Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 30 November 2012

Pattern Making Course - New!

Welcome back once again, dear readers. Another week passes in the varied and exciting world of carréducker.

Today (Friday) from 11am till 9pm and then Saturday and Sunday from 11am till 6pm is our Open Studios at our Cockpit Arts workshop (Cockpit Yard, Northington St, London WC1N 2NP). So, for those of you who live in or around London, we would be delighted to meet you and show you our work.
It is also a great opportunity to see over 80 designer/maker businesses and their amazing crafts. 

And so to all things shoemaking. This week we want to talk about our courses. We have been running our intensive handsewn shoemaking courses very successfully now for 6 years and this year we added a new weekly course on a Monday night which has proved both popular and good fun. The January term is fully booked and we have a long waiting list for the summer term - looks like the people of London have got into the shoemaking groove.

One thing that we often get asked is whether we teach pattern making. Until now, we have always had to say no becuase, while both Deborah and I know some basics, we are certainly not qualified to teach it.

So, with this in mind, we have teamed up with expert pattern maker, Fiona Campbell MA, to create the first carréducker Pattern Making Course. This week long intensive course will teach the basics of pattern making for shoes. It will cover 3 basic styles - the Oxford, the Derby and the ladies' court shoe.

Fiona is a couture consultant to the industry; lecturer at the London College of Fashion, the Victoria and Albert Museum; and has a lifetime of practical experience in the "West End" tradition of English shoemaking.

The course is a week long and dovetails with our intensive course in August, so you can learn both handsewn shoemaking and pattern making in a three week period. Ideal for both UK based students and those from overseas, the course is suitable for complete beginners. The exact dates are on our website along with prices.

During the course you will cover the following areas

  • Familiarisation with the last
  • Taping and designing onto the last
  • Making a paper mean form
  • Drawing the style onto the last
  • Making a standard from the last
  • Creating the pattern pieces from the standard

By the end of the course you will have gained sufficient knowledge to practise and improve your pattern making skills on your own. You will also have three sets of sample paper patterns (including linings) like the ones below.

If you are interested in finding out more, please email us at or call us on +44 (0)20 7813 0093. We will happily send you a detailed course outline and a booking form.

We are really excited about the course and are confident that it will be a fantastic opportunity for anyone keen to make shoes to learn how to make an accurate and well fitting pattern - the starting point for any good shoe.

And that is about it for this week.Wish us luck for the Open Studios and we look forward to receiving your enquiries about the Patter Making Course.

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