August 1, 2014

How to use pattern making as your creative source in shoemaking

How to use pattern making as your creative source in shoemaking

This week we continue to talk about making a collection or your creative approach to making your own shoes.
As the design is a most common way to approach a collection, in this post we will talk about making your collection through the pattern. 

Pattern making isn’t mechanical work or at least it doesn’t have to be. Pattern making is a creative process which can help you to create your collection or a single pair, differently. 

I showed this approach in my Footwear Design Course in the much broad way of creative methods and now I will demonstrate it in most simple way possible.    

How to create shoe models combinations

First, let’s take an Idea or a theme for our shoes. For example, Men’s wear as an inspiration for my women shoes.  We are talking about collars, suit components etc.
Now, knowing what I want to do I will show you how I can use a simple pump shoe model and change it to my needs.

Step 1

You will make a basic pump shoe pattern and make sure it is correct.

Pumps model

Step 2.

Although you are working with a pump shoe model, you can change this model using your knowledge of creating other models and to integrate it into pump shoe pattern. For example, I will take derby shoe model and it’s elements and I will integrate it into pump shoes considering my theme/ idea.


You see what I got here, it’s not the pump shoes or neither a derby shoes, it’s a combination of both:

– Here I used the highest critical point of pump shoes to create element A.

– Element B, it’s the most basic element of Derby shoes.

Step 3

To make a collection you will probably want to make a wide range of design variations, so let’s look at the boot.
You can create a boot element ( that will give your shoes the look of a boot) on pumps pattern, using the main characteristics of boot model.



Here we got a pump-boot:

– An element is a part of boot pattern construction

– B element is a pump shoe pattern.

I can go on with those examples, combining pump shoes with sandals, moccasins, oxfords and so on, but the important thing here is to understand your creative possibilities to make a collection or a shoe using pattern making as a creative source. 

Do you know what you want to make and how will you do it? 


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About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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