Monday, September 26

Making High Heel Boots - Part 3 The first mockup

Seriously, I'm so unsure about these lasts, that a second mockup is due for sure. It could of course be the voice of uncertainty, since it's my first bespoke high heel creation. Which is perfectly natural :)
Anywayhoo, today's program consists of first cutting away those individual pattern pieces from the basic design that my colleague Mr. Master Shoemaker Joonas conjured on the cardboard. Then it's leather cutting, leather skiving (=making the edges gradually thin, wherever needed), gluing & sewing and finally lasting these babies to see how they end up. It's ever so exciting!

First, I had to add more lines to the design :) Like allowances and such.

Here's a nifty tool: to copy the shapes from the design, you simply position another cardboard underneath it and start rolling that baby. Thus, there's a pattern waiting down under.

With necessary markings made, the patterns are cut out with a sharp knife.

And here's all the patterns and some leathers of which I'll do the mockup. A great chance to tryout that red handled clicker's (=upper cutter) knife. The ladies at our shop cut only with scissors, which is also accurate but more slow. Cutting your leathers with a knife is the traditional way to go and will save you a lot of time in contrast to first marking with a pen and then using scissors.

And all the pro's go: he's cutting from the neck!? Yes, dear fellow shoemakers I am. It's a mockup :)
Neck is usually not the best areas to cut your uppers from, since it has these dark stretch marks which you can maybe see in this picture. The best part of a cow is on the lower back and ass area.
On red, you'll see the stretching direction of the  leather on the neck area.
The blue arrows show the direction where we don't want the leather to stretch when compared to the pattern.

Cut away! The blade is amazing! Thanks cordwainertools :)

I took a traditional approach to markings as well: The small hole is made with a sharp spike.

Here's the whole family ready for skiving and sewing.

A close up of the skiving machine. The leather is fed from the left and it leans on the stopper. The foot is adjusted to the required skiving position and the rough stone pushes the leather towards that rotating round blade seen on the right.

Like so.


Some of the edges are contact glued to help sewing.

The glued surfaces are carefully placed together, and it's sewing time.

The shoe industry's special sewing machine with a pole base. This way it's easy to sew uppers which tend to have tight corners and shapes.

I wanted to try out a french fold on the upper part. A small but rewarding detail.

There it is, after 4 hours of manual labour.

A bow tie made with great haste ;)

Before lasting, I'll use contact glue to the upper edges of a heel counter, so I can put some carpenter's glue in between. This way I'll have them hard and durable.

The toe part needs a stiffener too.

Before lasting, the toe cap get's some carpenter's glue.

And it's a wrap! This image tells quite well how the uppers are stretched and attached to the bottom.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of lasting, check out my earlier post about the same subject: here.

Here it be. I managed to accidentally put the zipper to the outer side of the shoe. Oh well,  luckily it's just a mockup.

Back view.

View from the inner side. The cuts need some tweaking.
What say you? ;)


  1. Noi näyttää tosi hankalilta kävellä, tosin en ole tottunut korkoihin. :D

  2. Anonymous: En ole itsekkään tottunut vielä, ehkä se tästä joku päivä. Pitää varmaan tehdä itsellein sirot 47 koon korkkarit ja kokeilla mitä mimmit kokevat ;)

  3. AAAAAAAAAAAAA toi on ihan mielettömän kaunis!!! Ja korkkarikonkarina voin sanoa, että näyttää helpolta kävellä :D

  4. :) Kiitos Nelliina. Hyvä että kenkien tuleva pitäjä on haltioissaan, sunhan jaloissa ne tulevat olemaan. Liimailen justiinsa pohjaa siihen, ja onneksi löysin parin tolle korolle, joten valumuottien teko käy helpommin. Koronkorkeus on muuten tasan 8cm.

  5. 8cm on lähes lenkkaria vastaava käyttömukavuudessa minulle ;)

  6. Ihan mielettömän upea muotoilu!

  7. Wau, upeat! Ja näyttävät todella helppokäyttöisiltä kun on tuollainen maltillinen korko. Kunnon shoppailupopot =) Jaksaisi kipittää vaikka koko päivän!

  8. Anonymous: Kai se on pakko uskoa että noilla voi kävellä ;) Niina itse kehui että alle kahdeksan senttiä korkoa niin "niillä voi vaikka juosta". Näin miehenä rupeaa pari senttiäkin huimaamaan. No ei vaiskaan, teen itse asiassa itselleni tommosta kahen sentin korkoa, joka on aika paljon miesten kengissä.

    Noihin Niinan saappaisiin kun vielä lisää päkiän alle tukea niin shoppailut kyllä luonnistuu :D
    Kiitos kehuista!

  9. Etkös Otso ottais minua kisällin oppiin? :)