Monday, July 3, 2017

Shoe School! Laughing Crowe and Internal Stitchdown

Finally - another shoe post!

In late April, I made it to Portland to study with Jason Hovatter at Laughing Crowe.  Jason does a variety of non-lasted shoe techniques, and is a real innovator and super nice guy.  I met him at the footwear makers' symposium last June, and was very excited to take his class.  Lucky me, nobody else signed up for that session, so I got a *private* class!

This is his own construction method, that he invented. Sort of like a stitchdown, it turns the upper to the inside, instead of the outside.  Here's what we did in class....

Casting the foot in duct tape, and drawing the design:

Making patterns: 

Cutting the insole and making channels for the stitching, and punching the stitchig holes themselves

Cutting, skiving, punching and sewing the uppers; adding reinforcement where needed:

Stitching the uppers to the insole:

At this point, the shoes were soaked in water and given some vigorous shaping, and put in a dehydrator to dry back out.  Then, I added a layer of foam, for cushion, and a purchased sole.  Those were then trimmed, and laces added.

These are pretty comfortable.  I think there's still room for tinkering, to get the super comfy walking shoe I'm looking for in the long run.  But these are a huge step in that direction!