Wow, thanks all on the encouraging sandal comments! To answer your questions, yes, the straps are folded over through the slots and cemented in place to the topsole. Then after the cement dries, you shave off the bits of strap that are folded over and taper them down with a knife so there isn't a lump on your sandal. Then you cement that whole shebang to the molded sole.
The directions I am following use clinching nails to finish the sandal and secure the topsole to the sole. I don't think I am going to mess around with learning to sew just yet, this leather is really thick and stiff, seems tricky to sew neatly. Clinching nails are little brass nails that have tips that fold over and roll up when hammered through the sandal and onto a hard surface, like an anvil (or cast iron frying pan, what I will be using). I don't have clinching nails yet, so I'm on hold for this step until I acquire some.
However, the sandal is done enough to try on, (I may be walking around the house quite a lot with one shoe on, ahem.)
The molded sole is attached, I trimmed the edges, sanded them and added beeswax. The whole shoe has been oiled with neatsfoot oil.
I really like the curves-
and the strap placement-
But I have to point out my mistakes too.
I molded the sole without consulting my actual foot tracing and the arch placement is way off.
Whoops. Also, I glued the topsole to the sole unevenly and the whole thing is a bit uneven- see how close to the edge the straps on the right are?
And it's not a mess-up, just sloppy work, but I could have done a much better job on cleaning up and polishing the edges. I think I will try an electric sander next time.
But. It's a shoe! That I can wear! The leather sole is comfortably firm but good and flexible, I think the sandal will be more comfortable over time as the straps soften and mold to my foot. People say the leather sole is slick, but it doesn't feel too bad, I might add a little rubber heel just in case. Today I am going to make the second one, I can't wait to try on my first pair of sandals!