Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Saturday, 23 May 2015

New York - Pattern Making for Bespoke Shoes class; Days 9 - 12

How did day 12 come about so quickly? Here they are split lifts on, heels built straight and sole edges sharp and square. The past two days have been focused on finishing. It's been great to have time to really focus in on this, as it can make or break a shoe! The class have really enjoyed experimenting with different colours and polish combinations and then choosing their favourite.

There's been a lot of rasping, glassing and sanding...and then some more sanding
Roughly shaped heels

Straight and true
Rasping first

Then glassing

and sanding
then a bit more sanding

then dyeing, waxing, burnishing and buffing for some

or polishing, burnishing and buffing for others

and then time to start polishing the uppers.
So this morning we've got to finish finishing (!), pull lasts, sock shoes and shine the uppers. Then the class is going to take each others measurements and we'll be talking about a good shoe fit and different styles of shoe. A busy last day and back to England tonight.

Until next week, when we'll share the results of all their efforts...happy shoemaking!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

New York Shoemaking Class - Days 7 - 9

Wow, I think that's the first time I've arrived to take the reins for week two and all the soles are on, heels nailed and threads made!

Pricking the stitches

Cutting the channel

Channelling takes great concentration!
Jack did his best to keep everyone relaxed
Whizzing those threads through the sole

Working hard

In a great environment
And the results?

Not bad for a first attempt!

Then on to split lifts

Pasted and nailed in place at the heel
Carefully trimmed and peened

Let the heel building commence
And although it's been hard work...there's been laughter too!

So here we are on Day 9 and it's heel building time. Let's see how that goes....because we are looking for great results! Happy shoemaking until our final post to complete our New York visit at the weekend!