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01 Sep 12:32

Greta Garbo in Mata Hari

Greta Garbo in Mata Hari

28 Aug 00:04

good translation

by villeashell
Russian Sledges

via otters

good translation

27 Aug 22:21

This is a lovely rocker with a touching idea behind it; it’s...

Russian Sledges

via ragefiresaucebun

This is a lovely rocker with a touching idea behind it; it’s meant for telling stories to several children and is beautifully crafted.


All I can think is it would make a GREAT item for Neko Atsume.

27 Aug 19:46

moviebarcode: Enemy Mine (1985)

by villeashell
Russian Sledges

via otters ("underrated movie imo")

27 Aug 19:46

A Woman Chugged an Entire Bottle of Cognac Rather than Give It to Airport Security

by Alexander Swerdloff

As any veteran vagabond will tell you, slipping the dubious spoils of your voyage past the scrupulous gaze of The Man at the airport is quite arguably the most crucial skill required for those hoping to make the most of their wanderlust. (That, or figuring out how to stop that dude at your hostel—the one who exclusively wears culottes—from whispering sweet nothings into your ear as you sleep.)

One Chinese woman certainly exemplifies this intrepid traveler spirit. Identified only as Miss Zhao, her recent attempt to slip a bottle of imported Cognac past airport security in Beijing left her with way more than a hangover.

Although there was most definitely a hangover, too.

When Zhao, a woman who appeared to be in her forties, arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport for a noon flight transfer to Wenzhou, she was stopped at the security checkpoint for trying to bring an entire bottle of Rémy Martin XO Excellence, valued at roughly US $200, through in her carry-on baggage. No big deal, right? But a bit of a dilemma.

So what did she do? According to a report in The Nanfang, she certainly did not do what the US Transportation Security Administration suggests in such a situation. On their blog, the TSA says a good traveller should do as follows:

1) Take the item to the ticket counter and check it in your baggage or a box provided by the airport.

2) Many airports have a … Postal Service or other shipping services area where boxes, stamps, and envelopes can be bought so you can ship your items home.

3) If there is somebody seeing you off, you can hand the prohibited item to them.

4) If your car is parked outside, you can take the item to your car.

Ms. Zhao did none of the above. Instead, she took matters into her own hands and “sat down in a corner and drank the entire bottle of Cognac herself.”

Gotta love Ms. Zhao and her can-do attitude. Unfortunately, our travelling buddy couldn’t hold her liquor very well. According to reports, she quite quickly began “acting wildly and yelling incoherently.” She fell to the floor and stayed there until the police arrived. They took one look at her and did not allow her to board her flight. Zhao’s family was called to pick her up and, when she sobered up, she was released to them.

Not exactly how she expected to enjoy her expensive Cognac, we’re sure, but she certainly wasn’t letting the good stuff go in the trash. Or in an industrious security officer’s backpack.

Because, after all, that’s where we all truly believe our good stuff goes after it is confiscated at security, don’t we?

Even the TSA knows it. On their blog, the TSA writes: “Our officers would really rather not have you lose the trusty pocket knife your grandfather gave you. They would really prefer you didn’t have to surrender the knife you used to cut your wedding cake.”

Really, TSA? Really?

That Cognac would probably have gone down nice and smooth.

Miss Zhao knows it, too. And she was simply not going to let that bottle go down anyone else’s gullet but her own.

27 Aug 18:42

The Weirdest Crime in History: "Looking Good While Poor"

by Esther Inglis-Arkell
Russian Sledges

'It’s hard to think of legislators coming out with laws such as the one enacted in Massachusetts in 1651, which stated that, “We cannot but to our grief take notice that intolerable excess and bravery have crept in upon us, and especially among people of mean condition, to the dishonor of God, the scandal of our profession, the consumption of estates, and altogether unsuitable to our poverty.” The law goes on and on, the way laws like this always do, talking about the lawmakers’ “detestation” of people who “walk about in great boots,” and “points” (fashionably tied ribbons) at their knees, and specified exactly how many shillings per yard someone with a “visible estate” of less than£200 could spend on lace.'

Sumptuary laws are the quaint old laws which made it illegal for peasants to look, eat, or travel in more style than the upper classes. They make for very interesting reading. They’d probably be even more interesting if they were introduced today.


26 Aug 01:22

First Draft: At Donald Trump Event, Jorge Ramos of Univision Is Snubbed, Ejected and Debated

A journalist for the Spanish-language network Univision who asked Donald J. Trump about immigration was mocked by the candidate, then escorted out of a news conference.

21 Aug 17:20

Oiji Instantly Ranks Among New York's Best Modern Korean Restaurants

by Ryan Sutton
Russian Sledges

I do not understand the korean honey butter chip craze

Amid our verdant culinary era where steaks are often made out of cauliflower, where veggie burgers are increasingly the burgers of choice, and where bacon isn't so much a porky slab as a tiny lardon at the bottom of a soup bowl, it’s sometimes hard not to look back upon the artery-clogged aughts with nostalgia. Those were the heady days when chefs of all stripes popularized techniques that made unhealthy foods unhealthier. Crif Dogs championed the deep-fried frankfurter. Per Se, using an old Alain Ducasse hack, folded whipped cream into its cheese-y risottos. Resto won accolades by smearing grilled cheese sandwiches with bechamel, swine belly, and aioli, while DB Bistro skyrocketed to stardom by stuffing its burger with foie gras. Sure, many of those dishes are still popular; it’s just that they're no longer at the heart of our leaner, quinoa-spiked zeitgeist. But rest assured, there are rebels hovering at the fringes, waiting to push the envelope in a meatier, fattier direction. Among the members of that clever minority is Oiji in the East Village, a beefy little Korean restaurant dishing out rice and potato chips that taste like they were larded up by a Michelin-starred amusement park chef.

Let’s start with the what Oiji's menu calls "buttered rice," an understatement that evokes a Rockwell-esque image of dairy fat melting over simple white grains. As if! The kitchen takes cooked rice and fully soaks it in warm butter. Then, during service, the starch is toasted with beef braising liquid and a richer French butter. The flavor is startling; it recalls a cleaner version of the delicious yellow goo with which you douse your movie theater popcorn. On top of the firm grains lie a poached egg and a few slices of braised beef shank, packing a concentrated, bovine punch. It's all a gourmet version of the classic jang-jo-rim, a dish more commonly found in Korean school lunchboxes than a high-end restaurant. Order it.

Above: Honey butter chips and beef tartare; Below: Butter rice with beef shank and poached egg

The homemade potato chips, dead ringers for the kettle-cooked variety, are doused in uber-fatty French butter as well, and laced with a touch of honey and cayenne. It's a sweet, salty, crunchy side dish that essentially functions as the restaurant’s only dessert. Think of the candy-like crisps as a lighter, more uncomplicated answer to baklava, with the tuber acting as a fine stand-in for phyllo. A rep tells me that Oiji "can hardly keep up with demand" for the confection, which is based off of a mass-produced snack that spawned a Cronut-like craze in Korea this year. A small bag of those in-demand chips will cost $9 on eBay. At Oiji, they're $5.

