|Pink shoes! Oh lala, I am a lady...
The class was in Central London at Prescott and Mackay. It was a really exhausting, but amazing, weekend class and the only thing we had to bring was some fabric or leather to make the shoes from. I bought some really soft suede leather from Walter Reginald. They have a massive leather outlet in London and when I went there I was totally overwhelmed. I had no idea what to choose and after asking I was pointed in a general direction and saw this pink suede (I believe it is goat). It was only £8.50 for the whole skin, which I thought was quite cheap for such a soft material.
At the shoemaking class we were only 6 Ladies plus our instructor Caterina Belluardo. Caterina is a footwear designer and an amazing instructor. She was constantly helping and motivating us :) Believe me there were moments when I actually thought, what the hell are you doing here? Are you crazy trying to make shoes? There was a moment that actually reminded me a lot of my first try to set in a sleeve: you had to ease and form the leather around the tip of the shoe.
|Even the heels are covered in leather.
So the first day was a lot of cutting and you cut the leather with a scalpel. The scalpel gets blunt very quickly and you have to apply loads of pressure to still be able to cut. Hello, blister. Because that's what I got at the tip of my index finger (after thinking for 2 days my finger tip is numb). But never mind all these blisters, cuts and burns, because at the end I made beautiful shoes!
Shoemaking involves a lot of hammering and nailing, because you have to first nail the leather and lining to the shoe sole before you can can glue everything together! Believe me, I managed to bend loads of nails! But I can report that my hammering and nailing skills improved at the end of day two, yeah.
I am not going to bore you with all the details of 15 hours of shoemaking, hehe. But we were able to choose from 3 designs: flat and round; thistle toe and heel; pointy and heel. Then you could also choose the design of the upper part of the shoe. You can have a look here in the Flickr group of Prescott and Mackays to see what the other participants made :) All shoes turned out amazing. One of the ladies even used a Liberty print!
|Here is my soon-to-be shoe on the last (the yellow thing). Can you see all the little nails? We had to pull them all out again!
On day two, the shoes actually started to look like shoes. We did loads more hammering and nailing, more gluing, and then finally came the moment we could glue the sole to the shoe. It was like magic! One moment you had this kind of yeah might be a shoe and then a minute later you had this beautiful shoe! I decided to add straps to my shoe, because usually I can't walk on heels (even tiny ones) if they are not tied to my ankle.
The last thing I have to do - before I can wear these shoes - is to bring them to a cobbler. We only glued the heel on and it would break off when walking. So the cobbler has to nail it on. I am a little worried about it, because I am scarred he will ruin my shoe! And will it still be my shoe?
|Here you can see the lining.
I have to admit, I am really hooked now. I would love to make another pair and it is actually not that difficult to get all the supplies you need. But as every hobby, it is expensive! So, at the moment I am just looking into all the possibilities and do a lot of dreaming about my own shoes (imagine to make your own wedding dress and shoes! Not that I need to, I am still waiting for the proposal ;) ).
So, what do you think? Would you like to try something new? Make your own shoes or lingerie (that's next on my list)?
|You can see that they are a bit different ;) But I don't mind...