Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 12 May 2017

Intensive Shoemaking Course, New York 2017, Week 1

Greetings one and all from Williamsburg, Brooklyn where we are doing our Intensive Shoe Making Class for the tenth, and sadly the last time at our fantastic venue on Grand St. Our wonderful host, friend and shoemaker, Jesse Moore is moving upstate and we are going to have to find an alternative space to do the class

The States is a big place and we are open to suggestions...

And so to the class. This year we have 6 intrepid students, all keen to learn the wonderful craft of handmade shoes

Day 1 saw us sharpening our knives, blocking the insoles and skiving toe puffs and stiffeners

The eager group starting their shoemaking journey

Ivana skiving a stiffener

Alisha blocking an insole


After letting the insoles dry overnight, day 2 was spent trimming the insole, preparing the holdfast/feather and lasting the left shoe

Emily trimming an insole

Abby marking the holdfast or feather

Making holes in the holdfast

Day 3

With one heel lasted the day before, the class lasted the second shoe at the heel and then tackled toe puffs.

Greg lasting a toe puff
Toe puffs drying
After drying the puffs, the group shaped them with a rasp and lasted the uppers over.

Marc rasping a toe puff

Day 4

With the lasting complete, we moved on to preparing the welts; making threads; and welting - a hard process which they tackled with enthusiasm and a lot of success. Well done, guys.

To give themselves room to welt, the group spread out 


Nearly done
So we are a third of the way through and I must say this is a very able group. Well done guys and keep up the good work.

Next week we will show you more of their progress. Until then, happy shoemaking!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Clicking & Closing Bootcamp Update


Welcome back...a little earlier than usual - dear shoe folks. we just wanted to give you an update on the last two days of the bootcamp last week.

 First, heads down for some careful skiving and clicking our of pattern pieces.

Then on to the sewing machine for some steady stitching and careful foot control!

Some careful tying off and tidying up and here are the results...

 As someone who never mastered the post machine....well done guys! Great work and love the colourful detailing.

Well deserved celebrations! Until Friday and news from the intensive shoemaking course....happy shoemaking!