Materials used in this project:
Vinyl (From an old inflatable bed)
Fur (From an old fox ruff)
Industrial Strength Thread
Small and Large Needles
Step 1: Assemble Materials
I cut out the patterned section of the inflatable bed.
The ruff was essentially a lined fur tube. Therefore, I cut off one end and inverted the tube, carefully snipping out the interior stitches as I proceeded. I then removed stitches on the two sides of the tube therefore creating two strips of fur.
Step 2: Make Insoles
Using the very tip of an extremely sharp knife I was able to cut the leather without cutting off the fur.
I used a double needle stitch to attach the two pieces of leather. For this stitch two needles pass either direction through the same holes. An exaggerated demonstration of this action can be seen in the third image.
Additionally, I began the stitching from the center of each piece of fabric to insure proper alignment.
Step 3: Make Outsoles
Although I substituted materials I utilized a traditional Alaskan waterproof stitch. This stitch is used to sew bags and boots using seal hide, grass and sinew. The general concept is that the grass swells when it becomes moist, however the sinew does not. The swelling draws the two pieces of material tightly together and surface tension prevents additional moisture penetration.
I used a combination of vinyl, hemp twine and industrial strength synthetic thread. Having made hemp jewelry I know that the fiber swells when it is wet. Additionally, most synthetics do not swell when they are wet. Therefore I assumed the same principle would work.
The thread makes a standard running stitch while the hemp is laced between the fabric and the thread. The hemp also prevents the thread from ripping through the fabric. The hemp effectively spreads the load of the thread over a wider area. Tradition emphasizes the correct amount of tension on each stitch to maximize this effect so I attempted to make a consistent taut seam.
After stitching the entire outer sole I added grommets to allow for lacing. This involves punching a hole, setting the grommet and a good thunk with a hammer. Note: Grommets can be a little finicky it is best to test a few on scrap before using them on a finished piece.
I tested how waterproof the resulting booties were. I filled the out sole with water and although it dripped some, but as you can see in the picture it held water.