Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 18 January 2019

1-to-1 shoe making training

Welcome back good shoe folk and shoe enthusiasts from around the world. 

As you can see, we've made it a little easier to find the BLOG on our website (see top right) so many apologies if you've had to hunt for it. We're also delighted to say that we are going to be more involved with London Craft Week this year; exciting plans are under way, but more of that closer to the time!

In the mean time, this week we're sharing Rachel's shoe making experiences with you. Although a keen seamstress this is her first time hand sewing leather and she's going whole hog, making a pair of shoes for her husband - lucky chap! She's spending 12 days with us including time for a fitting and last adjustments.

The shoes are being made on Spring Line bespoke lasts with a straight toecap Derby in burgundy calf. Very smart!

Rachel is learning 1-to-1 with us so that she could do a fitting with her husband, because they are bespoke lasts. So she first prepped insoles, stiffs and puffs as usual, then lasted over the uppers. We cemented them for speed's sake. The fit was very good and the lasts only needed very slight adjustments before Rachel could get the making under way for real.

Demonstrating lining up the upper along the last

Raising the back of the upper to create tension in the quarter top line

Lasting the toe

Five nails

The controversial nail in the back of the heel - some do, some don't but even with tight quarters we recommend it for students, to keep that back height secure. 

Pulling the upper down to the marked back height and lasting around the heel

Lasted to the joint

Now Rachel's turn...lasting the toe

The lining

Marking the toe puff length

Lasting the toe puff and then the upper

Making threads


Rachel loved welting, much to her surprise!

Heel building

 Then it was soles on and stitched, before Rachel got heel building under way.

Levelling the heels lifts

That's all for now until next week, when we'll have Rachel's finished shoes to admire, so until then, happy shoemaking!