Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 18 September 2009

Hot Off The Presses

Fame at last! We are officially cool.

In print, no less. And no vanity publishing project this, oh no. A beautiful, image rich coffee table book called Shoe Design. We have 6 pages of our gorgeous footwear, including my shapely legs in thigh length boots. Contain your astonishment/laughter/disgust (delete as appropriate). We sit alongside such shoe gods as Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin and my particular favourite, Terry de Havilland.

It's in the shops now, £34.95, or, it pains me to say, about half that on Amazon. But for you die-hard carreducker fans, signed copies are available from us.

I am going to finish the holdfast essay, but before I do, feast your eyes on these little beauties. A pair of bespoke boots, made in association with Stowers Bespoke, as an accompanying piece for a coat in the same tweed. Absolutely gorgeous.

Ok, holdfast completion. We left it with the first cut, the outside of the holdfast, finished. The next stage is the inside cut. The main thing to remember here is the angle of the knife. First time round, the angle was 90 degrees. This time, hold the knife at 45 degrees, cutting towards the inside of the last.

Be careful not to cut too deep. About the same as the first cut, just the tip of the knife. And stick to the 45 degree angle.

Unlike the first cut, continue this one all the way round the heel, so that you meet up with the start of the cut (see picture). Now it is time to make the holes with your welting awl. Start at the heel point on the left last and make holes about 4 to the inch, towards you. Any smaller weakens the holdfast, a little bigger is ok, but no less than 3 to the inch.

At the toe, you have to bear in mind that the distance around the toe on the inside is is about half that on the outside. To compensate draw a series of lines in a fan shape around the toe. On the inside, the lines will be almost touching, but on the outside, the lines will maintain the 4 to the inch rule.

Go all the way round to the other heel point and you have a finished holdfast and are ready to begin lasting. Well done to all!

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