Fabric cut from an old pair of jeans (for the outer or main fabric) and an old bedsheet or dress shirt (for the inner or liner fabric) is a great place to start! In fact, we think fabric from an old bed sheet or pillowcase makes for the best lining material regardless of what outer fabric you use
Upholstery fabric (recycled, new, or scraps) makes for a great, durable outer material. There is a staggering array of upholstery fabrics available online or locally to choose from to create whatever you can imagine. Because you don’t need a lot of material, remnants or scraps will often work just fine. Re-upholsterers often collect scraps too small for furniture that they may sell or even just give to you. One-third yard of material is the most that you’ll need to make a complete pair of alpargatas, whereas for the open-toe, you might get away with using 6″ fabric samples
Leather, either real or faux (vegan) often used for upholstery, works well too. With a 4-6 ounce leather (which is 1.5 – 2mm (0.06”- 0.08”) in thickness, you don’t need a liner material, nor do you need seams — or a sewing machine! Because leather is a bit more difficult than fabric to poke through with a needle, you might pre-poke the holes first with something sharp like an ice pick, skewer, or push pin, before stitching it onto the sole
If you know how to crochet or want to learn (it’s not difficult!), try crocheting up from your pair of OESH Create Soles to make a partially crocheted or even completely crocheted pair of shoes. Probably the easiest/quickest style shoe to crochet is a simple ballet flat. We’ve found Lily Sugar n’ Cream cotton yarn worsted weight, gauge 4, which is 100% U.S. grown, to work especially well for comfort, durability, and speed. You can find it locally at Michael’s, JoAnne’s, or Hobby Lobby as well as online
Alternatively, if you’re more of a knitter than a crocheter, you can knit parts of the upper or even all of the upper and then stitch it onto the sole. You can knit the pieces into one of the pattern shapes provided or into your own pattern shape. Depending on how much stretch there is in your knit (yarn type, knitting needle gauge, etc.), you might want to use a pattern size that is one or even two sizes smaller than your actual shoe size. Fun fact: We knit most of our uppers for our OESH Shoes on industrial knitting machines!