Those two knockouts should give New York hope about the state of affordable, risk-taking, neighborhood restaurants.

Those two knockouts, part of a concise, meat-heavy, vegetable-lite menu, served at a reasonable cost (only two dishes rise above $18), in a tiny space (the dining area is smaller than the washrooms at big box Asian fusion joints) should give New York hope about the state of affordable, risk-taking, neighborhood restaurants. Chefs Brian Kim and Tae Kyung Ku, who trained at Gramercy Tavern and Bouley, respectively, have challenged themselves to refine the comfort food of their native Seoul and beyond. In doing so, they've made Oiji one of the most exhilarating openings of 2015, not to mention one of the city's finest modern Korean restaurants.

Bimibap, the traditional meat and vegetable hotpot, is deconstructed into a rainbow of fillings — sweet beef, egg white, yolk, shiitake mushrooms, and carrots — all meant for stuffing into red and green rice blini. The expertly julienned ingredients express themselves with preternatural clarity because the crepes are as thin as tissue paper. Take a bite of the avant-garde taco and it seems to disappear on the palate.

Chil-Jeol-Pan (rice crepes with assorted condiments)

Such dishes are a reminder of how far Korean cuisine has come in Manhattan over the past decade, adapting to local palates and expanding past the DIY grilled meat, dumpling, and karaoke parlors of Midtown or St. Marks. David Chang’s Momofuku empire, while largely a collection eclectic American restaurants, deserves credit in this regard, for introducing a certain class of food-crazed Westerners to the joys of eating lettuce-wrapped pork, and for proving that large-format Korean fried chicken can merit luxury status with a $135 price tag. Then there’s Hooni Kim’s Danji and Hanjan, two trendsetters whose non-GMO meats command sizable crowds and higher prices than the cheaper commodity fare one finds in certain K-town restaurants. And the fact that the two-Michelin-starred Jungsik is still open proves that at least some folks are willing to spend $180 on Korean tasting menus. So while New York has maintained a somewhat complicated relationship with high-end Chinese or Mexican fare in recent years, the city has generally accepted ambitious, creative Korean cuisine with slightly more open arms.

At Oiji, "we're taking dishes that our moms would cook for us at home, but elevating them to a higher level," the chefs tell me via email. Indeed, the seafood soup with crackling rice and mussels looks as rustic as anything in a neighborhood pub. Then you take a sip; the shrimp stock, powerfully redolent of the ocean, slides across the tongue with the same silkiness you'd expect from a fancy Southern French hangout.

The interior of Oiji and its chefs Brian Kim and Tae Kyung Ku

Just one thing: if you'd like to enjoy that dish at one of the tables, you'd be well served to pretend Oiji is a tasting menu venue and secure your spot up to a month in advance, as the restaurant only sets aside about seven of its 39-seats for walk-ins, and those seven spaces are all at the bar. It's policy that goes against the reservations-light ethos of the casual gastronomic world, where good establishments more sensibly allocate seats to accommodate both plan-ahead diners and impromptu eaters in an effort to make their restaurants more easily accessible to all.

The good news is that waits for bar stools are short in these dog days of summer – all the more reason to indulge in a cool beef tartare, dotted in the traditional Korean style with sweet Asian pears, or a bowl of firm buckwheat noodles, sitting in a tangy, garlicky pool of pickled ramp juice and soy sauce. Move onto katsu-like fried chicken, with an ethereal crunch and neutral flavor, or pine smoked mackerel for an oily ode to the forest.

Drinking Booze at Oiji

The East Village restaurant is a fine example of how smart culinary institutions are beginning to take their cocktail lists more seriously. Here's what to imbibe at Oiji, which features Korean ingredients on its list of mixed drinks.

1. Seoul Paloma: Tequila, makgeolli, cold-pressed grapefruit juice, lime juice. A refreshing antidote to the fried chicken with chiles.

2. Smoke House: Lapsang Souchong-infused gin, green chartreuse, cynar. Just a hint of smoke, enough to help the drink stand up to the meatiness of Oiji's pork belly with braised kimchi.

3. Namsan Pine: White rum, pine extract, honey, lemon, egg white, lavender. A tannic and fragrant potable that pairs well with the pine-smoked mackerel.

4. Hwayo Negroni: A traditional mix of sweet vermouth and Campari, but with shochu as the base spirit, instead of gin. The switch doesn't really affect the flavor, which is fine because it's still a great drink.

5. Marigold: Lemon, peppercorn, and juniper-infused vodka, maraschino, orange bitters. This is an aromatic vodka martini pretending to be a gin one. Very clever.

Waiters recommend about five plates for parties of two, but portions are restrained so even the heftier dishes are manageable for solo diners. Expect the following "slow-cook" preparations to warm up your insides amid all the air-conditioning this summer: that bonkers buttered rice and beef, braised chicken drumsticks (siting in a pool of sugar sweetened poultry stock), perfectly rendered pork belly (atop a mount of pungent, overripe kimchi), tender oxtail (in a broth that could qualify as one of the city's best beef soups) and sliced pig's trotter (served cool, but dominated by rib-sticking gelatins and warming five-spice).

Some restaurants devote entire sections of their menu to mains for two that might run $100 or more. Oiji has just one such dish, a bowl of sautéed gochujang pork, flanked by a separate bowl of gang-deon-jang, a rarely-seen-in-New York preparation that combines the following flavor bombs: fermented soybean, anchovy stock, shiitake, beef brisket, long bean zucchini, and honey. The incendiary stews are meant for wrapping in lettuce leaves; I ate them with a spoon to let all the fiery notes come through. For this you pay just $34.

Sorbet or ice cream would be nice to take the edge off all the richness, and the chefs tell me they're looking into other traditional Korean desserts to offer in the coming months. For now, your only sweet option is those butter-drenched potato chips. They're a quirky, fatty, awesome approach to refinement. That's Oiji for you. I dig it.

21 Aug 17:07

seeliequeene: This, Madame, is Versailles


This, Madame, is Versailles

21 Aug 17:07

ladyvanessa-ives: Eva Green photographed by Julia...


Eva Green photographed by Julia Fullerton-Batten for Campari’s Calendar 2015 (August 2015).

21 Aug 15:57

Banksy’s Dismaland Is A Nightmare Version Of Disneyland

by Martynas Klimas

Do you think that amusement parks aren’t that amusing? Then Banksy’s Dismaland (do you get the clever pun) is the place for you! The “family theme park unsuited for children”, is like a bizzaro version of the famous Disneyland. Mickey Mouse is banned from the premises, the floors are uneven, strobelights can cause seizures… There’s even a riot van turned into a water slide!

