Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 8 January 2016

January 2016 Hand Sewn Shoemaking Course Week 1

Welcome back, dear shoe people, and hello 2016! We hope you had a lovely festive period - we certainly did

The Carreducker Shoemaking School is live! As promised, we are straight back into it with our first intensive shoemaking course of the year. We've been joined by four guys keen to learn - Nish, Ved, Johannes and McBride. I think it's fair to say they've already developed a deep respect for the handsewn shoemaker after their first week of toil...and are keen to explore the mechanised alternatives! 

Day 1 saw them sharpening their knives on the strop; skiving toe puffs and stiffeners; and blocking insoles




The joys of skiving



McBride learning to love his knife


Ved skiving a toe puff
Day 2 was filled with preparing insoles, specifically the holdfast/feather

Johannes shaping the inside waist of the insole

Making holes in the holdfast with the awl
Day 3 moved swiftly onto lasting the uppers and preparing the welts

Hand lasting

More hand lasting

Biceps at the ready as McBride lasts his toes
Day 4 saw them making threads and welting by hand which everyone tackled joyfully

Making threads

A welting demonstration


Hand welting


Hand welting
Attaching bristles with tar



Day 5 was also filled with welting and we should have both shoes finished by the end of the day

We have also been busy preparing our order at the factory for the Winkers - we have ordered lasts, fabrics and have all the graded patterns ready to get going. Exciting times for Carreducker.

Until next time, happy shoemaking!