Soles with an Edge
I am no longer selling products offered on this site, and all paypal buttons
have been deactivated. If you are interested in purchasing any of my new
shoemaking books or dvds, they are available at:
My new books are:
Slow Shoes: How to Hand-make Healthy, Earth-Friendly Shoes for Women -
$45.00 plus $5.00 shipping
Slow Shoes for Children: How to Hand-make Healthy, Earth-Friendly Shoes in
Children's Sizes - $35.00 plus $5.00 shipping
Slow Sandals: How to Hand-make Earth-Friendly Sandals (all sandals are
healthy, I think!) - $35.00 plus $5.00 shipping.
I will soon have How to Hand-make Moccasins and Slow Shoes for Men
I am still selling my book, Crafting Handmade Shoes - $25 plus
I currently have two dvds for sale:
How to Make a Derby Boot for a Child (it's made the same way as a shoe for
an adult, so this is a basic stitch-down shoemaking dvd) - $25.00, shipping
How to Hand-make Sandals - $25.00, shipping included
Please follow me on www.simpleshoemaking.wordpress.com where I offer
shoemaking information as well as videos showing different styles of
footwear you can make by following directions and patterns in my books, and
some shoemaking processes.
If you are interested in purchasing Soles with an Edge!, I have cut back on
the time I am devoting to making them, so please email or call me to find
out if I will be able to make a pair for you.
happy shoemaking, Sharon
I hear from many of you who would love to make footwear but need patterns
and soling. This is the page where you can find the soles you are seeking. I
envision it becoming as common to make one's own shoes as it is to sew a skirt or make a piece of jewelry. I view footwear as clothing for the feet, with the same limitless range of materials, designs and embellishments.
Soles with an Edge are soles with a suede or non-leather strip standing up around the edge
of the sole. There are perforations along the top of the strip, so you can place your handmade boot or clog inside the suede edge, stitch your footwear to it -
and if you have chosen outdoor soling, go for a walk outside!
I use sheets of biodegradable natural rubber to make the
outer soles for Soles with an Edge, or a Vibram sole.
Click here to see an article that illuminates the problems that can result from the use of non-biodegradable materials.
To order soles, first determine the length of your feet in inches, as measured by standing on a piece of paper with your heel against a wall. Have someone make a mark at the end of your longest toe, then measure from the wall to that mark; use that measurement to order from the chart below:
Length of sole
Foot length from wall to end of toe
8 3/8" - 8 3/4"
8 3/4" - 9"
9" - 9 3/8"
9 3/8" - 9 3/4"
9 3/4" - 10"
10" - 10 3/8"
10 3/8" - 10 3/4"
10 3/4" - 11"
11" - 11 3/8"
How to determine what size soles to order: The process for ordering the
correct size of soling varies according to the method you are using to
make your boots.
If you are knitting or crocheting your boots using patterns that
include knitting or crocheting the sole, or are hand making felt
using the resist method to make them, it's best to make your boots
before ordering soling. To measure, stand in your boots on paper against a wall,
and make a mark at
the end of the toe. Step off the paper and measure the length of your
boots from the wall, and order the shortest sole
into which your boot will fit. I strongly suggest that you make a model
of the sole you think will work, as described below, before ordering.
If you are using my Shoemaking Patterns to make your boots, make a model
boot from scrap material to determine that you have the correct-length
of insole (the fiber sole that you have stitched to your boot). Once you
have determined the correct length, order the sole that corresponds to
your foot length on the chart above.
If you are knitting or crocheting boots that are made without an insole,
and you will be making the insole from felt or other fiber, stand
on paper against a wall, and make a mark at the end of your longest toe.
Step off the paper and measure the length of your foot from the wall,
and make the sole in the correct range for you.
Make a model of the sole you think will be right for you.
your boots on paper with heels against a wall, and make a mark at the
end of the longest part of the boot; measure this distance from the
Find the shortest length of sole above that your boot will fit
Download the sole pattern found at the bottom of this page, and alter it so it is the same length as the sole measurement on the left of the chart above that your foot measurement
falls into. For instance, if your foot is 9 5/8" long as measured above, enlarge
the sole on a photocopy machine so it is 10" long.
Transfer the sole pattern to cereal-box or
priority-mailing envelope cardboard, or something similar, and cut it out.
Make a model of the suede edge
from a strip of duct tape and masking tape; approximate lengths of duct
tape are: A - 22" B- 23"; C - 23"; D - 24"; E - 25"; F - 26"; G - 27"; H
- 28"; I - 29".
Lay the duct tape out on a table, and adhere a piece of
masking tape along its top edge; then fold the duct tape over, leaving
about 3/8" of sticky back below the fold.
Now make a duct tape edge
standing up around the cardboard sole, representing the suede edge;
adhere the sticky part to the underside of the cardboard sole, as you
continue placing the tape around the edge of the sole.
When the edge is
complete, stand inside your model and, considering the thickness of the boot material that
you will be using, determine if it is the correct size for you. If not,
order a size smaller or larger, as is appropriate, or modify the model until you find your size.
