Friday, March 14, 2014

Patterns - Lace-up Heeled Oxford

Now that the first pair of experimental, post-class shoes are done, it's time to move on to the next! 

Experiments in the previous pair of shoes included flats, leather soles, stacked leather heel, suede, asymmetrical design, straps, toggles, attaching straps with elastic, cutout/inset, and many more.

Experiments on this shoe:  wood heels, multi-piece pattern, laces, tongue, higher vamp, gimping, punching designs... and I'm sure there are more things I've never done that we'll find along the way.

Remember this design?

Time to get started.  I received my copy of Handmade Shoes for Men, one of the very few good shoemaking resources available.  It answered some questions I had about the relationship between the lining and the tongue/laces area of the shoe.  So, on to pattern making.

Many/most? shoe makers do something called a mean forme.  Basically, you design your shoe, then split the pattern down the center line, and find the average between the inside of the foot and the outside of the foot, and make a pattern that's symmetrical. 

With my super wide feet, and with my propensity for asymmetrical designs, I like the system I learned in class better:  just do the whole damn thing.  So, I drew the design I liked onto the masking tape, and cut carefully along the lines with an exacto knife.  Peeled off the pieces, and traced them onto manilla file folders.  Added allowances for seams and lasting.  Here are all the pieces that will be black:

And here's the piece that will be metallic silver/pale blue, before adding the tongue and allowances:

And here's the entire pattern.  I love the shapes of these pieces - especially the light blue one.  I think it looks kind of like concept art for a fast spaceship in a sci-fi tv show.

I've already got the insoles made, and the heels carved.  But I can't start on these until I receive my shipment of black kangaroo leather, which should be arriving soon.