Banksy is the famous/notorious street artist from the UK. He’s known for his anti-authority stance and social issue works. Dismaland is his latest, secret project, located at Weston-super-Mare. It’s the location of the former Tropicana resort. “I loved the Tropicana as a kid, so getting to throw these doors open again is a real honor” said Banksy

More info: | (h/t: boredpanda)

Dismaland “bemusement park” is a nightmare version of Disneyland or a “family theme park unsuitable for children”


Image source: Christopher Jobson

It’s a secret project by street-artist Bansky, built over the Tropicana swimming pool in the English resort town of Weston-super-Mare


Image source: Christopher Jobson

“I loved the Tropicana as a kid, so getting to throw these doors open again is a real honour” said Banksy


Image source: Christopher Jobson

“I guess you’d say it’s a theme park whose big theme is ‘theme parks should have bigger themes”


Image source: Yui Mok—PA Photos


Image source: Yui Mok—PA Photos

Works by Banksy and over 50 other artists from around the world can be found in the park


Image source: Christopher Jobson

“I banned any imagery of Mickey Mouse from the site,” he said


Image source: Christopher Jobson

“It’s a showcase for the best artists I could imagine”


Image source: Christopher Jobson

Entering the park will force visitors to endure an oppressive screening process


Image source: Yui Mok—PA Photos

Exiting “Dismaland” won’t be easy either


Image source: Yui Mok—PA Photos

A sketch artist in the park will only sketch the back of your head


Image source: Christopher Jobson

Dismaland “Contains uneven floor surfaces, extensive use of strobe lighting, imagery unsuitable for small children and swearing”


Image source: Yui Mok—PA Photos

“The following are strictly prohibited in the Park: spray paint, marker pens, knives and legal representatives of the Walt Disney Corporation”


Image source: Yui Mok—PA Photos

The official brochure states, “Are you looking for an alternative to the soulless sugar-coated banality of the average family day out? Or just somewhere cheaper”


Image source: Christopher Jobson

“Then this is the place for you—a chaotic new world where you can escape from mindless escapism. Instead of a burger stall, we have a museum”


Image source: Christopher Jobson

“In place of a gift shop we have a library, well, we have a gift shop as well”


Image source: Yui Mok—PA Photos


Related posts:

  1. You are not Banksy by Nick Stern
  2. Bush: New Banksy Work in London
  3. Banksy Secretly Gets Into Gaza To Create Controversial Street Art
  4. 25 Powerful Pieces Of Street Art That Tell The Painful Truth
  5. Banksy Releases Two New Olympic Pieces
21 Aug 15:57

Hand Crafted Globes By One Of The Last Globemakers On Earth

by Martynas Klimas
Russian Sledges

I have been way into their twitter

Who needs globes when we have Google Earth? Some people do, and Bellerby & Co. Globemakers is one of two globemaking companies in the world. While cheap, flimsy globes are readily available worldwide, Bellerby’s work combines both old school methods and modern technologies. Even their biggest globe – the 127 cm Churchill – is made using “goring”, which is gluing map strips on the globe.

Peter Bellerby wanted a globe for his father’s 80th birthday. Unfortunately, he had to choose between flimsy cheap globes and fragile antiques. Bellerby chose the door number three, and decided to make one himself. This was much harder than he realized, starting with the search for accurate maps, and ending up with globe rotation issues. Along the way, he established a workshop and is now making classy, classical globes.

More info: | facebook | instagram | twitter (h/t: mymodernmet)

Peter Bellerby started making globes in 2008; new team members need about six months of training.


He had to figure out globemaking process by himself; it took two years to make a globe he could sell


Image source: Stuart Freedman

Pater’s favorite part is putting on the last “gore” – a triangular bit of map that goes on the glove


Unsurprisingly, Peter hopes to pass these skills down to his family


Gores get multiple layers of paint; gore have to be made in identical sets, so that damaged ones could be readily replaced



Measuring the orb and goring is an arduous process: if the gores are too small, it could lead to big gaps in coverage


Gores are soaked in water before stretching and applying them to the globe



Churchill is their largest globe at 127 cm diameter. It’s inspired by globes gifted to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during WW2



Isis started painting around the coastlines in England and is working her way around Cambodia, Vietnam & towards the Americas



An 80 cm globe in progress: the first half of the gores have to be laid down before the second hemisphere can be matched to them


The gores are not printed in color: by adding pigmentation by hand, the globemakers achieve a better depth effect



The studio works on several globes at the same time as the process requires time to set and dry



Globes are usually transferred to a wooden base with a roller bearing system.





Laying and manipulating the last gore onto a 36cm globe


Image source: Stuart Freedman

Peter Bellerby himself


Image source: Allun Callender

Desk Globes


Image source: Ana Santl

Painting the Churchill


The largest globe vs. the smallest


Related posts:

  1. Amazing Life-Like Wooden Sculptures Hand Carved By Peter Demetz
  2. Craftsman Turns A Box Of Coloured Pencils Into Original Ring
  3. Amazing Sculpture Shows Earth As A Toy Of Mother Nature
  4. Amazing Avant-Garde Hairstyles by Peter Gray
  5. Hungry Planet: What People Eat Around the World
21 Aug 14:19

The Eight Best Slices Of Toast (That Like Ruined San Francisco Or Whatever)

by Caleb Pershan
The Eight Best Slices Of Toast (That Like Ruined San Francisco Or Whatever) Taste the controversy. [ more › ]

21 Aug 14:01

Hello, Pyongyang: Are. You. Ready. To. Rock. - The New York Times

by overbey
Russian Sledges

via overbey (“There are all kinds of music,” the BBC quoted one attendee as saying afterward. “Now we know that there’s this kind of music, too.”)

A “Sound of Music” medley. A cover of the Beatles’ “Across the Universe.” A martial-sounding version of the arena rock anthem “The Final Countdown.” A concert in Pyongyang on Wednesday by Laibach, an industrial rock band from Slovenia, was billed as the first live performance by a Western pop act in North Korea. And it left the audience with an eclectic view of just what makes a rock show.
20 Aug 22:58

kyssthis16: peruviandeepwave: tealass22: Every DIY tutorial...

Russian Sledges

via firehose

answer to follow up question:

a. slave labor
b. economies of scale
c. they didn't use the hand-spun kiviet/silk/camel yarn you used

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.




Every DIY tutorial ever.

Me when I made my own curtains


Follow up question: why is it only $7 pre-made then?

20 Aug 02:35

A Bad Lip Reading of the First Republican Presidential Debate in Cleveland, Ohio

by Justin Page
Russian Sledges

via firehose ("sharing before watching")

autoresharing before autowatching

Bad Lip Reading presents a hilarious bad lip reading parody of the first Republican presidential debate that took place on August 6, 2015 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Donald Trump talks about his special pigeon that he takes shopping while Ohio governor John Kasich sings about giving the people cheese and Christmas pants.

We previously wrote about their silly bad lip readings of the 2012 presidential race.

