Mid-Late 16th Strapped and Bound

April 3rd, 2015

Hm, a second look at the subject title kind of makes me want to change it, but nope! Going to leave it as is. =) A fun pair that I bound all the way around the straps to reinforce them. I think the black looks absolutely smashing, and you can just imagine lovely braids or ribbons through the straps. There is a single heel lift pegged on to the bottom. Since I’ve been pasting and pegging lifts, I haven’t had anyone report failures, which seems to me to be a good indication that they’re hanging in there and withstanding the test of time.

Now, I need to get my act together and start making some period lasts…

Reproduction Medieval and Elizabethan Lasts

March 12th, 2015

If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you’ll note that I’m using vintage modern lasts, typically for men’s shoes, when making my reproductions. This has a variety of issues, the modern look notwithstanding, but also when it comes to closure types other than those that happen over the front of the shoe. I’ve observed that in nearly every instance that I’ve made a shoe with a side closure that the heel ends up being unnecessarily large, and has a propensity to slip off. Giving it some thought, I do think that it has a great deal to do with the last itself. As a result, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some reproduction lasts, both medieval and Elizabethan.

What makes a last so important, you might ask? Everything! The last is truly the “soul” (no, I’m not falling for that particular pun =) of the shoe. It is more than just a representation of the person’s foot, because if that was all it was, then we would all be wearing foot-shaped shoes (as opposed to just some of us!)
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1550s Pumpes

February 26th, 2015

A pair for the incomparable Elizabeth M. You’ll note that the binding strip on these has been snipped to give it a decorative look. This is in lieu of turning down the top of the upper and stitching it down. I’ve done it both ways, but I have to admit that this is easier, since you’re not dealing with having to make tunnel stitches all the time which are something of a pain.

And no, that isn’t a typo – they were called pumps, pumpes, and any other alternate spelling you can come up with =)

10th Century Anglo-Scandinavian Ankle Boots

February 19th, 2015

I promised a pair of shoes to Rodney W., in a nice rich cordovan leather. At the last minute, I also decided to bind the edges. Typical overlap construction, two toggle, with the ubiquitous “A” where the sole continues upwards at the heel. I tried some new construction techniques on these shoes, and I was surprised with how effective they were.

From “Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York,” we are told that Ankle boots of this time were primarily made in one of two ways.
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