This is the REAL thing you’re looking at. A real moccasin. Ms. Heidi, our RBG nature centre instructor, has taken a crew of us on to attempt to educate us on some Native North American handicrafts. A few posts ago she had us taking a tour of the Six Nations Reserve store where we bought the best seed beads for crafting on moccasins.
We now fully understand the art of this and the reason beaded items don’t come cheaply. The detail and hours of work that go into making these patterns and sewing them so perfectly tight and lined-up is unbelievable! Heidi asked to be taught in the art of moccasin making and beading by a woman working in the store, and she has now shared this craft with us. She has become a guru in this form of handiwork.
A free downloadable pattern for size seven women’s moccasins can be found if you click here. From the same site you may also order other pattern sizes for $20.
Since this was a practice session for us all, Heidi had us use felt as our trial run for learning. What would regularly take place is, one would use moose hide, or deerskin, and a tougher thread like artificial sinew and strong needles called glover needles (also known as leather needles) to sew the three pieces together creating the shape around the toes. We sure got an appreciation for how tricky this is as I’d venture to say most of us had enough of a struggle getting that needle through the felt, never mind a moose hide!
And because Heidi is just so fabulously cool, she brought along a teacher friend from Northern Italy who had literally just landed the day before in Canada for her first time EVER, and was up for tagging along with Heidi for this very Canadian experience of moccasin making. So this also meant we were educated on some of the history of northern Italy and able to pull out the atlas to see just exactly where she is from. We’re all thrilled to have met her, and hope she sends us pics of her tour around North America so we can vicariously live through her travels.
The girls discovered our trial run moccasins actually fit their foot size!
You may remember some of these splendid beading creations from a previous post but I just couldn’t NOT display them again as we’re so taken by the detail and creativity that comes with this art form (and that comes with being Heidi!)
So guys, time to find your own Heidi out there to help you with your seed beading and moccasins. I’m sure a version of her exists somewhere. Our Heidi’s a keeper but we’ll maybe consider sharing her if you ask nicely. She does travel a fair bit, so maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones, and find her landed in your home sewing, beading, painting, or teaching a nature lesson.
To finish off your crafting session, make sure you stick with the M theme and make some muffins to eat alongside your moccasin making. Today the feature is Maple Apple Oatmeal Muffins from the 2006 Milk Calendar. Just click on the highlighted link to get the recipe. Enjoy! Happy Monday Make to y’all!