20 Aug 02:33

We are so obsessed with gender, we even assign it to numbers.

Russian Sledges

via rosalind

Unlike many other languages, most English words are not innately gendered. But apparently things aren't so simple when it comes to numbers. The authors of this study have spent several years studying whether people perceive numbers as having genders, and whether this perception differs between men and women. Here, they asked college students to rate the masculinity and femininity of different numbers shown on a computer. They found that odd numbers tended to be perceived as male (as well as
20 Aug 02:32

Making a Pair of Boots by Hand

Russian Sledges

via rosalind

click through for photographs

Finished boots first

It starts with a wooden last. It's what all the leather is formed on and helps build the shape. Mine have been ground down in certain spots and have leather added around the toe to better fit my foot. Here I place the last on top of a very thick piece of leather used for the sole. Trace out the shape about a half inch bigger then I cut it with a jig saw.

Another piece of leather is cut from a similar but not exactly the same hide. This stuff hasn't been compressed where the soles have. This piece is called the insole and is cut exactly to the outline of the bottom of the last, wet then molded to the last's shape. Then it's nailed on.

Here I measure 3/8" from the outside and use a knife to cut about halfway through, then another angled cut. This is called the channel.

A close up of the channel. The raised part on the outside is called the holdfast.

I mark every quarter to three eighths of an inch around the channel. Then around the heel I use an awl to make holes through the top of the holdfast and out the inside to the channel.

Then around the front, I use the same marks but this time I use the awl to make a hole through one side of the holdfast and out the other.

As the insole dries out, I move on to the upper. Here I'm making a pattern using the last, scrap leather, paper and another pair of boots I made. Every curved piece of leather needs to be drawn out flat, keeping in mind where the leather needs to stretch.

I cut out the lining leather first to make sure that my pattern first the last. Then I trace it again, adding about 1/8" to all dimensions in order to cut out the leather that actually shows. The lining leather is nubuck horsehide and the upper leather is Horween Chromexcel Horsehide

With the upper leather cut out, I first use the tool on the bottom to make an indented groove. Run one side along the outside and press down on the inner side. I make two grooves, one for each row of stitching. Then I use the middle tool along the groove to mark where the stitches go. Then finally I use the awl to create each hole.

The vamp (piece that contains the toe) and the heel counter (piece that wraps around the heel) all ready to go.

I join the two pieces together to form the basic shape using glue. On the left is the lining, on the right is the upper. Note how the rough side of the lining is facing out, the grain side is what goes against the foot.

Then I glue the lining to the upper and hand stitch using the holes I marked earlier. Every stitch is a saddle stitch, which means there's two needles on each end of the thread. Run one through the next hole, then the other through the same hole from the other side. Pull tight then repeat. A slow process but much stronger than a normal sewing machine stitch. If one stitch is cut, just that stitch will unravel and not 3-4

The upper is now put on the last, pulled tight and nailed through the insole into the wood. This is to help it form it's shape. This is called lasting. On the left are my lasting pliers, you pull the leather tight with the pliers, hold it down with your thumb then you can place a nail and hammer without needing to change tools.

The initial lasting from above. I haven't pulled it tight enough to get rid of all the wrinkles yet, this is just to get it to remember the basic shape.

Now I cut out the part of the boot that wraps around the ankle, called the shaft. Mark all the holes.

Then I use contact cement to glue on the lining on side at a time. To use contact cement, you brush it on to both pieces, let it dry 10 minutes then join them together. Use a hammer to make sure you get a good bond.

Here I'm testing to see how I want to place the eyelets. They're a little too big so I'll put them in backwards.

Like this

To smooth out the edges, I go over them with a sanding disk on my dremel.

Then I coat the edges in gum tragacanth and rub a piece of wood along the edge in order to seal all the fibers. Not pictured but after this I sewed the shaft on to the rest of the upper.

I had glued the lining to the shaft, but I didn't glue the lining around the heel. This is because I cut a piece of thicker leather scrap to insert there to provide reinforcement. Here I'm cutting the excess off.

Now I'm sewing around the heel. I'm using the holes I cut earlier in the holdfast.

I'm using thicker thread and curved needles. I use the lasting pliers and temporary nails again to pull everything tight. Note why I cut the holes through the top of the holdfast. It's because this thread will end up under the heel and not visible from the outside. I'm just sewing around the heel for now.

Using the flat faced french hammer to smooth out the small ridges and bumps.

Using a french edger to flatten out the insole here. A knife could also be used.

Now I start on the toe. Use the lasting pliers and temp nails to pull everything tight. Start with a nail at the toe, and one on each side. Then a nail in between each of the gaps, then another between gaps, etc

This is why you need a lot of nails. This ridge was created between two spots where the upper was pulled.

I grip the leather on the ridge and use the hammer part on the lasting pliers to create a fulcrum. Don't pull too tight though since the leather can tear.

On the smaller ridges I use the hammer again to smooth it out.

After this picture was taken, I had a change of mind and decided I wanted a cap toe. So I undid the work in the last few pics, stitched on a cap toe and re-lasted.

After letting it sit for a few days to keep it's shape, I pull a few nails and start sewing around the from 180 degrees. I use an awl to poke the upper and then through the holes I created earlier. The hole goes in straight from the side.

Here is a saddle stitch in progress. One needle goes in the hole, then the other needle goes in from the other side. Pull them through, then pull tight to make sure each stitch is tight. Most of the times, the needle goes through the other thread which helps lock everything together. This combines with the wax on the thread which gets melted by pulling it through the hole which then re-solidifies.

There's many types of stitched shoe construction. I'm doing a Norvegese which is characterized by the stitch out the side of the upper.

An element of Norvegese construction is a stitchdown. In order to stitch through the sole, I fold out of the excess leather of the upper where the norvegese stitch is. This is after I trimmed away the lining leather.

A close up of the norvegese stitch from the insole.

I started this pair without any machines but I found this on ebay for a crazy low price so I had to buy it. It's a Landis 5 in 1. It's powered by the hand crank on the right and it cuts, skives, bevels and compresses leather. It's very useful helps do things quicker but it's not completely necessary in order to make your own pair of shoes.

Here I use the 5 in 1 to cut two small pieces of thick leather, same as I used for the insole. You can see where it's tapered, this is known as skiving. On the right of the pic slightly out of focus and between the two wheels is the skiving blade of the 5 in 1. The wheels feed the leather through the angled blade.

The two pieces in the previous picture are the shank. They provide arch support and structure to the boot.

Then I cut out the shank cover from the same leather as the sole. The small piece of broken glass near the top of the pic is used to remove the top layer of grain from the leather. This prevents squeaks which happen when two pieces of top grain leather slide across each other.

Skived along the edges.

First I glued the shank into place, here I'm about to bond the shank cover.

Now to the front of the boot, I use scrap leather to fill in the channel of the insole.

Then I place a layer of cork. This provides cushioning and will eventually mold to my foot.

