I am so excited to let you know that the Silver Sands Sandals pattern is now available!! As you can see in the photo below, it is a simple three strap slip-on sandal - the perfect project to start your shoemaking journey!
As you make these sandals, you will experience working with both chrome and veg tanned leathers, and will learn how to laminate leather (the term used to describe the process of glueing two layers of leather together as is done with the straps), how to cut slots, how to attach straps to the insole and how to make and attach a sole. These are all important basic shoemaking skills that you will be able to build on through future Atelier Louise patterns.
The pattern is available as a PDF booklet so that you can follow along with the full colour photographs and written instructions guiding you step-by-step through the process of measuring your feet, gathering your materials and tools, and constructing your very first pair of sandals. In fact, you will only need to print the two pages that contain the pattern pieces for your shoe size.
While I have designed the sandals so that you can make them at home with minimal specialised tools, there are a couple of specialised materials you'll need. Firstly, there are two types of leather used in these sandals - chrome tanned and veg tanned leather. You can find more information about these here. Secondly, you will need 3mm resin soling. This is normally sold in large sheets so you may want to split a sheet with friends, or if you think you'd like to continue making shoes, it's something you will continue to use for future pairs. In Australia, it is available from Leffler in either beige (code RESIN3BGE) or black (code RESIN3BLK). In the UK, it is available from Algeos in natural (code OF1021), black (code OF1031) or sepia (code OF1025). If you live outside these areas, or if you would like a smaller piece as you try shoemaking for the first time, I recommend asking your local shoe repairer if they will sell you a piece. They regularly use resin sheeting for resoling shoes and in my experience are happy to sell you a piece from one of their sheets. If you're wanting to find out more about any of the tools or supplies listed in the pattern, or where to find them, you can check the relevant posts on the shoemaking page of this site.
And, in case you were wondering, I named the sandals after Silver Sands (pictured above), a beautiful stretch of beach located about an hour's drive south of my home town in Adelaide, Australia. I love the beach and have spent many, many hours sitting outside the surf life saving club there, staring out at the water, as well as walking along the shoreline. It's a very special place, so when it came to naming these sandals, it just seemed appropriate.
Anyway, that's enough from me for now (and thanks for reading all the way through this post!). I hope that you're excited about making your first pair of shoes, and I can't wait to see what you create. Happy shoemaking!!