Archive for January, 2010

Purple People Eaters

Monday, January 25th, 2010
Purple People Eaters

Purple People Eaters

This design I created with my future sister-in-law in mind.  I wanted to do something cool and edgy for her.  I had originally intended on making her some sandals, but as she’s from the Great White North, I figured she’d get more wear out of a pair of shoes that actually covered her toes.

I purchased this fabulous purple suede leather a while back and knew that I wanted to use that for the liner.  I spent crazy amounts of time lining up the eyelets on the leather trying to decide what pattern I wanted to use.

Pattern design of eyelets

Pattern design of eyelets

This pair was the first time I made an attempt at sewing a smooth edge to the top line.  On the first one I had a little trouble piecing the two ends together but I figured it out for the other side.

Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

It was also the first time I used a different pattern for the liner than I did for the upper.  I did not want the heel portion of the liner to have the stitching down the back.

Inside view

Inside view

The sides are a little looser than I would have liked.  I was afraid to pull too tightly while lasting for fear of this resulting in the top line of the shoes too low on the foot for comfort.

Wide sides

Wide sides

These Purple People Eaters are the first pair of shoes that I have completed for someone other than myself or my fiance.  I’m excited to receive feedback from the recipient (both good and constructive).  I just hope she enjoys them half as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Blue Suede Shoes (take 2)

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
Completed shoes

Completed shoes

After I had completed the first pair of practice shoes for my bf fiance (a lot has happened since I last posted), I was really excited to get started on the real thing.

As mentioned in my previous post, the top cap of the practice pair got smooshed in while sanding and it rubbed the tops of his toes when he wore them.  For this pair, I decided to test out my super strong ‘military grade” toe caps. . .not quite steel toe but close enough. . .on the real thing.

As usual, there were lessons learned in trying something new.  The ‘military grade’ toe caps are soaked in acetone to soften the material and activate the bonding agent therefore they must be nailed in place and left to harden overnight.  (The regular toe cap material is heat activated and hardens quickly as it cools).  I made the unfortunate mistake of keeping the shoes on the lasting jack overnight as it hardened which caused the toe cap to somewhat take the shape of the cushion of the lasting jack.

Another lesson learned from this pair (and practically all others before it) is the importance of making sure your pattern remains centered on the Last when lasting the liner leather to the inner sole.  Otherwise, you will end up with a slightly off-centered shoe.

Top view of completed shoes

Top view of completed shoes

A first for me on this shoe was the “sole stitch” piece around the base of the shoe.  As I do not have a sole stitcher, I did not actually stitch the material to the sole.  It is barged on.  I really like the look of it though.

Inside view

Inside view

I’m so glad my fiance has a pair of my shoes that he can wear out, are comfortable, and that he loves.  I look forward to starting my next pair for him. . .I already have a new design picked out.  :)

Click on the pictures for additional descriptions.