Outer Shaper

Outer shaper molded and trimmed.
Ready for sole trim and rhino-coating.

I’ve got a pair of shoes in the works.  I don’t know how successful this design will be.  The upper is a single layer of bison and all the support is built into the insole. The single pieced shaper is stitched through the bison layer.

The sole still needs to be trimmed very close to where it joins the upper.  Once the sole is trimmed, I will reinsert the last, get the shaper wet and reshaped.  This will close up the awl holes I made stitching the shaper to the upper.

Once the shaper’s completely dry I’ll paint bed liner over the shaper and the side of the sole.  The end result should be a funky looking sneaker.

There are two things I didn’t do that I probably should have.  I didn’t add a welt around the ankle opening.  That may have been an error and only time will tell.  This is something I can go back and do if I feel I must.

The second maybe oops is, I didn’t stitch the outer sole to the shaper before applying the shaper to the upper.  The one person I know with the machine to do that has developed a really mean case of early onset Alzheimer.  <wince>  Sadly, avoid is the name of the game there.

The side rings are to accommodate a strap that goes around the back of the shoe, through the side rings and across the top of my instep to secure the shoe for heavy duty things like running after horses.  The strap under the foot is, I believe, too long, but I won’t know for sure until I wear the shoes for a while.

Pattern Updates

Butt stitched shaper

The inside of the butt stitching doesn't look too bad . . .

Here’s the shaper for the left foot showing the butt stitching at the heel.  It’s not the most perfect but it certainly does the job.  I’ve got some more stitching, trimming and skiving to do before I can start assembling the shoe.  The other shaper hasn’t been butt stitched.  I stitched one before shaping it over the last.  The second I left unstitched.  This will tell me which works best, stitching it wet or stitching it dry.

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

First shaper with full height heel

It’s very much a Mr. Rogers kind of day.  The sun is out, the crocuses are in bloom, the elephant garlic is showing green shoots.  Spring is just around the corner.  I need to get a pair of shoes done so I can get out and play!

After completing the fitter pair, I made some adjustments to the lasts and to the pattern and I’ve started a second pair of shoes.  The first pair is at Sunshine Shoe Repair having soles sewn on and grommets added for lacing.  They won’t be good for anything except running around the house because they don’t come up high enough to stay on if I try and do anything but walk gently.  Making them told me where I needed to make adjustments to my pattern and my lasts.  We’ll see if the adjustments I made are adequate.

So here we are, new shapers are on the lasts.  I’ve cut triangles out of the shapers at the heel to reduce the bulk and help shape the leather around the heel.  This set of shapers come all the way to the top of the heel in place of the heel counter.

As you’ll see when I get these out of the wrapping tomorrow, my butt stitching needs more practice.  I like what I’m doing and I’m learning new stuff which is always fun.