Introduction: Sewing New Life Into Old Uggs
These are my Uggs. They are the oldest pair of shoes that I own, when I first looked into replacing them I thought they were about 10 years old. Well turns out my math was wrong, these babies have been with me since before my kids were born putting their purchase in the late 90's. Most likely I bought these in 1999 for about $120. So really about 22 years old. Well I think I got my monies worth so I decided to replace them. Since 1999 Uggs have changed quite a bit. Turns out I can't buy men's boots that are this tall and the womens sizes don't go big enough for me. I did not want the half height boot so repair was my only option.
The soles were still good but the stitching that holds them on had been coming loose for a few years allowing sand and water to get in. Replacing the stitching would be the repair I needed. I bought a kit from Amazon that had some waxed thread and some needles in it. I decided on red for the contrast and bought the kit because it was a good deal and gave me some other colors and needles besides the ones I already had. I think it was about $6 for the kit.
I also used some scrap pleather or vegan leather if were talking high fashion.
I used thin foam on reassembly. This was a role of toolbox drawer foam from harbor freight, maybe 1/8 inch.
really thin crochet hook
Step 1: First Step Is to Remove the Old Thread
This was pretty easy and quick to do. Just use a seam ripper to cut the thread and pull it out in chunks. Had a nice pile of tread and sand leftover when I was done. Now if your Uggs are not as old as mine your soles are different and they used glue to put them on. Other repair write ups covered this type of sole and looked a lot faster than mine. But the results of my repair with the contrast stitching look great.
Step 2: Remove and Replace the Sub Sole of the Boot
I don't know if this is actually called the sub sole but that's what I named it. Another round with the seam ripper and this came off. It seems to be made from strong leather like you would find on an old set of bongos. I did not have any of this and did not feel like sewing leather by hand so I used some scrap vegan leather. I'll use the fancy name cause I am fancy but you can use pleather if you want. Using the old sub sole I traced and cut out my vegan leather. Sewing it on I used some regular black thread and a curved needle from my pack. Just a simple looping stitch to hold it on was fine.
Step 3: Now the Slow Part and Finished
When I reassembled I added a piece of toolbox drawer padding from harbor freight between the rubber sole and the sub sole. I figured this would give keep the vegan leather in better shape longer. Starting at the heel I started my stitching. Now if you have ever sewn with leather you know that you either use a heavy duty machine, have massive hand strength, or punch holes in advance. My method was the latter but for me the holes were all there already and it was just a matter of lining them all back up. I used a basic running stitch and went around the boot and back to the heel. The heel and sides went pretty well but working up in the toe box was a real pain. I used a long straight needle to do my sewing and if I had to change the thread I would just leave a long piece loose when I could not tie a knot. Keeping my stitches loose for the first time around worked well as I could pull the pieces apart to find the holes. When I got to a stopping place I would tighten up all the stitches around the shoe. Another technique I had to use in the toe area was to thread a long metal crochet hook from the outside in. I would then remove my needle and loop my thread over the crochet hook and pull it back out. Then put the needle back on and sew it in, wash rinse repeat. I said this was the slow part.
Now to get the solid stitch look around the boots I had to sew around them twice, you can see what I mean in the first picture. Once I got all the sewing done I pulled all the stitches tight again and put some super glue on the last loops that went into the boot before the thread ended.
A little cleanup of the loose thread and then put the insert back in and my boots, coated them with waterproofing stuff and they were done. Good as new and ready for another 20 years.
Participated in the
Fix It Challenge