When you thinking about shoemaking you think about big things and big problems that you may encounter, like how to last properly, what type of leather to use, how to skive, etc.
But when you will dive into this wonderful craft you will realize that shoemaking is much more than that.
There are much more details that you need to focus on that you didn’t even think about.
In shoemaking every small detail has a great value, that will have an impact on the way your shoes look and feel.
That is why It had become a tradition of ours to give you my best tips before we step into a new year. I only give you techniques that I personally use in my work and it something I know will make a change your work as well.
Are You Ready To Make Your Shoes In 2018?
Last month I shared with you the recent works of my students that finished my shoemaking course.
They had no experience, no pattern making skills, never designed, never skived, never made heels, cut or assembled uppers.
Step by step they followed my instructions to create beautiful and comfortable shoes. [ Make your own shoes! Become shoemaking student!]. To make your own shoes, you will need to make this step to learn the craft and I am here to take you there.
In today’s post, I choose to concentrate on sewing and pattern making!
My small shoemaking tricks and tips to make your work easier and better.
1. Beautiful seam
To make the seams on our uppers to looks beautiful after you will sew your leather uppers, you need need to hit on the seam with your hummer.
A. It will close the holes that are left on the leather upper from sewing machine’s needle.
B. You will flat the seam as well. This way you will get the beautiful seam in your leather uppers.
C. If you made a mistake while sewing or made a crooked seam, and
need to redo it.
To get rid of the holes that are left from a ripped seam, you can hit on these holes with the hammer and it will help to reduce their “bad” appearance or even eliminate them.
2. How To Finish Seam Like a Pro
After you will finish sewing, you need to cut the threads and somehow hide the edges.
What is the Pro way to do it?
There is a great trick to finish the seam like a pro:
You need to burn the edges of the threads and hit them off with the hammer to close the burned thread’s edges firmly.This will flatten the edges and make them look good.
3. Making Beautiful Seam On Thin Leather Or Thin Fabric
Often when you make shoes from thin leather, thin fabric or have details with elastic bands, you can’t make a good seam, the stitches always extend.
In this situation, you can change thread and needle. If you don’t have thinner thread or needle and can’t use another, here is the solution.
To still make a beautiful seam, just place a piece of paper under the leather, fabric or elastic band and sew the upper together with paper. After you will finish sewing, pull and rip the paper off, to have your beautiful seam.
4. Why And Where I Use Nails in Pattern Construction
I already wrote many posts on my blog about using paper in pattern making. You can check it here. [Save your money on leather, make shoes working with paper patterns]
But why and where I use nails in pattern construction?
So after you will check your pattern from the paper you need to transfer all the corrections you made from paper pattern to cardboard.From Basic pattern to develop correct upper details and lining pattern.
To transfer it in the best and easiest way, hold your paper pattern with nails.
This way you will have both of your hands-free (you don’t need to hold paper pattern by hand, work smart) and the crumpled paper pattern will lay perfectly on the cardboard to allow you to transfer all the corrections in the perfect way.
5. Lining Allowance
Always add lining allowance( usually it is 8 mm) to the top line of your patterns. This way if you made any mistake in assembling of upper and lining parts, the extra (lining allowance) leather that you have on the top will save you from doing upper and lining parts again.
You will also need lining allowance on the top line because it will help you to hold the upper in the right place during lasting.
To avoid making holes in the upper leather, you have lining allowance to put the nails in, in order to hold the upper and prevent sliding it down during lasting.
6. Lasting Allowance
To last your uppers properly you need to add lasting allowance in pattern construction of upper and lining patterns.
You will grab and pull this allowance with pincers to close your uppers.
There are certain measurements for lasting allowance that you need to add in a specific place on your pattern.
That is it for my Best tips for 2017, it is something that you can start using today in your shoemaking work, it will make your work easier, faster and will give you better results.
If you already using any of these techniques or anything similar, please leave a comment right here.
For all my subscribers that are total beginners and some of the professional terms are like Chinese to you it wouldn’t be as soon as you start learning and making your shoes.
Shoemaking craft needs your time and dedication but it doesn’t have to be hard and always rewarding, to make your own pair of shoes.
I encourage you to make this first step and join my students, to learn and make your own shoes.
I love the tips which will really make things easier. Thank you
Thank you Betty.
Great tip on using the hammer to diminish holes from sewing.
Thank you Melanie. It is very useful technique.
Love the tips…Love the course! The tips add a useful tool which I am sure will be useful as I make progress through the courses. Thank You!