These shoes show what can be done if all the stars align: you have nice leathers, soling is available, you have no doubt been a leatherworker a long time to perfect the brown lacing stitch, you’ve got a great machine that stitches with the thick white thread around the edge of the shoe – and you are extremely gifted in working with color and design!
A friend recently wore these shoes, telling me that she had purchased them ten years ago in Spain at a country market. I can’t find any trace of them on the internet, but perhaps someone can.
This is a perfect example of stitch-down shoemaking – the white stitching shows where the upper was turned out upon the soling, then the layers were stitched together. I am now imagining how this shoe would look done as a nofomoc, my favorite “simplest shoemaking” technique. (Nofomocs have a 1/4″ edge sticking up from the sole with holes punched in it, that the upper is stitched to..)
I checked with a leatherworkers facebook page, asking how they thought the leather lacing was done, and got some interesting responses. One said maybe the lacing was only on the top of the shoe, but was drawn down in the slits by a separate cord underneath. Another thought there were two pieces of lacing, with slits in them… any other ideas?!
Interestingly, my friend says that she seldom wears them because her heel slips up and down with every step she takes. My guess is that the sole is very stiff, and that if the sole were more flexible, made out of natural rubber for instance, the problem would dissipate. And, it looks like the heel seam doesn’t follow the shape of the heel very well..always something more to learn..