Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Patterns, heels, and boy do I suck at skiving.

Finished up the fabrication of the heels for the taller shoe.  I think I got them pretty much like eachother, and I guess time will tell if oak is a suitable heel material.  I can only guess that heels used to be made of hard woods, back before high impact plastics were available?  Photos on Friday.

Also made the pattern for the flat shoe.  This is done by carefully cutting along the top line, through the tape, then peeling the tape off the last.  (Leaving on the tape on the parts where there will be no leather upper, as it's a good placement guide when lasting.)

Small relief cuts are made in the tape, so that it can lay flat on a piece of cardstock.  Some decisions have to be made about how to break up the pattern - should I cut across the straps and sew it together there?  Or make a seam in the lower left-hand section, from the middle cutout to the edge?  

In the end, I decided to do something different than how it looks in the photo, but this is the general idea - various allowances are added, and a pattern is also made for the counter - a piece of stiffened leather that goes in the back of the shoe - that's the dark pink line.

I cut the black suede for the upper, and the grey pigskin for the lining, and started the skiving on the black suede.  Turns out, I'm really terrible at skiving.  Or perhaps my skiving knife is dull.  I dropped it on the cement floor when I bought it, and didn't notice at the time that I had chipped off the tip.  I'm going to send it off to Universal Saw, who sharpens all our bits and blades at work, and have them do it up to a nice razor edge for me. 
I've considered getting a Tina knife - although I'd have to get two, since I'd want to work in both directions.  They're a bit spendy for me, though, and I'm used to the Japanese knife I'm using now.  If it comes back really nice and sharp, I might just re-cut the black suede - I do have a lot of it, and it was fairly inexpensive. 
With that portion on hold for now, I'll make my top line tape on Friday, and get the design for the heeled oxford settled.  I ordered more fun colored kangaroo leathers today, but some of them will be a few weeks getting here, so I'll have to be patient in picking out my colors for the oxford.  Currently at my house, and of appropriate weight for this shoe:  Matte black (with grey/white tie-dye looking markings - they called it "licorice"), Cobalt Blue, Turquoise, Gold, Lilac, and Scarlet (they call it "light red"), as well as a very orange-y brown suede and the black suede.  Coming next week:  Fuschia (which I saw that they had removed from their web page - I called, and they had one left, at a screaming good price, so I snapped it up), Light Pink, Orange, and another of the Scarlet (the one I have is kind of small, and I can see myself using more of this one).  Some time in March, Black and White will arrive.  So - I have some decisions to make as to the colors of the oxford, and happily, a bunch of choices on their way.
Also, the smell of epoxy is still lingering in the house.  The next time I do that part of the process, I think I'll do it *outside*.