The boots sitting on the soles I cut out earlier.

I made this simple jig to support the boot upside down. I then glued on sole and hammered it on. This molded it to the shape of the bottom of the boot.

I stitched around the toe, through the upper I had folded out earlier and through the sole. Then around the heel I use solid brass which go through the sole, through the shank cover and through the insole. The bottom of the last here has a metal plate which will fold the point of the nails over, cinching everything together. The hammer I'm using here has indents in it's face which helps when hitting in these tiny nails. I use brass nails since these are inside the shoe and won't be corroded by sweat or any water that might get in.

Now I place the rubber sole over the midsole, glue and hammer it on.

I use the welt roller on the 5 in 1 to compress the edges of the sole, bonding them together. The crank turns the wheel below the sole, feeding it along while the flat wheel above has tension pulling it down.

I stitched around the toe for the final time, from the beginning of one side of the heel to the other, so a little longer than the previous two stitches. This part was not fun at all, very tedious and I got a few blisters.

Used the welt roller one last time to make sure the stitchdown is flat.

A VERY sharp knife is needed to trim the excess sole away.

Skived a thick piece of leather in a U shape and glued it on the heel. This is to ensure the pieces of leather I used to build up the heel have a flat surface to bond to. I added two more layers of leather, then a rubber heel.

I nailed on the heel. The rubber will likely need replacing before the nails corrode so it's ok to use steel here. For the finishing touches I sanded down the edges of the sole, sewed on the tongue (which still needs to be trimmed) and added laces.

Finished picture

Rea view.

20 Aug 02:30

Solitare cards

Russian Sledges

via baron

20 Aug 02:28

uglynialong: skella-bro: WCVB Channel 5 Boston: Vandals...

Russian Sledges

via firehose

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.



WCVB Channel 5 Boston: Vandals defaced an iconic statue of Christopher Columbus in Boston’s North End by covering it in red paint and tagging it with the phrase “Black Lives Matter. |

Now that’s what I like to see, Boston!


Okay so like the first year I lived in Boston that statue was *missing its fucking head for a while* for no reason that I could ever discern, so let’s not call this “vandalism” or act like it’s unique.

This is some peaceful public art, and it’s great, and it’s way better than what residents have historically done to this specific statue (not that I’m against beheading Columbus, just maybe leave me a sign so I know we’re on the same page idk).

20 Aug 01:20

Textbooks are a bargain

by (Greg Mankiw)
Russian Sledges

via Ibstopher

Compared with Harvard tuition, that is, according to Irwin Collier:
Excerpts from the Harvard Catalogue for 1874-75 with principal texts.... Incidentally, one finds that annual fees for a full course load at Harvard ran $120/year and a copy of John Stuart Mill’s Principles cost $2.50. Cf. today’s price for N. Gregory Mankiw’s Economics which is $284.16. If tuition relative to the price of textbooks had remained unchanged (and the quality change of the Mankiw textbook relative to Mill’s textbook(!) were equal to the quality change of the Harvard undergraduate education today compared to that of 1874-75(!!)), Harvard tuition would only be about $13,600/year today instead of $45,278.

In other words, over the past 140 years, textbook prices have risen only 114-fold, whereas Harvard tuition has risen 377-fold. 

Over this period, the CPI has risen 22-fold. So the real price of textbooks has increased about 5-fold, or a bit more than 1 percent per year.

19 Aug 20:13

10K Gov’t Officials on Ashley Madison?

by Marlow Stern
Hacking group ‘Impact Team’ dumped all the company info for the adultery website online, exposing government officials and millions more.
19 Aug 20:12

Colbert and Norway Join Forces

by Owen Agnew
‘The Late Show’ host and the Norwegian head of state raise money for girls’ education using Twitter, lutefisk, and death metal.
18 Aug 22:29

"The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have..."

Russian Sledges

via ThePrettiestOne

“The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.”

- Dale Spender, quoted by Anne Thériault in The real reason some men still can’t handle the all-female ‘Ghostbusters’ for The Daily Dot, via fette. See also. (via blech)
18 Aug 22:27

jvnk: Forensic Facial Reconstruction of the Crystal Head...

Russian Sledges

via bernot


18 Aug 16:17

The Challenge of Being Transgender in a Nursing Home

by Mo Perry

When Brett, a 69-year-old man from St. Paul, Minnesota, went to visit his dying mother in a nursing home a few years ago, he began to worry in earnest about his later years.

“I’ve been in institutions most of my life,” says Brett (his last name has been withheld to protect his privacy), who spent his teenage years in a series of foster homes and juvenile detention centers, estranged from his family. “It never scared me. But I won’t get to be in a nursing home like my mom was.” His own experience, he fears, will be much different.

Brett, who is transgender, has a full beard, a low speaking voice, and has had his breasts removed. But he never had sex-reassignment surgery, meaning that his transgender status would quickly become obvious to a nursing-home aide charged with bathing or dressing him. Like many transgender seniors, he worries what this will mean for him once he enters a nursing home or assisted-living facility.

Currently, there are more than 1.5 million LGBT people over 65 in the U.S., a number expected to double over the next 15 years as the population ages. But precise statistics on older transgender adults—or, for that matter, transgender people of any age—are hard to come by. One 2011 study using health-survey data estimated that the country’s transgender population was around 700,000; this past May, the Census Bureau published a study that analyzed the number of “likely transgender individuals” based on the people who had changed their name (around 90,000) or sex (around 22,000) with the Social Security Administration.

These estimates vary so wildly in part because there’s no reliable means of tracking when people change their gender: The Census Bureau still offers only male and female, and many trans people haven’t completely transitioned into living full-time as their expressed gender. Others have so successfully suppressed their history that there’s little evidence they ever lived as anyone else.

One thing, though, is clear: For transgender people, aging into the later years of life can present a unique set of challenges.

Most transgender people have not surgically transitioned—for reasons that include prohibitive cost and decreased sexual function—so when they disrobe in a medical setting, they’re automatically outed, explained Loree Cook-Daniels, the founder of the Milwaukee-based Transgender Aging Network. “That inability to closet even if they want to means we have a much bigger problem in getting trans people to health care,” she said.

Past research has found that many transgender people avoid seeing a doctor for fear of being ostracized. Of those who do seek health care, a 2011 survey of 6,456 transgender people across the U.S. found that 28 percent of respondents had suffered harassment in medical settings, including ridicule or rough treatment. Nineteen percent said that they had been denied care altogether by doctors and other providers, and 50 percent reported having to educate their medical providers on transgender care.

In a more recent study, Tarynn Witten, the director of research and development at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Biological Complexity, examined the concerns of 1,963 transgender survey respondents about their later-life and end-of-life plans. Many participants, she wrote, “stated that they would prefer to die at home rather than be in a palliative care or nursing home facility,” often out of “[fear] of the type of care that they would receive; would they receive the right painkillers, would the care be respectful, would they be abused or violated, would their gender identities be respected, would they be allowed to live their last moments with grace and dignity [?]”

