I (heart) nomocs!

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I love making nomocs, lomocs and fomocs! I recently asked Sandy, who has made several pairs of fomocs if she thought that making shoes in this way – no/lo/fomoc – is useful and simple..

her reply:

Oh YES, definitely. Using the no-lo-fomoc technique is indeed a very useful and simple way to make shoes..!!!  Many probably have the same reaction I did to the thought of shoemaking….”That’s just not possible!” Shoes come from a factory filled with expensive, specialized machinery… or they’re made by a little old Italian shoemaker who learned the secrets of a master craftsman from generations past.

The biggest roadblock in my mind was how to get the sole firmly attached to the upper. You’ve been making shoes and boots for a while, so there’s no issues in your mind, but for me, it’s almost impossible to envision a strong enough glue to keep a shoe held together. An even more difficult concept is trying to figure how you can possible sew a shoe together. How do you get your needle inside the toe of a shoe? It’s just impossible.

With the no-lo-fomoc method, it became so easy to see how the pieces come together. There is no mystery, whatsoever, as to how a shoe can be made. All that’s needed is your full-size patterns, a means to make holes or slits and a couple of needles, …dull needles at that!! How simple could it be?

Truthfully, what drew me to Simple Shoemaking was the possibility of cutting out a pattern, punching some holes in the predefined locations and sitting in the rocking chair, …stitching. (Not stitching & stitching & stitching as in knitting)  ….but simply stitching up a pair of comfortable, healthy shoes. With basic no-lo-fomoc skills, really, it is almost that easy and style shoe or boot can be conquered.

In the “Introduction to Simple Shoemaking” video you talked about modifying the stitch-downs for your little grand daughter. When it was tried on that red shoe of yours, you said, “it was a good fit and you may be on to something here.” Well, I have to agree, totally..! You’ve hit a winner.
; )  -me

 

 

Shoe photos I have kept forever and it’s time to discard..

Over the years I have collected so many photos of shoes I planned to make someday – or maybe they had a feature that I wanted to try. It’s time to clean out the file cabinet, so I’m preserving a few on this blog post.

In the first photo, I like the sage green center-seam stitchdown.  It has inspired me to make several with a tab at the top, secured with velcro.

The second one is from the long-defunct magazine Shuz- a “special order shoe” – why I don’t know…. I like the topline..

The last one is the sweetest Mary Jane – I think it’s an adult shoe, but I really need to make a pair for my little granddaughter (she turns three in a few days) some day soon.

 

 

  whitejane 3 whitejane 1

Leather footwear made in Colombia

http://www.instructables.com/id/Leather-Footwear-/

My favorite part of this video is watching the shoemaker sharpen his knife! His years of experience show in the rapid swipes he makes back and forth on the whetstone, allowing him to cut through the leather like it was – butter, of course.

Picture of Leather Footwear !

How to tell if shoes are hand-made

 

 

The following was posted on the Shoemaking Forum Facebook page:

I have a wonderful story for you. One guy ordered Lobb’s shoes from time to time and he only wanted one certain maker to make them. Once when he was ordering a new pair, the maker was on vacation (a old man on his 70′ s). So another person made his shoes and he said that he didn’t want them..they are too perfect. “I like the shoes made by the guy whose eyesight is not good anymore and little mistakes pop up.. because for me then I know they are truly handmade.”

http://blog.leathertuna.com/

LEATHER-TUNA-0906-sandal.jpg

If you’re a lover of all things leather, you will enjoy this blog. Since the text is in Japanese, there wasn’t anything that I could read, but that wasn’t important because the photos are spectacular. I scanned for footwear and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, trying to imagine what the patterns for the unusual shoes would look like. I promised myself that I would attempt to make mock-ups someday. However, braiding leather so beautifully and making braided leather “bezels” to hold semi-precious stones in place, as this artist does so successfully, are things that I will never do.

Well, as I look closely at the sandal I see that the braiding is not simply decorative but is used to close a seam (Why is there a seam? – it does allow the soft leather to more closely take the shape of the foot – and also allows the maker to be able to stitch the upper pieces to the sole inside of the upper pieces – but are those the reasons?).

