Monday, February 3, 2014

Taping the Lasts, Designing a Shoe

Finished taping the lasts last night, and started on the design work. 

The first step here is to cover the upper of the last with two really thorough layers of 3/4" masking tape.  The tape has to be put on really neatly, and smoothed down, so there are no wrinkles.  Also, a center line is marked on the front and heel of the last.  The sole is trimmed off (the same area as the insole pattern.)

Next, five points are identified  - the Counter Point, Heel Point, Ankle Point, Vamp, and Instep.  People have been making shoes for long enough that the math has been figured out, and there's a chart for this.  You look at the Standard Last Length for your size (one of the few things that actually is standard, in this business), and measure to the appropriate points from there.  I made a diagram:

The heel point is the top edge of the back of the shoe.  On a pump, you need to stay below the ankle.  At this point, I start drawing the shoe onto the last with a pencil.  Once I think I have it the way I want it, I put some dark tape along the edge of the line.  I'm using colored duct tape, cut down to about 1/4".  Basically, the tape is removable and re-adjustable, and I can step back from the last and take a look from multiple angles, and make sure I like what I'm looking at.  Once I'm sure, I'll trace along the tape line with a fine point sharpie, and then with an exacto knife, to cut through all the layers of tape. 

This shoe is going to go with my costume for Norwescon.  It's a flat, and is going to hearken back to the Vikings, at least in spirit.  I'm not making a Norse style turnshoe, and I want something that I can wear *not* with a costume, so it's sort of "inspired by" the Viking shoes I've researched.  It'll have two straps across the top of the foot, that attach with toggles (need to work on figuring that out), and then a teardrop-shaped cutout on the toe that will be filled in with grey.  The shoe will be black suede, and have a black sole.  I'm still deciding if I want it to have grey piping along the edges. 
I don't know yet what I want to do with the other last.  It has a bit more of a heel (about 1").  Part of me wants to experiment with some things we didn't learn in class - maybe a sandal or a mule. Either way, I can't finish the patterns for these shoes until I receive the insole material.  It's coming from Saderma in Orange County, and I only ordered it this morning.  (They said they'd ship it today, so I should have it by the end of the week.)  So I'll be switching gears here, and starting work on the insole.  Part of the shoe that you don't even see, but it's most of the actual work!