“As I am only part-time in each gender, I am worried that I will be in some situation that will force me to be considered totally masculine,” one of Witten’s study participants wrote, like “being assigned to ‘the boy’s room,’ meaning exile from femininity.”

In nursing homes, gender-segregated spaces like bedrooms and housing wings can be of particular concern to transgender seniors. As Alia Wong recently reported for The Atlantic, the U.S. Department of Education has affirmed that the protections of Title IX extend to transgender students; in July, citing Title IX, the Justice Department filed a statement in support of a transgender student suing a Virginia school district after being required to use an “alternative” restroom. But, Cook-Daniels said, there are currently no similar anti-discrimination regulations in place for nursing homes and other assisted-living facilities.

Cook-Daniels and other TAN employees regularly host workshops and trainings on transgender aging issues for health-care professionals, elder-care providers, and national aging organizations. The most common questions, she said, are ones about segregated living spaces: “People want to know, ‘What gender roommate do I give [a transgender senior]?,’ ‘What bathroom do they use?’,” she said. “There’s still a basic lack of understanding of how gender identity trumps biological sex, and that people should have access to facilities that match their gender identity.”

The roommate question, in particular, can be fraught with complications. Brett recently experienced what life might be like for him in a long-term care facility when he checked in for a temporary stay in a St. Paul nursing home to recover from a back injury. After a week in a single room, he said, he was assigned a male roommate—but he worried that a roommate of either gender would soon discover that he was transgender, a fact he didn’t want to be publicized.

“A female would have a problem with me, and I’d have a problem with a male,” he said. “I wouldn’t want him to know about me … And with the gossip in nursing homes, that secret would last about a week.”

Rather than take a roommate, Brett left the nursing home and went to stay with his daughter, who took over caring for him as he recovered. But many in Brett’s situation wouldn’t have that same option: Past research has found that LGBT seniors are only half as likely as their heterosexual peers to have a support network of close relatives, and in a recent survey of 6,450 transgender people in the U.S., more than half reported that they were estranged from their families—a significant disadvantage in a country where around 80 percent of older people with disabilities rely partially or exclusively on family caregivers.

Mitigating the effects of social isolation experienced by older LGBT adults is a goal of the advocacy group Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders (SAGE). One of the organization’s current priorities is working to secure recognition for the LGBT community in the Older Americans Act (OAA), the source of federal funding for senior-care programs across the country, as a population of “greatest social need,” deserving of dedicated funds for training, outreach, and services. (The current interpretation of the term, as explained by the U.S. Administration on Aging, is vague: “In some communities, such isolation may be caused by minority religious affiliation. In others, isolation due to sexual orientation or gender identity may restrict a person’s ability to perform normal daily tasks or live independently. Each planning and service area must assess their particular environment to determine those populations best targeted based on ‘greatest social need.’”)

On July 13, the SAGE executive director Michael Adams was one of four delegates representing LGBT concerns at the White House conference on aging, a conversation that happens once every 10 years and influences the contents of the OAA. The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, a training center run by SAGE, currently receives direct federal funding, Adams said, but he hopes that the delegates’ presence at the conference will make groups like his more of a priority: “Designating older LGBT adults as a population of greatest social need in the OAA could open the door for [other training organizations] to receive federal funds,” he said.

In the meantime, many similar groups rely on private donations, small state grants, and fees paid by the service providers who hire them. Rajean Moone runs one such organization; as the executive director of the St. Paul-based Training to Serve, he regularly works with facilities that want to improve their inclusivity. “It’s not about repainting your building with a rainbow flag,” he said. TTS recommends simple steps like changing intake forms to leave questions about gender open-ended, and putting mechanisms in place for residents to report bullying or discrimination.

“We’re not there to change anyone’s beliefs,” says Moone. “We’re there to help them give high-quality care to people who deserve dignity.”

This article was originally published at

18 Aug 15:23

64 Scientific Studies Retracted By One Publishing Company

by tanyabasutime

A company that publishes scientific research has retracted 64 articles from 10 journals after discovering that the peer-review reports—summaries of how the papers were vetted by experts in the field prior to publication—were fabricated.

Springer, which publishes more than 2,200 English-language research journals, issued a statement on the retraction on Tuesday, noting that the problems included fake email addresses.

“After a thorough investigation we have strong reason to believe that the peer-review process on these 64 articles was compromised,” a Springer spokesperson said in a statement.

Peer review is an integral part of respected research; journals rely on that process to assess the viability of the results, to weed out unscientific claims, to flag poor study design or to reject unreliable findings. The process for getting a paper published is highly competitive, and retractions appear to be on the rise—about 1,500 papers in multiple journals have been retracted for various reasons since 2012, as the editors of Retraction Watch note.

Last November, BioMed Central, a Springer company, retracted 43 studies for similar reasons, and in the past three years alone. While that’s only a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of studies published each year, scientists are worried that the incidence rate of fabrication may be higher.

Springer said as much in its statement, noting, “The peer-review process is one of the cornerstones of quality, integrity and reproducibility in research, and we take our responsibilities as its guardians seriously. We are now reviewing our editorial processes across Springer to guard against this kind of manipulation of the peer review process in future.”

18 Aug 12:35

Scholars Talk Writing: Sam Wineburg - Advice - The Chronicle of Higher Education

by russiansledges
I teach a course on scholarly writing for students at the end of their Ph.D. program. I define Stage 4 prose decay as the moment when "mediate" is the only verb left in their vocabulary. I start the class with an exercise. I take a random page from a prestigious scholarly journal and make them compute the average number of words in each topic sentence. Then I take a page from whatever Jill Lepore New Yorker article happens to be my favorite and have them do the same. The last time I did this, the average for the "prestigious" journal was 46 words (versus 15 for The New Yorker), a number so outrageous that, whatever goals the author had in mind, communication wasn’t one of them. When we’re done I can see the bemused looks on students’ faces. What have we become, they ask.
17 Aug 17:40

Somerville to become the saddest city in the state — for one night only - The Boston Globe

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

'viller than hell

On Sept. 17, [Greg] Cook and the Somerville Arts Council will throw the community’s first-ever “Pity Party” in Union Square. Cook put a call out to artists, performers, and musicians last week who might fit well with the event’s depressing theme. Details for the party are still being worked out, but the melancholy celebration will likely include an eclectic mix of sorrowful musical acts, somber ice cream-eating, and widespread self-pity.
17 Aug 17:23

DIY Espadrilles

by Sophie
Russian Sledges



ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesHello my loves! Today I have a tutorial for your that is pretty much the best thing since sliced bread: DIY ESPADRILLES! If you’ve been following my Insta feed you would have seen sneak peaks posted along the way. It has taken every shred of will-power not to post the entire tutorial there. I’m going to be straight with you: there is nothing too technical here. They don’t even take that long. But there is some grunt-work. At the end of which you will have DIY’d yourself a freakin pair of shoes! Like, real shoes you can actually wear. Alternatively you may want to display them somewhere high-vis with good traffic flow and bask in their attention for a while. Are you ready?!

