Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 22 June 2018

First Class In The New Shoe Making School

Hello again, dear shoe friends, we hope you have had a good week.

This week saw the first class take place in our new shoe making school in Shoredtich, London. Hurrah!
It was amazing to have students in there to share our wonderful new space.

We decided to do a trial run of our new key fob course which teaches saddle stitch and edge treatments of small leather goods. So we invited a group of friends of the brand to spend a relaxed evening making a beautiful leather key fob.

Our fantastic tutor, Frankey Pinnock, set up the classroom with all the tools needed to make the fob and, as soon as our guests arrived, we got down to work.

Requisite tools and leather blank
The students chose between a brown or orange fob made from beautiful Tempesti Elbamat veg tanned leather which we have had moss backed to stop the pile raising during the life of the key fob.

We started with edge treatments - bevelling the edge with a beveling tool and using the heat creaser to make a clean line next to the stitches.

We then punched the 2 and 1 brogue pattern down the centre of the fob and marked the stitches with the stitch marker. Both processes use a mallet - plenty of hammering which is always popular.

Next up was some skiving of the ends of the leather so that the metal work can be glued into place before stitching.

And then we glued the ring and clasp into place. We are using really nice quality metal work to give the fob a luxury finish.
We had a little break to let the glue dry and have a snack.

And so to the saddle stitching, the core of the class. Frankey demonstrated to everyone and then we set about making two beautiful straight lines of saddle stitch, or we tried, at least!

We used small wooden clams to hold the work still as you need two hands to stitch.

It was a really successful evening and we got a real handle on what to focus on when teaching these classes and we think the students had a great experience.

We will be running the saddle stitch classes throughout the year and you will be able to choose between the key fob, a card case and a felt lined folio suitable for tablets.
Our new website will be up and running very soon and you will be able to book the classes online - so watch this space!

And so to the finished product. While our efforts may not match up to Frankey's excellent work, the level of the work we made was really good and the students were very pleased with themselves - and rightly so. Congratulations to all of them

And that about wraps it up. Until next week, happy shoe making! And saddle stitching!