If you own a business selling materials such as yarns or fibers for
making boots, you might make up a set of these models for your customers
to step in to,
If you are using patterns from Stacey Trock or Northeast
Fiber Arts, which have no soles on the bottom of the knitted or crocheted
boots, you might want to order 1/4" thick 100% wool felt soles to stitch to
the bottom of your boots. You can order them on this page, directions
for attaching the them are on the Felt & Fiber Footwear page - in red, at
the bottom of the page.
The colors of suede edges available on the soles are: black, blue, brown, forest green, gray, green, moss green, pink, purple, red. Soles made in these colors are not returnable, so please make the mockup as described above to assure yourself that you are ordering the correct size. I also have some pastel shade of ultrasuede and a black rubbery material for those who do not want to use leather. I can do some custom suede edges, please inquire if you have something unique in mind.
Metal loops to stitch under Soles with an Edge to lace running laces or
cords through, to hold boot close to leg.
Twelve for $3.00, 16 needed
for Yuki and Calli, $4.00
Suede heel covers, $5.00
Indoor soles made of suede, with a folded-over top edge that makes them much more substantial than the usual suede sole, available in colors listed and in children's sizes.
Children's sizes - $15 plus $5 shipping
Adults - $22 plus $5 shipping
Select size and color below:
Rubber Indoor Soles
to the suede sole described above, with a thin natural rubber sole
stitched to it, for added traction.
Children's sizes - $18 plus $5 shipping
Adults - $25 plus $5 shipping
Select size and color below:
These soles have a 1/4" natural rubber sole with 1/4" heel. The sole is
stitched to the suede edge so no shoe cements are used. This results in a
very flexible sole.
$22 plus $5 shipping. Select size and color below:
These are made of 3/8" natural rubber with 1/4" heel.
This is also a flexible sole, which keeps feet warm in cold conditions, and
is my preferred soling.
$38 plus $5 shipping. Select size and color below:
$40 plus $5 shipping. Select size and color below:
Suede Heel Covers
$10 including postage.
These are used to stitch under Soles with an Edge, for running laces or cords through, to hold boot close to leg.
Twelve for $5 including postage. Select from colors listed below.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have,
as custom soles with other colors of suede, non-leather edging, or
different widths are available.
HOW TO STITCH "SOLES WITH AN EDGE" TO YOUR BOOTS:
Use Sulky KK 2000 to adhere the sole of your boot inside the Sole with an Edge (I advocate for this product because it is non-toxic, odorless, ozone-friendly, and is widely-available at fabric stores). Spray inside the Sole with an Edge, turning the "Edge" under so no adhesive gets on it, then press your boot down onto the sole inside the Edge. A couple of safety pins can help keep boot aligned if needed.
Prepare a stitching thread a couple of times longer than your outstretched arms. Attach a glover's needle to it. (It slices through any fabric, and your finger as well if you're not careful). Use a double thread if your thread is thin. Make your first stitch, through the fabric only, down inside the suede edge where it won’t be seen, in the area of the opening in the suede edge. Pull the thread up through the nearest hole in the suede edge.
Using a “back stitch”, pass the needle through the next hole to your right, then through the material behind the hole. If you are in an area where you can reach your hand inside the boot, grab the needle and pass it back out through the hole to the left of your just-completed stitch. Pliers are useful with very dense material. You might practice being ambidextrous - left-hand inside, right outside (for right-handers).
If you are in an area where you can’t reach inside the boot, you can work just on the outside of the boot. After you have passed the needle through the hole to the right, then through the fabric, pass the tip of the needle out from the fabric directly above (in line with the top of the suede edge) the hole to the left of your last stitch. Push in on the fabric in that area with your left hand to help the needle emerge – you may want to grab the tip of the needle with small pliers to help you pull it through the fabric. Pull your thread through the fabric, then, in a separate pass, pull the thread all the way through that hole to your left. You don’t necessarily have to bring the needle all the way through the fabric at each stitch, but of course you do want to get a good “bite” of it at each stitch.
When you come to the end of your thread, again bring it through the felt behind the suede edge and knot it. Stitch with the next thread exactly as you did the first. When the boot is entirely stitched to the sole, make a knot again inside the suede edge and clip.
If you plan to use metal loops to run a lace or cord through so your boot can be drawn in close to your leg, note the locations for them marked inside your Soles with an Edge, and catch them while you are stitching. These work best when they are attached to a heel cover as well as the suede edge.
If you have ordered a suede heel cover, safety-pin it in place by
aligning the back of the heel mark with the center of the heel cover.
When you come to this area, catch the bottom edge of the heel cover in
your stitches. To stitch the top edge of the heel cover, use a running
stitch in and out from one edge to the other, then back with a running
stitch to fill in the spaces you made with the first running stitch. If
you want your cord to pass through loops on the edge of the heel cover,
stitch them in place while stitching on the heel cover, at the points
marked on the heel cover.
Sole Pattern for Downloading
Feel free to download the sole pattern below. Click on the thumbnail
image of the sole pattern to link to the pdf. Once the pdf opens
in Adobe Reader, save the pattern on your computer.
If you don't have this Adobe Reader click
here to download it for free
to your computer.