ADA SPRAGG | DIY Espadrilles ADA SPRAGG | DIY Espadrilles

You will need:

Pair espadrille soles  |  chalk pencil(s)  |  pins  |  .5 m main fabric |  matching thread (blue here)  | espadrille yarn  |  darning needles  |  fabric scissors  |  pinking sheers – optional  |  fusible interfacing  |  .5 m lining fabric | tracing paper | hand needles – optional  | measuring tape  |  iron  |  sewing machine

S o l e s  are sold in a kit by Prym and includes the pattern for the shoes and no instructions. They are a new product but widely available; a quick Google search turns up all the online retailers, including Amazon. I ordered mine from Etsy. Simply choose your size (sizing is European) and gulp down that postage cost.

Y a r n  is used for that special stitch that goes around the edge of Espadrilles. It basically holds the whole shebang together. Prym produces an ‘Espadrille yarn‘ in a 7 meter length (approx 23 feet); enough for one complete pair of espadrilles.It comes in a variety of colours but if you’re an Espadrille purist then it’s the natural coloured yarn, listed as ‘beige’ or ‘sand’ that you want. Personally I think this looks the most authentic! If you can’t get your hands on the Prym version, any strong cotton yarn (slightly thicker than embroidery thread) will work.

D a r n i n g  N e e d l e s  are available in any haberdashery section in a range of different sizes. For convenience I ordered Prym needles, or ‘yarn darners’. They come in a pack of six, with three sizes between 1/0 and 5/0. If these numbers mean something to you, great, they didn’t to me but the smallest needle of the three passed through the jute sole and several layers of fabric with the least struggle…this is a good thing.

S e w i n g  M a c h i n e  is needed however not-yet-sewers, please don’t be intimidated. The machine sewing here is minimal and only requires that you can sew a straight line plus a slightly less straight line and back stitch at the start and ends. Phone a friend, borrow an aunty.

I n t e r f a c i n g  A floppy Espadrilles is nobody’s friend. Iron-on or fusible interfacing is available from any fabric store / haberdashery.  Approx half a meter / yard of the woven (non stretch), mid-weight stuff is what you want. If you’re new to fusible interfacing, one side looks and feels slightly crystalline (this melts and adheres to the fabric) and the other side takes the heat from the iron. You will only iron directly onto the adhesive side once.

M a i n  F a b r i c  Go wild! There are no rules but as a guideline choose a mid-weight fabric over something light-weight. Cotton twill, canvas, duckcloth or heavy cotton-linen are all examples of slightly firmer fabrics that will result in a sturdier Espadrille ie. one that stays on your foot. However if you find yourself all heart-eyed over a quilting weight cotton then of course you can use it. The interfacing will beef it up a little anyway and you can always supplement with a heavier lining like a canvas ( I used calico here; mid-weight and breathable). Need some Pinspiration?

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesSourcing fun prints in mid-heavy weight fabrics can be a challenge. So where can one go to find glorious espadrille-worthy fabric? Spoonflower! If you’re not familiar, Spoonflower is a fabric printing business with a mecca of beautiful designs and patterns perfect for DIY projects but more specifically, waiting to be turned into Espadrilles. Of the fabrics that are available for printing, their cotton twill, cotton linen / canvas and eco-canvas (made from 45% recycled material) are the perfect weight for Espadrilles.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY Espadrilles cotton twill | cotton linen canvas | eco-canvas

If you’re going the Spoonflower route, I highly recommend ordering samples before you commit to yardage. Samples are fun, yes! But also a good idea. As you can see, the designs come out at varying intensities and slightly different shades from each other, due to the nature of the printing process. It was hard to capture here but the cotton twill is the most muted, the cotton linen canvas is more saturated and the eco-canvas is the most intense (see chartreuse colour). It’s a subtle difference but for designs where colour is the appeal, it will translate most accurately onto the eco-canvas / cotton linen canvas.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesSmaller patterns work best here. While this cactus motif is clearly awesome, the print would be lost on the small surface area of Espadrilles. Also worth noting, Spoonflower sells in increments of fat-quarters (28 x 18″) and yards (56″ width). One fat quarter is enough for two pairs of espadrilles, however the next size down, the sample size (8 x 8″) is not enough for one pair. The solution: go the fat-quarter and get stitchy with a friend. P.S Not sponsored by Spoonflower.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY Espadrilles


Once you’ve gathered supplies, trace off the toe and heel pieces from the pattern in your size. If your pattern is printed with both toe & heel pieces on one side, you can cut it straight out, but most seem to come printed back to back. Transfer ‘outside’, ‘inside’, central grain-line markings and ‘sole’. Ignore the ‘ease’.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesStart by folding both main fabric and lining in half. Lay the main fabric over the top of lining fabric and place pattern pieces on top. Take a moment to check that the design will be facing in the direction you want.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesPin in place. Seam allowances are not included in the pattern and need to be added. With a chalk marker, trace around the outside of pattern pieces adding a 3/8″ (1cm) seam allowance.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesFollowing the chalk lines, cut out pattern pieces through all layers. You now have all the lining and fabric pieces for one complete pair of Espadrilles. Woo!

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesDouble the fusible interfacing over, then once more again. It doesn’t matter which side of the interfacing is facing out at this stage. Place pattern pieces on interfacing, lining up the grainline, and pin in place. Cut out directly around pattern through all four layers (no added seam allowances this time).

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesTo attach interfacing, place fabric and lining pieces right side down. Centre interfacing over fabric with the fusible side facing down. The toe pattern piece is not symmetrical (inside edge is slightly longer and pointier) so to make sure you’ve got a pair, check to see that the interfacing follows the same shape as the fabric underneath. With iron on a medium setting, fuse interfacing to the back of all pieces.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesUsing the toe pattern piece for reference, take a chalk pencil and mark ‘I’ (inside) on the corresponding edge of all toe pieces on the right side of the fabric. Phwoa! I don’t recommend using a soluble marker here as the heat from the iron can set the ink…speaking from experience.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesTake one toe lining and one fabric piece and place right side to right side. Check the inside to make sure the ‘I’ markings are facing each other. Pin together. Repeat for other toe piece.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesFlip pieces to face lining side up. With chalk pencil, make a mark about half way along inside edge. Mark a second point approx 2″ (5cm) away from first. This area will be left open and un-sewn to turn out the right way.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesStart with your sewing machine needle at either point just marked. Stitch a 3/8″ (1cm) seam around the edge and stop at second point, leaving the area between markings un-stitched. It is a good idea to backstitch a few extra times at these start and end points as they take the brunt when we turn it right side out. Trim the corners directly across the ends and then diagonally towards each tip, close to stitching but not through.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesWith pinking sheers, trim the edges approx 1/8 (3mm) from stitching, leaving the un-stitched area between the two points un-trimmed. If you do not have pinking sheers, carefully notch into the seam allowance at regular intervals. This reduces bulk in the seam and gives a nice smooth edge when turned right side out.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesBegin to turn the turn pieces right side out by poking the corners in first. The rest is just wrangling the fabric out through the hole.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesWith scissors or a point turner if you have one, gently poke the corners out.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesTuck fabric neatly into the hole and press flat. The opening will not be visible once we attach fabric to the sole.

