My Material Life

Our New Moccasins

I’m guessing that moccasins are in this season because Samantha and I both have a new pair and they’re not something either of us went looking for.  Hers are from Target, and though in my mind it seems really wrong to pair a suede moccasin with a sparkly bit of rhinestone decoration, it seems to work for this shoe. Mine are from The Sak – they’re crocheted.  I had no idea The Sak made shoes; I discovered them on their website when I was searching for a hobo bag that I saw in a magazine (not found and most likely not for sale yet).  I wonder if I could crochet my own shoes?  Making your own shoes is kind of like the Holy Grail for people who like to make things, isn’t it?  I once took a class from a sweet older lady on making your own shoes.  It wasn’t my style of shoe (more like a fabric pump), but I was intrigued and I remember she told a funny story about putting some excess plaster of Paris down her sink drain some time early in her shoe-making career – can you imagine!  Her husband (or was it the plumber?) was not amused.  Here’s what the shoes look like from the back …

and the side …

They’re so cute, but I’m afraid not terribly comfortable in the toe box, so I’m thinking about sending them back.  I think I would just slip out of a larger size so an exchange wouldn’t help.  Still, it’s crochet and it should stretch, right?  But it’s lined with cotton so I’m not sure.  Click here to link to The Sak’s shoe collection.  This one I’m showing is the Bella Moccasin in Gypsy Stripe.

I’ve always loved The Sak’s handbags.  Their designs and materials make crochet look sophisticated and appropriate and I think that’s hard to do with crochet for fashion.  I have a simple evening size clutch bag from The Sak that I purchased in the mid-1990s to wear with a fantastic black cotton pique dress that I bought at Loehmann’s for Dwight’s oldest brother’s wedding rehearsal dinner in Manhattan.  Oh that dress was something.  It had a very simple sleeveless bodice with a round neckline, but the skirt – the skirt was amazing!  It still is; I still have it.  Some time after the wedding I decided to cut the bodice off the dress and I kind of faked a waistband for the skirt.  It’s full like a ball gown skirt, but tea length, cotton mind you, and it’s decorated with a narrow white trim.  Perhaps I’ll pull it out of retirement and show you sometime. But here’s the bag …

Granted, it’s rather plain, but that’s what I love about it because it makes it so versatile.  Look what happens when I pin one of Celia’s old Weiss brooches to it …

You see the possibilities?  What about a tassel attached to the zipper pull?  What about a beaded tassel? Or what about attaching a strap with rhinestones or beading to wear around the wrist?  I don’t think The Sak sells bags just like this right now, but they do sell a similar style as a cosmetic bag.  Click here to see those or you could always make one of your own.  I think I’ve just given myself a new project – I’d like to be able to tell you how it’s done.  Such a useful and good-looking accessory.

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