10 Simple Shoemaking Tips

There are lots of steps involved in making a shoe. From developing the model in the first instance, to the stamping, sewing and putting the finishing touches to the shoe at the very end. The following are the simple steps required for a practice

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1. Perfect back seam

You noticed that sometimes the back seam of your footwear is too noticeable and it shouldn’t have. To avoid this:

  • You need to sew it in distance of 2 mm from the edge
  • Open the seam with the hammer ( with narrow side of the hammer)
  • Hit well on both sides of the upper
  • Attach wide reinforcement tape ( 14 mm)

If your upper leather is too thick, you can skive the edges before sewing.


2. The Importance of Center Mark

No matter what footwear type pattern you make, it is always very important to mark the center line. IT’s enough to make even a small hall ( with an awl) near the edge.

This will help you to place your upper in the right spot on your last every time.

The mark on your upper should always match the center of your last


3. Assembling with a center mark

If your pattern consists of many details the trick is to use the center line. You should start your pattern assembling from the center mark.

The most common mistake that beginners do, is to start assembling from the edges. This way they always end up with the crooked pattern.

By starting assembling from the center mark will always lead to a perfect result.

4. Perfect Fitting of Lining Pattern

The secret is that lining pattern must be shorter than the upper. This ways we consider the thickness of upper leather and stiffeners.
In the back seam it must be shorter than the upper:

2mm on top

5-6mm on the bottom

note: sometimes when using too thick upper leather, lining must be shorter along center line in the front.

1mm on the topline

2-3 mm on the bottom edge

5. How to create beautiful cut for sandals strap ( on leather insoles)

Usually when we need to create sandals with leather insoles, we need to use cutter ( with the width of the strap) to make clear cut, for example: The Split sandals.

Here is how you do it with simple puncher for holes and a knife.

  • Cut with the knife 2 parallel lines in the distance that equal the thickness of the strap.
  • On the edges of those cuts, make holes with the puncher.


6. Beautiful Folded Edge

Sometimes you make too big seam allowance on the edges of your folded upper, and that looks bad.

This happens, because you made a poor skiving.

To avoid this, you need to skive your edge up to 7-8 mm.


7. Neat Cardboard Pattern

Beginners cardboard patterns are always have messy edges, and that is because beginners don’t realise how important it is to have clean edges of your cardboard pattern.

This will influence on the total look of your pattern, especially the folding part.

Here is how you can fix your messy cardboard:

  • Add additional cardboard( where you have the unsmooth edge)
  • Sand the edge with the sanding paper. ( grit 400-1000)


8. How to make long lasting cardboard patterns

Let’s say that you already have a checked pattern that works well. ( you already made at least one pair) But the problem is, that every time when you make a new pair, when cutting leather you can cut some extras of your cardboard pattern ( it happens).

To avoid this, you need to attach your cardboard pattern to the more solid board.

I use texon board.

It is thick but easy to cut.



9. How You Can Use 1 Sandal last to make Variety of Insole Shapes

This is simple strategy, you can change the shape of the insole of your sandals. This will never influence on your pattern, but will change the look of your sandal. So, using only one sandal last you can create multiple designs. Here is the example of 5 shapes, but you can do much more.

  • Make a pattern of the bottom of the last
  • Draw the outline of your feet. From the points A and B (where your pinky toe and big toe are)you can start creating new shapes of the pattern.



10. Attractive/Clean Raw Cut

You need to know how to make beautiful and clean raw cut. Unfortunately, usually raw cuts associated with a poor job, but it doesn’t have to be if done correctly.

To make smooth raw cut:

  • Burn the edges with lighter
  • Wax it with transparent wax


SOURCE: Sveta Kletina

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