Since my bf has been invaluable to me throughout this whole process (my entire workshop resides in his basement as I live in a one bedroom condo in the city, he built me a Lasting jack and my beautiful workbench, he’s wiped away many tears of frustration, offered limitless support and encouragement, helped me assembly my newly acquired industrial tools as they do not come pre-assembled. . .I could go on and on), I wanted to thank him with his very own custom pair of shoes.
We met way back in high school and one of the things that I remember most about him was his blue suede Doc Martens (I always thought they were purple but he later corrected me). I researched them on the web and found these to copy my design pattern from.
As these were not for me, nor were they just a practice lesson, I was more careful in my approach. The Lasts that I had originally purchased I learned (from my fit test) were a size too big. Thankfully, I found this great website where I could purchase used/antique Lasts. I was able to take his measurements and order two more pair of Lasts in two different styles. One is called the “Freddie” and the other “Chamonoix”. I chose the “Freddie” and made another ‘fit test’ model using this Last. From that ‘fit test’ I discovered I needed to build the Last up on the side to widen it slightly for a more comfortable fit but otherwise the new Lasts fit his foot perfectly.
I did not want to have a repeat of some of my prior frustrations and waste expensive materials, so I chose to make his first pair out of some of the practice material I had purchased. Then if those fit well, I have the intention to recreate them with the cool blue leather and nicer materials I had purchased specifically for him. Before I could finish his inaugural pair of shoes, I decided that I wanted to make the shoes that I was going to wear to my father’s wedding so even though his pair started out as pair #4, they ended up actually being pair #5. I am super proud of these shoes though. No, they are nowhere near perfect but I’m a proud momma regardless. I thought it would be cool if he could say that he helped make them so I let him sand the soles and the heels.
Here’s what the shoes looked like *before* they were sanded.
The blue stuff that you see inside the soles was yet another lesson learned. I wanted to try out taping the sole to the Last instead of nailing it (so that I would not have nail holes in the inner sole) and the result was not pretty. It was so hard trying to get the shoe off the Last. I had to use some of my tools to reach inside and break the tape – thereby ripping some of the leather in the process.
Below is the finished product. The toe caps got smooshed in while we were sanding the soles so they rub his toes a tiny bit but otherwise he says they are comfortable. Now I get to start work on the real thing with my nicer materials. Wish me luck!