the wear down time of the sole.
I finally began assembling the boot but I stopped after a couple of days of hand sewing because I realized that the pattern is off. The toes are tipping down too much which will cause the leather on the top of the foot to bunch uncomfortably. So now it's back to the drawing board...
To clarify terms for those who need some extra info:
What is Mylar? Mylar is often used to generically refer to polyester film or plastic sheet. However, it is a registered trademark owned by Dupon Tejjin Films for a specific family of plastic sheet products made from the resin Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). The true generic term for this material is Polyester Film.
("What Is Mylar?" Mylar, Plastic Sheet- What is Mylar? Grafiz Plastics. Grafix Plastics, 2007. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <http://www.grafixplastics.com/mylar_what.asp>.)
What does Corriedale mean?
The Corriedale sheep was developed in New Zealand as breeders attempted to improve the meat characteristics of the Merino by crossing with longwool breeds such as the Lincoln. The Corriedale was imported into Canada from New Zealand and for many years was a popular dual purpose breed. Its popularity has declined with the decline of the wool industry.
"Corriedale Sheep." Corriedale Sheep. CANADIAN CO-OPERATIVE WOOL GROWERS LIMITED., 2014. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <http://www.wool.ca/Corriedale_Sheep>.
What is wool roving?
Wool roving is wool that has been sheared off of the sheep, washed and carded. Carding takes the clumps out of the wool and aligns it so that the fibres are all facing the right way. It is then ready for spinning, turning it into yarn, or to be felted.
My Own Two Hands