For heel pieces repeat the same process: Pin one main fabric and one lining right side together. Find the middle point of heel piece by folding in half width-ways and finger pressing the centre fold. On the convex edge (outwardly curved) edge, mark two points either side of centre crease, approx 2″ (5cm) apart. Repeat as above: stitch with 3/8″ (1cm) seam allowance, leaving open between points. Trim corners and notch edges. Turn right way out and press.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesNow the fun part! Grab an Espadrille sole and mark the centre of heel with a pin. Take one heel fabric piece and find centre point again by folding in half. Mark with a pin on convex (outward curve) edge.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesLay heel piece on top of sole, lining up centre points. Poke a pin down through the fabric and into the sole at an angle. The pin should stay firmly in place. If it doesn’t, try out some other types of pins; I found the longer plastic headed pins worked better than short dress-making pins.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesContinue pinning fabric around the edge of sole right up to the end of heel piece. Place pins at regular intervals, roughly 1/2″ is good; the closer together, the easier it be come hand-stitching. Trust me.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesMeasure in 1″ (2.5cm) from end of heel piece on each side and place a pin. Now take the corresponding toe piece (the ‘I’ should be matching the inside edge of sole) and place over heel piece up to pin marker. Pin in place, ensuring it has gone through both layers of fabric.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesContinue pinning around toe piece, starting from the sides and working towards the middle. You may need to ‘ease’ the fabric ever so slightly around the toe.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesCut off a 98″ (2.5m) piece of Espadrille yarn and thread the darning needle. The thread will go through but you may need to wet / shape the end to coax it through. Pull thread through other side to approx 10″ (25cm) length. Knot other end. P.S I realise this sounds like a ridiculous amount of thread however it is exactly the length needed to go around the whole shoe with some leeway.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesStarting on the inside edge where toe and heel overlap, slip needle up through fabric to poke out 2/8″ (.5cm) in from edge of shoe. Pull through. Tuck the knot up under the fabric on inside of shoe.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesMoving around the shoe in an anti-clockwise direction (to the right), poke needle into sole between 2/8″ and 3/8″ (literally .8cm is a great Espadrille stitch length) along from first stitch and 2/8″ (.5cm) or about half-way down the sole. Bring needle up through the fabric at 2/8″ (.5cm) from the edge, in line with the first stitch.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesBefore you pull the yarn all the way through, hold the other end taut across the top of needle exit point. Now pull it through. Cheer loud my friends because you just did an Espadrille stitch!

Continue merrily around the entire shoe, pulling each stitch as taut as possible before starting the next. When I say merrily, after stabbing yourself in the cuticle of your left thumb three or four times you will get into a rhythm. Go by sight and remember…rustic is authentic. If the yarn starts to tangle, which it loves to do when working with a long length, try to make sure it’s not bunched up before pulling through. If you do get a knot that can’t be undone, just cut the yarn and begin again. Start directly over the last stitch, tucking the new knot up under the fabric.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesOnce back to the start, it’s time to knot the yarn and tie off. Stitch once again over the very first stitch then plunge the needle down and out through the side of the sole. Knot off once and trim.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesADA SPRAGG | DIY Espadrilles Now it’s time to fit. Carefully slip your foot in. When it feels snug in position, pull the heel piece firmly up under the toe piece as far as you can without distorting the shape. Working with one side at a time and trying not to jab yourself, secure the over-lap by pinning once close to the top edge and once below (optional). Carefully slip foot back out, leaving pins behind. 

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesTo secure this section there are three stitch options: continuation of the Espadrille stitch, back stitch and slip-stitch. Each gives the finished shoe a different feel. If you don’t want this section to be a feature then slip-stitch is the option for you; it’s almost invisible. Select your stitch of choice and hand-stitch the toe and heel section securely together at the overlap. Side note: there is a secret fourth option, visible in some of the photos, to machine top-stitch this section. While it’s a neat finish, I won’t be recommending it as it requires the fabric be pinned to the sole twice and trying to fit the shoe with the pins in…neither was fun.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY Espadrilles

woven espadrille toe piece

When you have repeated steps up to this point for the other shoe, absolutely you can stop here and call it a day…you now have  a wearable pair of Espadrilles in front of you! However, you’ve made it this far and personally, I think this next step makes the difference between great looking Espadrilles and an omg-where-did-you-get-those Espadrilles: the woven toe piece. Kid not, I stared at the toe section on my only pair of store-bought Espadrilles for hours, trying to figure out how, what, even is THAT stitch? And I tell you, cracking the code felt like discovering the pyramids. Would my authentic-Espadrille-making-nonna be impressed by my ‘technique’? Probably not. But I don’t have an authentic-espadrille-making-nonna (if you do, make full use of that resource). Here it is:

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesBasically, the woven toe section is made up of three rows of narrow Espadrille stitch, shaped in a slight arc like a rainbow (each row wider than the one before it). On store-bought Espadrilles, the end of the toe is narrower and so the arc has more of a curve. Here, the toe is wider so we have to straighten the arc out a little, otherwise it would end up too big and take up too much of the front. It’s a good idea to get your confidence up on a separate piece of fabric first.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesWith chalk pencil, mark a line across the tip of the shoe where you would like your top row of stitching to finish.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesThread the needle and knot the end. To create the first (bottom) row, slip the needle up through the fabric. Pull all the way through and tuck the knot up underneath.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesMoving along in approx 1/8 (3mm) increments, begin your Espadrille stitch. This first row sits across the front of the shoe, just overlapping the fabric by about 1/8″ (3mm). Go by sight.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesAfter approx ten stitches, stop. Now for the magic: take your needle (catching a little fabric just at the start to secure that last stitch) and run it back through the whole row of stitching, behind the vertical stitches. Repeat several times, running it back and forth until there is no fabric visible underneath that row. Finish the last run-through on the same side you began.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesBegin second row starting over further to the left this time (this arc scoops over the first). Each time you make a stitch, instead of poking the needle into the sole like we did in the first row, slip it under the top line of stitching from the first row.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesRepeat process for third row. If your chalk marks rub off by this point, it’s not a biggie, you can re-mark the arc or to go by sight at this stage.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY EspadrillesAfter running the yarn back and forth through the last row until there’s no fabric visible through the stitching, finish on the opposite side to where you began. Knot off the yarn by slipping it through the stitching several times. Cut off.

ADA SPRAGG | DIY Espadrilles

finito! you did it!