Wednesday, June 15

Making Ballerinas - Part 3 The Patterns & The Mockup

It's been way too many days in between, but it's finally here. My spare time is very limited so I'm squeezing it 'er I can.

So, now it's time to take a peek at pattern making and a mockup. Well, how on earth to make patterns to a 3D object? Well, there's a very handy technique, wherein the 3D shape is first copied and transformed into 2D, so that the pattern maker can start drawing any kind of design on a piece of cardboard. Eventually one'll have a full design and each necessary cardboard pattern piece ready to be used to cut the uppers and the lining from leather or cloth.

Let's see the phases:

First the last is covered with ordinary masking tape, starting from the tip.

Until we get to this point, cut the sole area and the top off. Then necessary markings are made.
When properly applied, the tape comes off in two pieces; the inner and the outer, differentiated by a central line cut.
The differentiated outer and inner halves of the last are flattened on cardboard as you can see on the left.
They are then combined as one template which is called a base copy. The base copy represents the whole
shape of the last, and can thus be used to making any kind of design on it. For each design of the
same pair of lasts, I can use this same template to start designing.
Ready to go! The base copy is drewn to cardboard with the wanted heel height. Now it's just your imagination needed! And maybe
a ton of other useful knowledge before you start drawing ;)
After doodling for a while, I came up with this. From here on it's easy to copy the pieces for the uppers on cardboard.
It's not a tutorial, so I skipped the making of the cardboard patterns, which are the two white ones on the right. You'll also see here
how I've drawn the patterns on leather before cutting them. Just one way of doing it. Traditionally clickers (the ones who cut the leathers for the uppers and lining are called by the industry) just cut the uppers straight away with a small and a very sharp
knife, cutting along the edges of the patterns.
Ooops! I skipped again, sorry ;) After cutting the uppers, I sew them together, made an insole on the last and lasted (I'll explain this word on the next photo) the uppers.
Lasting means that the uppers are placed on a last, stretched tightly and attached (and glued) to an insole as seen in the picture. This shoe structure is called cemented shoe, or glued shoe since it's just held together by contact glue. Fast and simple.
Next I took out the staples and did some grinding. I cut a piece of EVA to be glued as an mockup outer sole. EVA is very light and durable, used commonly in orthopaedic shoe soles. It will wear out quickly so many kinds of rubbers are glued on it for
wearing durability.
The EVA is then pressed with high pressure to attach the glued surfaces together. The excess sole is then grinded away with
a grinding machine. I made it thinner too.
So there it is: The mockup! With a mockup you'll see how the design and the last actually fit and work before using expensive
leathers to make the actual shoe.

And that means next up is the fitting of the mockup.

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