Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 7 February 2014

Shoemaking And Pattern Making Course Dates 2014

Here we are in February and, as it happens, we have already done our first Intensive Shoemaking Course of the year here in London. We have also started our weekly Modular Course, where you can learn the same skills but for three hours a week over a year and we are busy recruiting students for next term.

Due to the popularity of the intensive courses, we now do them five times during the year, four in London and one in New York. We wanted to remind you of our dates for the year and to encourage those of you who are thinking about it to take the plunge. You will learn a lot.

Our aim is to take you through all the processes of making shoes by hand with the idea that you leave the course with all the skills and resources to continue in your practice, whether that be on your own at home as a hobby or with the aim of pursuing shoemaking as a career. Several of our students have gone on to become shoemakers and have started their own businesses - so it can be done!

We provide you with a pair of lasts in your size, a pair of uppers and all the materials you will need to make the shoes by hand. We also provide you with a basic tool kit which you keep. And at the end of the course, you have a pair of shoes to love, cherish and wear. This could be the start of a lifelong love!

You will cover some basic techniques like sharpening a knife, skiving stiffeners and thread making.
And then hand lasting.


Stitching the soles

Heel building

And finishing

In case you are wondering, there is no design element, no pattern making and no closing on these courses, just the shoemaking (believe me, that is enough to keep you busy for two weeks)

The course is purely practical (there is no theory or written work), so it's lots of hard physical work, big rewards, sore hands and fun. What more could you ask for?

Our next Intensive Shoemaking Course is in New York in May (5 - 17, Monday to Saturday, 9.30am - 5.30pm), it costs £2370 for 12 days in the classroom, 96 hours teaching, a basic tool kit, a pair of shoes, and two teachers with over 30 years shoemaking experience between them - seriously good value for money.

Download the booking form here

Or email us for more details

Next are three courses in London, two in August and one in October. All cost £1930.

August 4 - 16, 9.30am till 5.30pm , Monday to Saturday

August 18 - 30, same timings

October 6 - 18, same timings

Again, you can download a booking form here

Or email here for more details

Places are allocated on a first come first served basis and the courses are usually full (there is a maximum of 7 students per class, so you get lots of 1:1 attention), so don't delay if you are serious about taking part.

Next week we will look at our Pattern Making Courses which take place in New York and London and coincide with the Intensive Shoemaking Courses (and, if you book both at once, you get a 10% discount on the total cost - bargain!)

Until then, happy shoemaking!