 

Shoes cruise for the homeless of Boston

http://www.wcvb.com/chronicle/shoes-for-the-homeless/35188358

Shoes collected for our guests

 RUFUS PERRIMAN REMEMBERS THE DAY HE GOT HIS LAST PAIR OF SHOES. “I WOULD SAY IN MAY. MAY 17. I RECEIVED A PAIR OF SNEAKERS”.

HE REMEMBERS BECAUSE THOSE SNEAKERS AREN’T JUST ANOTHER PAIR OF SHOES. RUFUS IS HOMELESS AND HAS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS. HIS SHOES AND CANE ARE HIS MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AS HE MAKES HIS WAY TO ST. FRANCIS HOUSE.

“WHEN I HAD A HOLE IN MY SNEAKERS, AND I CAME HERE IN THE WINTERTIME. I WORE THE SHOES HERE. BECAUSE THAT WAS THE ONLY PAIR I HAD. AND I SHOWED THEM THE HOLES IN MY SHOES AND GAVE ME AN EMERGENCY CLOTHING TICKET. AND I RECEIVED A VERY NICE PAIR OF SHOES. I WAS THE HAPPIEST MAN IN THE WORLD”.

RUFUS SAYS HIS LIFE CHANGED A FEW YEARS AGO AFTER HE GOT SICK, LOST HIS JOB. AND THEN LOST HIS APARTMENT IN A FIRE. HE NEVER THOUGHT HE WOULD BE IN A POSITION WHERE ONE PAIR, HIS ONLY PAIR OF SHOES WOULD MAKE HIM SO HAPPY.

“IN THE PAST I JUST THROW THEM DOWN. KICK THEM OFF MY FEET AND THROW THEM IN THE CORNER AND LEAVE THEM THERE UNTIL I NEEDED THEM. RIGHT NOW I’M NOT ABLE TO DO THAT BECAUSE I’M HOMELESS. I LEARN TO APPRECIATE. I LEARN TO VALUE THOSE LITTLE THINGS”.

HE GETS HIS SHOES AND CLOTHES FROM ST. FRANCIS HOUSE. A DAY SHELTER SERVING 800 HOMELESS MEN AND WOMEN IN BOSTON EVERY DAY. WE’VE BEEN HERE 30 YEARS. AND WE BEGAN AS A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE COULD COME DURING THE DAY. EVENTUALLY BE A CONSTRUCTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO BEING OUT ON THE STREETS.

DEMAND IS SO HIGH THAT BY THE END OF EACH SEASON, THE SHELVES ARE NEARLY BARE. WE’RE GIVING 3,000 PAIRS OF SHOES AWAY EVERY YEAR. AND IN SPITE OF THAT VOLUME OF SHOES THAT WE’RE GIVING, WE STILL HAVE TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF SHOES THAT PEOPLE CAN GET TO ONE PAIR OF SHOES EVERY THREE MONTHS.

AND THE NEED FOR PEOPLE TO DONATE SHOES TO US IS INCREDIBLE. THE NEED PARTLY MET BY THE SHOES CRUISE, AN ANNUAL FUNDRAISER FEATURING ENTERTAINMENT, SOCIALIZING AND BEAUTIFUL VIEWS OF BOSTON HARBOR. ADMISSION IS $30. AND A NEW PAIR OF SHOES. ALL TO BENEFIT ST. FRANCIS HOUSE. TIM NOLAN STARTED THE EVENT IN 2003. ONE OF THE MAJOR NEEDS WAS MEN’S SHOES, SIZE 9-13. THEY’RE COMING IN TO GET NEW FOOTWEAR. AND THEY HAD ALL SORTS OF PROBLEMS WITH THEIR SHOES. WHICH LEADS TO ALL SORTS OF OTHER, YOU KNOW, INFECTIONS AND WHAT NOT. SO AT THAT POINT I SAID, YOU GOT TO BE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING TO RAISE FOOTWEAR AND RAISE AWARENESS AT THE SAME TIME.

DRAWSTITCH CONSTRUCTION

The link to this video was on the facebook page Shoemaker’s Forum recentlyy. I have just begun to realize all the uses for this stitching technique. Thank you, Zacharias!