Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 12 December 2008

velvet Pumps 3

Goodness me, 3 shows in a week! We have been busy, selling shoes and pressing the flesh. We have noticed a hesitance for people to buy spontaneously, but it was not too bad overall. I think our clients are the most cushioned group in terms of belt tightening (lovely bespoke belt only!).

Back to those velvet pumps. Well, they are finished, but they punished me. And how! On the first one, I did the pump stitched sole, but it was not flush enough with the upper so I had to completely redo it (hours wasted). The second one was fine because I corrected my mistake. And what was that? I made the holes in the sole too far from the edge. I was taught 1/4 inch but have reduced it to 3/16. This minor adjustment is just enough to pull the sole nearer the upper and they look rather lovely.

Also, when the client wears them, his weight will close the gap even more. I hope he likes them.

I finished them with a natural sole and a brown edge. I think that gives them an aristocratic look. What do you think?

And for the rest of the week? I have to finish a a pile of bespoke shoes before Christmas, so I have to motor. This opens a dilemma. On the one hand, working fast; concentrating hard; and not having breaks, tends to produce really good, high quality work. On the other, it can lead to rare but often fatal mistakes. The kind of lapses where you completely omit a simple but vital process. Or you slice the upper open with your knife. That is a painful one.

It happened once to a pair of bespoke wholecuts I was making. I had almost finished them and inexplicably did a stupid and daft thing with my knife and ended up ruining them.
In the end, we cut the shoe in half and now use it as a demonstration piece, to show the construction of a handsewn bespoke shoe. So it was not as bad as it could have been. It has proved very useful, in fact.

Enough. I have been doing this while eating my lunch and must get back to some serious stitching. Back soon...