Fêtes Galantes 2017 in Versailles!

June 9th, 2017

Although a group of us went last year, since I happened to be in Sweden for Double Wars,, it seemed to make all the sense in the world to attend the Fêtes Galantes 2017 in Versailles, held the Monday directly after the event ended! The below is courtesy of Milet, of me and Olympe hanging out in the main courtyard.

It was, as last year, a marvelous and amazing experience. Fireworks, amazing outfits, champagne, macarons, and all manner of pleasurable conversation and company were to be had. Here is just a snapshot of the best of it.
Read the rest of this entry »

Double Wars – Shoemaking and More!

June 5th, 2017

I was recently honored to have been invited to Sweden, to teach shoemaking at a yearly event called Double Wars. I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful and fantastic an experience this was, meeting so many new people, enjoying the time in the wilderness with absolutely marvelous weather, and getting to share the time with people who were so interested in shoemaking. And, as it turns out, the Fêtes Galantes 2017 in Versailles was being held the Monday directly after the event ended! I had no choice but to make plans to attend the gala as well (you’ll see more in the next post). I could not answer for you how delightful the trip was in ten thousand words, let alone one thousand, but the thousand will have to do:

At Double Wars (hereafter referred as DW), the primary point of the war was to decide upon which side the knäckebröd should be buttered, the hole-y side or the flat side. As a staunch holey-side-butterer, I was dismayed that the flat siders won the war (again), but there will be other years! Now, onto shoemaking discussions and details.
Read the rest of this entry »

Mid-Late 16th C. Straps

May 5th, 2017

A new pair of 16th century shoes for Brigid T. I’ve continued my trend of making the insole smaller than the last, and I think that it is really paying off. You can really see a bit of overhang on the toe, although some of the period examples (especially in the later 16th century) were even more so. A lot of this has to do with the last, though I suspect that making the insole yet smaller still might produce a similar result. Bows not shown, as I tend to tailor them to the person or let them punch the holes themselves for the best fit.

18th Century Men’s Shoes – with improved stitching

March 20th, 2017

A new pair of 18th century shoes for John E., done at stitch pitches of 12spi. This is some of the more fine work that I’ve finished, but by no means would it have been considered fine for the day – in fact, it would have been expected for properly constructed shoes from a master’s workshop. In any event, you may already have read the earlier post on a more correct pair of 18th century men’s shoes, and this followed the procedure similarly, aside from the stitch pitch. Some corrections were also made, which I noted there. I did not attach the tongue as a second piece, but rather continued it as part of the vamp instead. As far as I can tell, it really did not make much of a difference.

As mentioned, I ended up making much finer closing threads. I used five strands of 60/1 which is incredibly fine stuff, about the same thickness as two strands of my normal 16/1 or one 10/1. Clearly, more threads plied together make a stronger thread, hence my decision to go with the five strands.
Read the rest of this entry »