Women of
             Fur Trade
Side fold/Winter Moccasins        

Side Fold Moccasins


    This pattern is an adjusted version of Jill and Crazys
    winter moccasin pattern.  I have used it for all of my
    moccasins and it has not failed me yet.  The one thing
    a pattern can not adjust for is, how stretchy your hide
    is, and how much it will stretch after you had made the
    moccasin.  Good luck there.  I have made moccasins
    out of moose and deer, moose has been the very best
    but it is very high priced to purchase and harder than
    buffalo to tan.  The moose hide did not stretch like the
    deer did.

    The first step of cutting out your moccasin is to hold
    your hide up to light and make to make sure there are
    as few as possible light spots in the hide.  Try to use
    the densest part of the side for the soles and upper toe
    area.  This is where a moccasin wears out on me the
    fastest.  The collar for the moccasin can be thinner,
    and maybe preferred thin, if you leave it rolled up onto 
    your leg so it would be cooler in hot weather.  Ok, after
    you have checked the hide,

                              Make the Pattern

    1). If you wear socks, leave your sock on.  Place your
    foot on a piece of brown garbage bag, leaving enough
    bag on the inside side of your foot so the pattern can
    be folded and doubled.  Trace the outline of your foot
    with your weight on your foot.

    2). Find the center of the pattern and draw a line
    lengthwise down the center. 

    3). At the widest part of your foot, usually at the top of
    your ach, measure the distance around your foot. 
    Divide the measurement by half and add 1/2 of an inch.
    If your foot is 9 inches around your total distance
    divided in half would be 4.75 inches.  So your pattern
    would be 4.75 inches wide with equal parts, 2 & 3/8
    inches, on each side of the center line of your pattern.

    4.) Add .75" at the toe and 1.25" at your heal.  (winter
    moccasins ad 1" and 1.5" to allow for hair or wool).
    Once you have your enlargement marks, draw the
    pattern outline as in the picture shown with the pattern
    being squared across the heel.


    5). Fold your pattern on the inside foot side and cut
    double leaving the inside foot seam in contact.  On one
    side of the pattern cut a line about 3" from the heel up
    the center line.  If you cut one side of the pattern you
    will know which side you have cut out for your left foot
    and which for your right foot.  This will help you keep
    track of which side needs to be the thickest for the
    sole of your moccasin on each side.  Do not cut the
    line further because you do not want to cut it all the
    way until you have the moccasin sewn on the side. 
    The dept of this cut will determine how tight and how
     lose the moccasin will be and how far down you want
    to sew the tongue and you will know this better once
    you have tried it on after it has been sewn.  Unless you
    have drastic differences in your feet you will use the
    same pattern for your opposite foot.  Your cut out
    pattern should look like this when unfolded.


    6). Once you have found the thickest and densest
    parts of the hide, cut two pieces of leather, flipping the
    pattern for the other foot.  Choose the flesh side of the
    hide to be the side that will go to the inside of your
    moccasin once completed.

    7). Cut a welt to 3/8 inch wide to be placed between the
    top and bottom part of the moccasin seam.  Put the
    flesh side of the hide to the outside while sewing.  You
    can use either a whip stitch or a running stitch but I
    recommend you double it, up and back, which ever
    you choose.  Use a dull needle to go back through the
    holes you made with a 3 sided needle on the first run
    of the stitch.  Keep the welt flush even with the leather
    edge.  Start your sewing at the heel end leaving a long
    tail of sinew at the beginning.  When you come back
    with the second stitch leave a long tail of sinew with
    out tying your sinew off.  You may have to shorten
    your seam and cut some leather off if you have cut
    your pattern to long.  A sewn moccasin with a welt
    (distance from leather exaggerated in drawing) will
    look like this.



