Learn To Make Moccasins
On this page we will learn how to make a pair of up the knees moccasins. There are many variations of moccasins. Many of the steps listed here can be modified to make some other style. So the general knowledge learned here is of great practical use. And although this is put forth as a tutorial for post apocalypse survival information, this is one skill that you might find enjoyable today.
The moccasins we are about to make are of the one piece variety. The one piece is great because they are easier to make than multi-piece moccasins but they are worse because once the sole wears out they aren't designed to just have the sole replaced.
Tools and Materials
1. Leather! Here is the link to how to make your own leather without any modern chemicals. Tanning Fur
The directions are for tanning hides but it is a simple matter to scrub off the fur to make it straight leather.
2. Scissors! Or a sharp knife if you do not have scissors.
3. A Needle. This will be the hardest to acquire tool if you don't plan ahead. A large Glover's needle is ideal. Are you can make your own in various sizes to use with various size threads. The threads can be many things. Maybe you have modern string, or you can use sinew, or you could use thin strips of leather.
4. Sinew! Information of making your own!
5. Icepick! Make due with what you have. A knife can work but a nail is much better. You want to pierce a hole not cut the leather.
6. Needle-nose pliers! Not absolutely necessary but makes the job easier when trying to pull your stitching material through a small hole.
7. Pencil or pen or burnt end of a stick.
Cutting The Moccasin Out
Place both feet on hide with your heels 1 inch (2.54cm) from edge of leather. There should be one inch (2.54cm) gap between your heals, but only 1/2 inch (1.26cm) between the balls of your feet just before your big toe. Mark a center line directly between your feet. This will be the divider between each foots moccasin.
Now mark off a box that starts at the edge of the leather that is divided evenly by the center line. The box should be one inch wide (2.54cm) and one inch long. The centerline divides this box into two equal halves.
Draw curve around top of foot/toes leaving an extra 1/2" (1.26cm)of extra leather... IE your toes will be 1/2" from the edge of this curved line. Mark this curve until your line reaches the middle of the balls of your feet of the big toe. See illustration for clarification.
Now continue this line (from the outside of your foot)to draw a line that is almost straight down towards the edge of the hide but have the line slightly angled in towards the heels so that the distance between the where a straight down line would have hit is actually hitting the edge 1/2 inch (1.26cm) per to the inside. Do this on the outside of each foot.
Now draw two boxes. One for each side of the pattern. One the outside of the foot. It is a bit hard to describe so look at the drawing and you will see the two boxes that have the letters B and C on them.
Now to be clear!!! Even though you have drawn this pattern using both feet, it is a pattern for exactly ONE moccasin, not two.
Now that you have a pattern to cut out it is a good idea to get a piece of fabric that can be saved for future reference. Cut it out from the pattern you have marked on the leather. Check to see if it appears to fit properly around your foot. As described further down on how to sew up the moccasin. Now adjustments can be made if you think you need to trim or add leather to some part of the moccasin. If you moccasin turns out perfect then save the cloth as a future pattern that will always make you a perfect fit moccasin.
OK now cut the leather moccasin away from you hide but only cut the very outside lines. None of the interior lines!
Now to sew up your moccasin you always sew from inside out. So start at point A and sew the sides together so that eventually both point B's will be pulled together.
As you can see from the picture above the cut line from C to D is not a straight line. So Although it isn't absolutely necessary I would cut away some of the leather on the bottom of the pattern from point C to point D. The most material cut away will be midway between the two points. So start at C and gradually cut towards D and slowly move up from a straight line. Cut more away until you have cut 1/4 to 1/2 and inch deep arch midway towards D. Now continue cutting until you arching cut connects with Point D.
This give the moccasin the familiar heel pocket of the shoes you currently wear.
Now sew a seam together from point D to point C! This will mean you are sewing from top of the moccasin towards the heel. At this point cut slits for heel tab from D to E but only after the proper fit is checked.
Pull the tab to the outside of the moccasin and flip it up and sew it in place tightly to make your moccasins waterproof.
Last step is to cut a piece of leather that resembles a shoe lace. Tie a bow in its center. So that you have a knot in the very center of the "shoe string". Poke four holes in the back of the moccasin. Two on each side above the heal. thread the "shoe string through these holes so that the knot is in the very back. The knot keeps the shoe string from ever working its self in any direction because the knot will not easily pull through the holes that the "shoe string" goes through. Now wrap each tag in around the front of the foot and then to the back and then tie them together not at the front but at the back near your heel.
Congratulations! You now have you own homemade moccasin. Now do it again for the other foot using the pattern you made half way through this procedure.