Posts Tagged ‘techniques’

1350s Shoes from Fischmarkt

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

This pair is based on a 1350s extant piece documented in “Archeological Footwear” authored by Dr. Marquita Volken. The pattern comes from an unusual extant shoe which has an oval cutout on the inside of the shoe, along with a buckle strap to close the shoe around the foot. This shoe also has a binding strip all the way around the shoe including the strap, and is quite a pretty example of a medieval shoe. A few points of note – the original has the buckling on the inside of the shoe (it is easier to buckle your shoe this way while sitting down or standing up), but it unfortunately hides the pretty cutout and the buckle. As a result, the recipient asked that the buckle be placed on the lateral (outside) of the foot, rather than the medial side. Further, you will notice a rather thick sole – this was constructed as a turn-welt shoe, even though that particular style doesn’t really start to come about until the third quarter of the 15th century. I took several cues from Dr. Volken’s book in the construction of this pair, and I’m particularly pleased with the way they worked out. The decoration is inspired by several extant 14th century pieces with lines of decoration across the vamp of the shoe.

Let me share some of the techniques that I tried, starting with the binding strip. Although I’d done binding strips in the past, this was the first time that I’d done it in this manner.
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1600s Heel with Edge Decoration

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Yes, another 1600s shoe, but hey – why quit when you have a good thing going? =) I do try and do new things with every piece, and this one was no exception. In this case, when I visited the Museum of London, I was fortunate enough to be able to look at many of the stored leather pieces that they had in the cabinets. I’m sure I mentioned it in a previous post – anyhow, one of the things that impressed me was the level of detail in so many of the shoes.

In some cases, there were lines of fine tunnel stitching along the surface and opening of the shoe. In fact, this was even visible on many shoes from the wreck of the Mary Rose in 1545, and those guys were sailors! A point of note is that a far majority of shoes had some kind of reinforcement along the opening, either a top band or some kind of stitching like this.

How about some background and construction shots:
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Sewing the Heel Stiffener

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

I just posted a new tutorial on Sewing the Heel Stiffener. A very large percentage of historical shoes have some kind of heel stiffener in the quarters of the shoe. These stiffeners, usually a half-moon shaped piece of leather, were tacked in around the top edge and then caught into the lasting margin to keep the heel of the shoe in better shape. In earlier viking shoes, however, the sole actually extended past the back of the heel and up the quarters a little, negating the need for a stiffener. But for the majority of medieval shoes and shoes in the Renaissance, there was typically some kind of stiffener tacked in.

Grooving the Outsole

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

I just posted a new tutorial on Grooving the Outsole In early modern and modern welted shoes, the sewing that keeps the outsole attached to the welt is sunk into a groove on the underside of the outsole. This tutorial will hopefully help to illustrate the process I use to determine with the groove ought to lie.