    8). Now is the time to cut the center line on the top part 
    of your moccasin.  Put the moccasin on and put your   
    toe all the way to the tip.  Cut only a little of the line at
    a  time until it fits.  Once it fits, cut across the  
    moccasin,  1 inch on each side of the line to create an
   edge to sew the tongue.  Like this--- 



    9). Put the moccasin on your foot and pull it closed in 
    the back.  Bring the edges of the back together and  
    trim within of your foot without cutting your sinew on
    your side seam!!!  You should be able to pinch inch of
    Cut a welt to be placed in the seam in the back.  Sew  
    seam only 1 inch from top to bottom, leaving the 
    bottom half open.  Trim your welt. See picture---



    10). Now turn your moccasin right side out.  At the top
    of the opening at the heel, cut a 1" slit horizontally on
    each side.  Fold the opening horizontally, creating a
    flap high on your heel, and sew closed without a welt. 
   This is one way.  Another is to place another welt in the
    seam horizontally and sew shut while moccasin is
    wrong side out, but I find I walk on the seam and wear
    it out faster. 
                                     This is my version---



    11).  Now that the bottom part is constructed, except
    the tongue, you will add the collar.   The length or
    height of the collar is a personal preference and will
    depend on if you leave it up or fold it down.  I leave
    mine up and wrap my tying thongs around my ankle to
    secure it.  I cut my collars about 2 inches tall.  The
    length I cut them is the length around the top of the
    moccasin plus enough for a 2-3 inch flap, on each
    side, that crosses over the tongue.  This, too, is sewn
    with a welt.  See pictures---



    12). The tongue is cut so it is about .25 inches longer
    than the width of the space that was cut across the
    arch.  The extra .25" insures it is wide enough and can
    be trimmed after the first stitch across is completed. 
    This too is sewn with a welt and a double stitch.  Make 
    it long enough that it reaches to the top of the collar
                                     See picture above.

    13). The tying thongs, for my moccasins, are very long. 
    How you tie your moccasins will depend on how long
    you make the ties.  I like to go around my ankle as well
    as under my foot so they are very long.  Cut small  
    hole under the collar, in the moccasin, to lace the
    strings.  If you have cut your strings too short, cut
    another the same length and tie two together at the
    back of your moccasin.



    This is what mine look like after being greased with a
     mixture of bear grease and bees wax for water
     proofing.  Your first pair of moccasins may not fit just
     right but you will improve every time you make a pair. 
     You may waver from this pattern to one that fits you
     better.  If your moccasins last one whole camp
     season, your doing fine.  A second sole can be sewn
     on but to me they are too much of a pain.  I have done
     both.  A couple layers of wool inserts inside will
     cushion your stride and is period correct too.  A
     couple of stitches to your welt will hold them in place.


                              Good Luck and happy Trails








       Side fold winter moccasins

   These were commonly done with hair-on
   but we have found that deer with hair on work
   just as well for less money if your budget is
   tight..  The side fold style is authentic to the fur
   trade era. Two piece mocs came at a later date.
   Winter mocs were the wrap around high top  

    1) For these measurements, you should have
   on your heavy wool sock that you will be  
   wearing with these mocs. Stand on a large  
   piece of paper sack and trace around your foot.

    2) Find the center of the foot and draw a line 
   down it.

     3) About at the arch, measure around your foot
   at the widest point- divide this measurement 
   by half and add a generous 1/2".  This is your
   pattern width.  Draw a line down each side of
   your foot, allowing equal space on each side of
   the center line.  [ If your foot measures 10"
   around, then 5 &1/2" will be your pattern width,
   andyou will allow 2 & 3/4" out from each side of
   the center line.

    4) Now make a mark 1" from the toe and 1 & !/2"
   from the heel.  Draw the toe shape to meet the
   side marks.  The heel is straight across.


   5)Cut down the center to almost halfway.

   6)Fold the paper on the inside pattern edge 
   and cut out, leaving the folded edge intact.
   Your cut out pattern should look like this:

   7) Cut out 2 pieces of leather, flipping the 
   pattern over for the other foot. Stitch the moc
   together fur side out, using a welt.  Turn it right
   side out and try it on for size, adjusting the
   center slit to a comfortable length and then cut
   sideways on each side about 1".

   8)Mark the heel seam with a pencil then cut off
   excess , stitch with a welt, and  sew down to
   about 3/4 to one inch from the bottom. 

   Then try on Moccasin and check to see if you
   have sewn down far enough, the sewn seam
   should end at the bottom of your heel. Then
   using your fingers press down on the excess
   and follow around the contour of your heel. 
   Then mark with pencil.  You should have a half
   moon shape line on both sides of the seam.
   Cut just the top layer from the heel seam to
   each side of the heel following the line. 


