Heather’s shoemaking workshop

Maria's Grey Pergamena Shoe 7.2016

The results are in from Heather’s center-seam shoemaking workshop with fourteen Waldorf School hand-work teachers – and most participants successfully made nice-looking shoes that fit!

Two participants made shoes that were too big. They made their own patterns by taping their feet, and it’s expected that there will be some trial and error-learning – that’s why I encourage the making of “mock-ups” before making the actual shoe so patterns can be “tweeked” – which all of the students in the workshop made so it’s not “fool-proof”.  Perhaps they didn’t slant their pencils in sufficiently when drawing around the sides of their feet.

Another participant’s shoes were loose along the topline. A good thing about center-seam shoes is that the topline of the pattern can be tightened or “sprung”, so this is a reminder to consider doing this for anyone who has a narrow, thin foot.

Marcela's Embossed Navy ShoeHere are photos of two of the pairs of shoes that were made. They are both made of Pergamena vegetable-tanned leather – the grey pair above has the suede-side out. Doesn’t the “bar” stitch down the vamp of the shoe look perfect with the square neckline?! And, they both have natural rubber soles. Eco-shoes for sure.

These two pairs are really beautiful in that the makers pulled the stitches evenly when stitching the uppers to the sole, as there is a nice even line on both shoes. The blue pair is embellished with an embossed pattern, which is a possibility when working with vegetable-tanned leather.

So, I will be selling kits for making these shoes – or if you can pull together your own materials and tools, you can purchase just the directions and standard patterns. I’ll be putting these in my shop over the weekend.