Day Three, Oklahoma State Boots

Day Three: the making of the Oklahoma Boots, which are now part of the Oklahoma State Capitol permanent art collection
A one-piece boot top is one big panel of leather; the only seam is designed to go up the center back. Stitching lots of tiny details on a one-piece boot top is not too much fun because the piece is too big to fit easily through the throat of a sewing machine, and decorative stitching requires much repositioning of the work. For this reason I did as much of the stitching as possible before sewing it all together.

The Capitol building caused more mental anguish than any other design element. Straight lines are the most difficult to cut accurately and they’re the most difficult to stitch also — any small wobble is noticeable. I had never completely stitched a design element before adding it to a boot top, and I spent considerable time stressing about cutting the hole for this element exactly precisely the correct size and shape so it would fit perfectly around the stitching.
I also inlaid and stitched the Oklahoma flag before putting it into the boot top. The shape of the flag was easier but I wasn’t really confident I could do this much detail (and letters!) at this size. The day I successfully completed the Oklahoma flag was a good day.
On the other hand, that sweet little scissor tail bird was a joy to create, and makes me happy every time I look at it. I’m going to create a framed art piece of the scissor tail on a redbud branch just so I get to make this part of the design again.
And just like that, the boot tops are completed! At this point I moved on to worrying about sewing that back seam — there’s a point with one-piece tops where you’re trying to sew things onto a tube shape and it’s not always easy.

About customboots

I'm a custom cowboy boot maker. I own a business, Sorrell Custom Boots, and I create bespoke cowboy boots using vintage machinery and hand tools. I also own, a company that specializes in tools, supplies, and leather for the boot and shoe making trade.
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