   9) After cutting the heel put the Moccasin back
   on and open up the excess material flat on the
   ground then mark around the shape of the heel
   on the excess material. Cut this off leaving a
   little extra for seam allowance. Then turn the
   heel inside out and sew together with a welt.

   10) Measure the ankle opening of the moc and 
   add 4" for overlap.  cut a rectangle this length
   and at least 4 to 6" high depending on how tall
   you want your Moccasins. 

   11) Start sewing the high top to the moc on the
   out side edge of foot, sewing towards the
   inside of the foot. When done you should have
   about 4" overlap to wrap around the front
   which helps close the front from snow. This is
   how it  looks:

   12) Sew the tongue in, cut it 1/2 to 3/4" wider
   than the opening and about 4" long. sew it in
   with a welt leaving a little of the excess in both
   sides of the opening. After sewing this excess
   can be tacked down on the inside of the
   moccasins. This will make it so the size of the
   tongue will more than cover the opening and
   will help to keep snow out.

   The wrap around top is held in place with a 
   leather thong that goes through two holes in
   the ankle part, just like with summer mocs,
   then wrapped around and tied.

   To semi waterproof them for winter wear,
   grease them all over the outside with a mix of
   grease and beeswax. They need to be greased
   daily when they are worn consistently.  I use
   bear grease mixed with beeswax to about the
   consistance of shoe paste.

   Some thoughts on winter Moccasins
   If you make your Mocs out of baffalo hide with
   hair on as many Plains and Mountain tribes and
   some Mountainmen did, there is one thing to
   think of. Buffalo leather has a rather open grain
   and it does not hold up well to wear. 

   For those that had buffalo every where and the
   hides came cheap this was not a problem. For
   us now days they come mighty dear so there
   are a couple of ways to make yours last longer.
   One is to add an extra sole to the bottom out of
   deer or elk or even moose.  All of which will
   hold up longer then the buffalo hide will. The
   other way is to make an outer Moccasin to go
   over it. The Hidatsa did this and I'm sure other
   tribes may have done this as well.  Buffalo Bird
   Woman makes mention of this. 

   "My father took off his big cap and hung it on
   the drying pole and wrung out hic moccasins
   and hung them beside the cap.  They were
   winter mocassins and in each was a kind of
   stocking of buffalo skin turned fur in and sewed
   and cut to fit snugly over the foot. These
   Stockings small Ankle (her Father) drew out
   and laid by the fire to dry." [Buffalo Bird

   How to make the buckskin outer mocs is much
   like ones above, only put on Buffalo Moccasins
   then measure your pattern for your outer
   Moccasins. The only difference is that you will
   not have to make such large seam allowances,
   only  a quarter inch on the sides, 1/2 inch at the
   toe and 3/4 inch at the heel.

               Buffalo liner and outer moccasin

   Another way to go is with a wool liner instead
   of buffalo. Make thick blanket weight wool
   moccasins just like described above but use
   the seam allowances given for the buckskin 
   outer mocs, adding the thickness of the wool to
   those seam allowances given. You can even
   use double thickness wool for extra warmth.


                                           Wool Liner-
                                      note the welt of
                                        wool as well


    Then, to make the buckskin outer mocs, wear
   the wool moc while you make your
   measurements. Make two pair of wool liners so
   that when one is wet, you will have a spare to
   change into. 


            The outer shell is well greased with a mixture of bear grease  and beeswax.
            also note how thick the wool is on these liners. They are nice and warm.

   That spare pair could save your foot. Just read

   Yesterday, two of our Metis,Antoine and David
   went to the Yellowstone with dog sled and two
   pack horses to hunt..... "After they had kindled
   a fire and stuck the meat on spits to roast they
   took off their wet moccasins to dry them and to
   warm their feet. Antoine put on another pair
   right away and told David to do likewise; but 
   the latter, suspecting no danger, replied "a
   tantot." .....Later they were cooking their meat
   when "Suddenly there were shots!...They ran
   instinctively into the night, each trying to save
   his own skin. David, severely wounded,
   attempted to reach the Assiniboine camp.  On
   the journey his feet froze. His moccasins must
   have still been wet."  [Journal of Rudolph
   Freiderich Kurz].


    when hunting in this kind of elements ya want to 
                                have warm feet.

                     Take care and stay warm
                             Crazy Cyot


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