Sunday, December 28, 2014

Shoe Making: Women's "Comfort" Derby

For Marcy for Christmas I made this pair of Derbys. 

And yes the decision to go with contrasting thread is risky business!

Having gone thru several Men's Derbys this year I made quick work of these.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bespoke Handbag: Calf skin

When my friend Marcia stopped me in the middle of the street and asked if would remake her favorite bag with a calf skin she recently found, I simply said Yes.

The old one was in bad shape.
I started with pattern making and trying to get the most out of the hide.

The hide is beautiful.
I made a little logo out of her initials.
Trying to use every bit of the hide there was just enough for a glasses case too.
The real fun was making the lining, Bags are really two bags; one inside of the other.
A zipper pocket (with my own logo) on one side.
And a divided cell phone and whatever pocket on the other.
Shoe making is a fantastic primer for handbags; stitch size, edge finish, material thickness, etc. Leather goods are all about the details.
However, just as with shoes there are unseen internal reinforcements, stiffeners, and doublers that are essential to the function. This is the technical mechanical side that I love too.

I'm really thankful to have been challenged to make something that has been on my radar but would never have quite got to it without a little push.

Shoe Making: Men's Sandal Development V3

OK I may have plumbed the depths of thick leather sandal making with this experiment. I used 9oz outer and 1.5oz inner. I call these my "Work" sandals.

I will reiterate that I am a full time sandal wearer and take them very seriously. I am trying to discover the perfect pair of sandals for my self so that I can share them with the rest of the guys out there.
I would be comfortable making bespoke sandals.

I see no sense in making a balanced pattern for sandals since it is a bunch of little parts.
With experience I have developed how to get the separate parts out without damaging the whole. It never hurts to over label things.
TIP: I use packing tape on the back side of the paper patterns to stiffen them.
Out of 5 patterns I get 8 different parts, try to limit the number of separate pattern pieces.
Then the lining covers many parts and joins them together.
I used my latest invention to aid the channel cut.
I love using Gorilla Glue BUT you have to limit the amount or this will happen, the expansion on the underside is no prob' but on the sides is.

On to V4

Monday, October 27, 2014

Theatrical Shoe Making: Jill Shoot #2

For No.2 I decided to do the closed toe design.
1st I had to a make the last extension.
So again the notch in the top is to get a square shot at drilling the 3/4" hole.
I put a single screw thru the top to hold the extension firmly onto the last.

Taping and designing the outline with striping tape.
Cut out the negative space.
I determined the seem lines too.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Theatrical Shoe Making: Jill Shoot #1

So my friend Jill has a photo shoot for her Women's clothing coming up and I was asked to join in.
The theme is "futuristic" a popular theme with portfolio building photo teams.

I am referring to my women's photo shoot pieces as "theatrical" because that allows me more freedom in fabrication, other wise these pieces can take 40 - 60 hours and they are not always worth that kind of time.

I made a few sketches and decided to go with these:

I have been developing (trying) different ways to create the little "flick' at the top of the vamp and heel. It requires an addition to the lasts.

I made these in two parts because I was trying an all new way of making the extension. In order to get the vamp flick to go far down onto the cone of the last I realized that a 3/4" hole drilled tangent to the top of the cone was the answer, it works very well. In fact step one is to drill the hole parallel to the grain of the extension wood and then fit all of the other shapes to that. I used a large rat tail file to flair the 3/4 hole at the bottom where the cone gets wider. See #2 for the one piece execution. (coming soon) Once the flared drill hole fits the last very well then you can work the outside down to it; an inside -out approach.

More to come....

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Shoe Making: Men's Practise Derby V4c

OK, so this is Mod #2 to the 1958 11B lasts.
I think I have it? The inside joint for my foot is too far rearward and I have a very narrow foot so I took a 1/4" out of the inside.

I am standardizing my pattern making process with this extended experiment I have been conducting.

Using grey, blue, and red pencil i have all of the construction development info on a single pattern master. I simply make 4 xerox copies and cut out the separate pattern pieces.

More to come:::

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Shoe Making: Men's Practise Derby V4b

As a novice Maker I am trying to establish a solid understanding of the process.

Modification to the 11B is just to give me a little more room in the tarsometatarsal area; the area of the vamp. 

The full set of patterns.
I have started putting the Key points on everything; the patterns, the drape, even the lasts!
In order to try out my latest invention; the "curved awl pliers" I made a traditional set of channels.
Pre lasting complete, I really like this new last!

More to come...

Shoe Making: Men's Practise Derby V4a

So I got  good deal on a pair of 11B lasts (1958) and the are near perfect fit for me.
I started directly with my pattern making and my continuing search to get the details right. Both the facing corner and the derby side line are getting perfected.

I've got a good feel for the drape form modifications.
This the drafting kit that seems to work for me.

I am getting some real valuable experience by doing this process again and again.
I have discovered a Derby line that I really like and how to reproduce it easily. Also, there are so many adjustment notes above the pattern master that I am now keeping that piece of scrap above the master so I have a record of my modifications.
I'm using a 1/2" lap joint on both the outer and the lining. I find this is actually better than a 1/4". I am also very happy with the lining joint set at 1/2 way between the facing corner and the Derby line touch-down point.

So I have got a little better at using my newly developed channel knife; the secret is to make the top cut before using the knife.

Air stapler and air nailer.