The Sandalmaking Workshop by Rachel Corry

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The Sandalmaking Workshop by Rachel Corry

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Category: Crafts
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Reassuring and inspiring - you could make a unique pair of sandals. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: April 2021
Publisher: Storey Publishing
ISBN: 978-1635862355

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A sandal-making workshop? I couldn't really believe it, mainly because I'd always thought that you'd need more equipment than the average home was likely to be able to contain but I was intrigued. Rachel Corry started sandal making accidentally - a small fire destroyed some of her shoes. One pair had come apart and she could see how the sandal was constructed. Then she realised that she couldn't afford to replace all her shoes. Could she combine these two facts to create a new and worthwhile craft? She showed quite a few people her first pair and they all either wanted to know how to do it - or if she'd make them a pair. A new career was born.

Corry took it up because it was easy for beginners, feet and style are both unique and there's a sense of achievement that comes pretty quickly as you can make a pair of sandals in four to eight hours. Sandals are history - they're one of the earliest forms of footwear and there's respect for the makers.

The initial outlay is less than $100, according to Corry. I was initially doubtful about this but surprised when I priced a foot anvil which you can obtain for around £10 + £6.75 postage on eBay. Other equipment might be found in that toolbox which most householders acquire over a period of time: a utility knife, awl, rotary hole punch, scissors, hammer, pencil and permanent marker. In terms of supplies, you'll need paper, masking tape, shoe glue (various brands are recommended and I found that some are available in the UK), laces, buckles, studs and rivets. You'll need space too and when you're using shoe glue you should have good ventilation.

Leather for sandals, of course, isn't just any old leather. There are specific leathers and weights of leathers that are appropriate for different areas of the sandal and there's plenty of advice about which leather you should choose - and (perhaps more importantly) which you should avoid.

The instructions are clear, even chatty in places. As I read I always had the feeling that the best teachers give: I could do this! Corry is reassuring and inspiring and the basic instructions are interwoven with tips of the trade, such as to achieve a toe spring or an arch support. If you're tempted, have a go. You never know, you could have a cupboard full of unique sandals or even a new career. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Now, of course, you'll need a new handbag to match your sandals.

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