Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Making Moccasins

We are deep in our study of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery.   This week in our reading we read a quote that said “one pair of good mockinsons will not last more than about 2 days”.   I’m guessing that meant they either made them fairly often, or carried an abundant supply with them.  I thought it would be fun activity to make our own “mockinsons”.    It took a little over 3 hours for us to complete this activity, which in itself was a good lesson on how different life was then and now. 

First I traced each of the girls feet onto a piece of folded butcher paper.  Place the inside of the foot 1/2 inch from the fold, then trace the foot.   Then measure out approximately 3/4 inch from the foot tracing and mark the paper, then cut out (make sure you don’t cut the fold).   The foot on the left shows the paper folded, the foot on the right shows the unfolded side.

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Once you’ve traced both feet (and labeled them) open up the pattern and lay it on top of your moccasin material (we used felt).  Use a pen or marker to trace the pattern onto your material.   Then cut out your patterns.

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Fold your piece of cloth so that it lines up evenly.  Use safety pins to keep everything in place.   Sew around the toe and down the long side with whip stitching around the edges.

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I forgot to take photos of the next 2 steps, so you’ll have to use your imagination.   Once you have sewed the toe and side you’ll have what looks like a big oven mitt.   Check to make sure which foot pattern you have (left or right) and lay it flat with the rounded toe going in the right direction for the foot it’ll be going on.   Then on the TOP layer (do not cut through both pieces) cut a slit in the middle, from the unsewn edge, several inches long.  This will be where the foot enters the shoe.  Have your child put their foot in then pinch the back together to make sure the slit is long enough for the foot to slide in and out.  Once you have the opening the correct size the child can remove their foot and begin working on the heel.

For the heel, turn the shoe sideways and whip stitch down the back of the heel.  Stop approximately 1 inch from the bottom and make a one inch slit on each side, making a small flap.  Pull the flap up to the edge of the moccasin heel and pin it in place.  Trim off any excess of the flap and then whip stitch the rest of the heel.  You now have a completed moccasin.

To add fringe, measure a piece of your material, the same length as the opening to your shoe.  Pin the material in place and then have child whip stitch the two together.   Once this is in place, cut the fringe.

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Your shoe, SHOULD look like this at this point.

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Repeat the whole process for your second shoe.  Then add beads or other decorations, and you are done!

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Happy exploring!

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