Archive for September, 2009

1st attempts are just that – 1st attempts!

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

One of the many lessons that apparently has not fully sunk in yet due to my unrealistic optimism when I start a new project followed by my heart crushing sunkeness when there ultimately are issues is that 1st attempts are just that. . . .1st ATTEMPTS!

Some great examples include:

1st attempt at making straps by hand

1st attempt at making straps by hand

Making straps seems simple, right?  WRONG!  Straps are so freakin’ hard to make by hand. The material must be skived ultra thin (but without cutting or damaging the material) and then cemented and folded over to the center seam being careful to keep the material flat and not bunch or fold any of it.  Again, seems simple right?  Except that cement immediately bonds to itself upon contact so the second one side of that material touches another side that also has been cemented, it’s there to stay.

Tape residue stuck to liner leather

Tape residue stuck to liner leather

The blue in this picture is the blue painter’s tape that I used to secure to inner sole to the bottom of the Last.  Typically, you would nail the inner sole to the Last to secure it in place but I had already lasted the cushion and liner leather to the sole and did not want to nail holes in the finished project.  I came up with the brilliant idea of taping the finished inner sole to the last instead of nailing it.  Unfortunately because it took several days to complete the shoes, the tape bonded to the leather.  I had to use a dull blade just to get the shoe off the Last.  Needless to say I will NOT be using that method again in the future.

Buckles

Buckles

Buckles are another one of those things that seem pretty straight-forward. . .and they are really. . .you’ve just got to remember to put them on right side up.  I didn’t get a picture of them, but I originally had to cut one of the first buckles for my red croco gladiator sandals off and reattach it because I accidentally put it on whereby the underside was the side being buckled.

I could give many more examples, but I’m sure you get the point.  Lesson learned: 1st attempts are just that. . . .1st attempts!

Red croco ballet flats

Monday, September 14th, 2009

As my previous posts have outlined, I have not yet mastered the art of making the ballet flat. . . . .so why not try new materials and add new layers of complexity on to this new pair?

All of my previous pairs have had rough edges. . . .ones where the edges of the materials are just cut and barged/sewn together.  For this pair I wanted to try my hand at a smooth edge.

Red croco ballet flats ready for lasting

Red croco ballet flats ready for lasting

Another first for me on this pair was the toe cap.  I originally had no intention of putting a toe cap on this design, but the red croco leather did not play nice when I lasted the toe.  It looked too stretched and gathered so at the last minute I decided to add the toe cap.

Toe caps on red croco leather ballet flats

Toe caps on red croco leather ballet flats

The right shoe is not as centered as I would have liked for it to be.  It’s so hard to keep the pattern from moving on the Last before you barge the liner firmly in place.

Top view of red croco leather ballet flats

Top view of red croco leather ballet flats

All in all I am pretty pleased with this pair. . . .especially because they fit so I can actually wear them and show them off!

Finished red croco ballet flats (top view)

Finished red croco ballet flats (top view)

Shoes I covet

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Christian Louboutin Nitoinimoi Bandage Ankle Boots

Christian Louboutin Nitoinimoi Bandage Ankle Boots

I am typically not a fan of ankle boots. . . .but I am so lovin’ these!