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 =)
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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February 11th, 2015
I just finished up the first half of a two-part commission which I’m rather pleased about. So as to tease you long-term, I’m not actually going to tell you what I’m bartering for, but rest assured that it will be pretty fabulous. =) And here, I present to you a pair of late 15th century shoes – these are what all the Burgundians are wearing! Illuminations from this time period are ubiquitous, and many of them show these types of poulaines, even on men in armor. Plus, they’re terribly fabulous and fashionable.
There’s more than meets the eye in this pair of shoes, for these are actually turn-welt shoes – that is, they are sewn inside out with a welt (a strip of leather) in between the upper and the sole, and when the shoe is turned, there is a strip of leather to which another sole can be sewn, making them hardier shoes.
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February 6th, 2015
A while back, some good friends discussed the possibility of doing a pair of welted renaissance shoes as a weekend workshop. Back in 2013, I’d hosted a two weekend workshop, but this time, I thought that I could get through it in a single weekend, just as we did for the medieval shoe workshop. Taking some lessons from there, I had two students making up some cowmouth shoes, and let me tell you, we finished about ten minutes before we had to get on the plane. =) A few things that worked quite well:
- Lasts were prepared in advance based on measurements provided
- Uppers were cut out and ready for dyeing
- Stitching cords and tools all set at the ready.
As you can see, my very lovely and talented students came out with some excellent pieces right out of Goubitz. In fact, I was amazed at how successful they were, showing that it is possible to do a pair of welted shoes in a weekend. Keep in mind that because these shoes were on straight lasts, they did all of the inseaming and sewing themselves. I even had a little bit of down time here and again which I could have used to help push things along, had we been using crooked left and right lasts. Fantastic work for first-time shoemakers!