leather sandals - all the parts ready to be put together

Shoe Making at the Make Den

leather sandals - all the parts ready to be put together

I’ve been taking a leather sandal making class at The Make Den here in Toronto for the past few weeks. Every once in a while, as I was concentrating on cutting or bevelling or skiving or some other task that was causing major repetitive strain (my right middle finger has been numb for two days), I’d suddenly think:

I’m making SHOES.
I’m MAKING shoes!
I’M making shoes.

I don’t think it even occurred to me for most of my life that shoes are things that actually get made by people. Thought they just showed up in stores like everything else, y’know? 😉

The course was one 2-hour class per week for 4 weeks. Not enough time to finish the shoes — nobody in the class was able to finish in that timeframe. We’re all heading back in July for a make-up class to try to get them done.

The Make Den is mostly known for sewing; they do sewing workshops and they carry a good selection of quilting-type fabrics. While not usually my bag (show me the knits!), I couldn’t walk away without taking these lovely yardages home with me. I mean, look at that guy with the glasses! These are cotton canvas by Echino, and are rather pricey but there’s a sale on so they were 40% off. The sale ends tomorrow, June 24 — sorry for not telling you sooner! Also, if you’re in the area, they’re having a party tomorrow evening to celebrate the launch of their new website, The Woven Wolf, which features online sewing classes & tutorials. The party is from 7 to 11 pm at The Make Den’s 1244 Bloor Street West location. The lovely Irene Stickney, who taught the sandal making class and owns the place, tells me there’s goody bags for the first bunch of people who arrive. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Echino cotton canvas

Full disclosure: while I paid for the sandal making course and the fabric mentioned in this post, I was offered a free class at the Make Den in future to tell you all about the launch of The Woven Wolf and their launch party. We’ll see if my numb finger comes back to life before I decide to take another class! 😉

Also, did you hear the news? Helena from Gray All Day and I are launching a sewing podcast!

3 thoughts on “Shoe Making at the Make Den

  1. Wow, what fun!
    I remember doing a project in school…some elementary class…maybe grade four or five on how a shoe was made. They are, beautiful sculptures aren’t they! I really enjoyed the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto…beautiful displays! Durning college I worked as a salesclerk at a Bata Shoes store in Thunder Bay.
    Looking forward to a photograph of your completed pair.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the Bata Shoe Museum, too.
      I’m really, really hoping these will be wearable…we’ll see later in July. Fingers crossed.


  2. ooh nice Lori.. I am always thinking about doing a course with them.. 🙂 Congrats on getting that far.. amazing!! 🙂

    Podcasts…. nice.. 🙂 Congrats on that too.. doing big things in 2016.. Go Lori!!


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