Looking for that perfectly cozy footwear for the cabin? These moose hide moccasins are beautiful, fit perfectly to your feet, and can be tailored to whatever style, colours and design you like.
Note: Drink tea while you bead, curl up next to a fire, have friends over, open a bottle of wine... the point I am trying to make is that this is a big project that requires time and patience. So make it fun by hosting craft nights and bonding over your finger callouses.
For these, you will need:
- beading needle
- hide (moose or other)
- leather needle
Step 1: Cut Pattern to Fit Your Foot
These moccasins are constructed from two pieces: the “sole” and the “vamp”.
Customizing the Width: Put on a very thick pair of wool socks or layer up a few pairs. Then measure the circumference around the arch of your foot with a measuring tape. Now adjust your two pattern pieces proportionally until W1 + W2 equal that measurement- so the total width across the vamp and sole pattern pieces should be equal to the circumference around the arch of your foot.
Customizing Length: Measure the length of your foot (wearing your insulating layers) from toe to heel. The length of your “sole” pattern piece (measurement “L” in the diagram) should be ~3” longer than the length of your foot.
Cut the inner felt (or other super soft and fluffy material) and leather to fit the pattern.
Step 2: Design and Start Your Beadwork
Draw out your design on the felt vamps. Get beads in the colours you like for your design.
Thread a needle and tie a knot on the end of it. Thread from the bottom of the vamp up and then put on up to 5 beads and thread the needle down. "Tack" the beads down by looping back around them so that the line of beads don't move around. Tack down from 2-3 beads at a time.
Fill your vamp as much as you want except for 1/4" from the edge.
Step 3: Finish Beadwork (fill)
Once you've got the first design made (the flower in this case), fill the rest with a neutral colour bead. This step isn't necessary but I find that it help to make the moccasins look super professional. Start from the outside and work your way in.
Step 4: Sew Leather to Upper
Thread a leather needle with sinew (about an arms length).
Fold the vamp in half length-ways and make a small tick on the inside to mark it. Do the same with the sole. Mark the halfway width-wise each piece.
Sew this part inside out. This will hide any stitching errors.
Take the two tick marks on each side and tack those together (either with a single stitch or with a binder clip). Tack the middle top of the vamp to the middle top of the sole as well. Now stitch each side together using the pucker stitch.
The pucker stitch is very similar to the whip stitch. Just like a whip stitch, the needle will start from the same side each time. The difference with the pucker stitch is that you maintain the same stitch length on the vamp but increase the increase the stitch length length on your sole. This change in length will cause the leather to bunch up and create a nice rounded toe.
Step 5: Make Inserts
Do this exact same process with the inner felt.
Sew using a regular needle and thread. Create it with fuzzy side in sewing it inside out and then flipping it.
Step 6: Sew on the Fur
Choose an animal fur that matches your bead-work. For this one shown, I chose white rabbit fur. For other patterns, I have used grey rabbit, martin or beaver fur.
This might be the harder part of the project depending on where you live. Acquiring fur can be difficult but using faux fur is always an option.