Posts Tagged ‘Mens shoes’

Wholecut loafers

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

My husband hates taking the time to bend over and tie his shoes in the morning, so he practically lives in his Kenneth Cole Black loafers during the week.  Now that I have taken a pattern-making course, I decided to test my skills on a pair of wholecut loafers for my husband.

My husband has a strange aversion to brown shoes for some reason, so he wasn’t super happy about the tobacco color I had picked.  Of course he didn’t know that I had picked that light color for these shoes as I had purchased some antiquing stains and were going to try my hand on a darker patina for the finished product.

On the first fit test, my design came up too high on the sides and he was not even able to fit his foot through the opening to test the fit; the second fit test was a tad too loose (in full disclosure I also changed Lasts between the first and the second fit test and had to start the taping of the Last and the design all over again).

The final result fit him well, and even though there were some nicks and cuts along the way, I am fairly happy with the outcome of this pair.

 

No, I’m not a very good shoemaker … yet

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

I went to Budapest in March for an intensive shoemaking course with Marcell Mrsan, master shoemaker.  In that time I made two pairs of mens dress shoes.  The first one was a standard cemented construction and the second one I learned a new technique:  welt stitch construction.

Budapest was amazing; the course and the instructor were intense.  I bled, blistered, and bruised; I laughed, smiled, and yes, I also cried.  But most importantly, I took a giant leap forward in the pursuit of my dreams.

It takes me time to gain confidence and develop a comfort for new tools (especially really sharp knives and machinery of any sort), I rarely learn something well after only one or even a couple of examples – I learn best after I’ve made all the mistakes one could possibly make, I ask a lot of questions, and I’m really slow.  No, I’m not a very good shoemaker … yet.

*click on each of the pictures in the gallery for additional commentary

The Dr. Martens you only wished you had

Sunday, April 25th, 2010
Cherry 50th Anniversary 1461

Cherry 50th Anniversary 1461

April 1, 2010 marked the 50th Anniversary of the original Dr. Martens 8 eyelet boot.  Did you know that they named them 1460 after the day they rolled off the assembly line?  To celebrate, they are offering a limited run of both the 1460 8 eyelet boot and the 1461 3 eyelet oxford in either black or cherry.  Each pair is limited to either 1,460 and 1,461 pairs respectively and handcrafted in the original UK factory in Wollaston, Northamptonshire.  The leather is a special polished pebble leather and there are several gold accents such as gold eyelets, lace-ends, and even the footbed is gold. . .of course I had to order a pair for my man (my only fear is that they will now trump the blue shoes that I made him as his favorite pair).

These shoes truly are remarkable.  I just sat and stared in amazement when they first arrived.  They are beautiful.  I half-joked with my fiance about wanting to dissect them to learn all their tricks – I only half-joked as it is now my mission to find a decommissioned pair to do just that.

The special box

The special box

Certificate of Authenticity

Certificate of Authenticity

*(title courtesy of my fiance)

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.