San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
A foundation course in quality construction of a pair of women's leather (or faux leather) shoes.
9:30am to 4:30 pm each day with 1 hour for lunch.
Advanced Registration is Required.
Tuition: $720 per person includes workshop manual, your own pair of shoe lasts to take with you, use of all tools, and all materials.
Level: From beginner through intermediate.
Learn the art of making a high quality women's shoe from scratch. Whether you would like to learn shoemaking as a craft, as a new career, or to supplement your existing career, this course will get you well on your way.
- Selecting and Understanding the Shoe Last
The last is a form that represents the inside of a shoe that also defines the overall shape of the shoe. Having the right last gets you off on the right foot to realizing your design. Learn what to look for when buying a shoe last, and how to deal effectively with mismatched feet and orthotics.
- Developing a Pattern
Learn how to turn a sketch of a shoe into a pattern for cutting. Using standard techniques such as taping the last you will create a pattern then add the spring so the pattern will fit correctly. You'll learn how to create patterns for uppers, the lining, the counter, the counter cover, and the insole.
- Cutting and Closing your Upper and Lining
Learn to sew the upper, lining and counter cover, and learn stitching and assembly techniques that will make finishing the edge of the upper easier. Learn how to keep the topline of the shoe from stretching, and how to make piping to finish the edge of the shoe if desired.
- Making a Counter and Toe Puff
The counter and the toe puff provide rigidity to the heel and the toe of the shoe to preserve the shape. Learn about the different materials that are used in producing toe puffs and counters, such as Celastic, Thermoplastic sheets, and special glues, and where each type of material is appropriate.
- Lasting the Shoe
Learn how to form the upper around the shoe last and cement it to the insole board to "form" the shoe. Learn to properly stretch both the leather and the lining over the shoe last and secure into place without distorting your pattern.
- Making an Insole Board
You'll make a high quality insole board out of leather and attach a fiberglass shank for stability. Discover the role the insole board plays in the structure of the shoe, and how to create stability in the board so you'll have a stable shoe.
- Making a Leather Sole
Learn to cut and wet-form a leather sole, skive the sole, and attach and finish the sides and bottom of the sole. We'll also discuss alternative soling materials, but will use a leather sole for this clas.
Finishing the shoe
We'll add a heel cover, a heel and heel tip to finish the shoe. Then we'll cover finishing techniques to make sure the shoe is delivered polished and ready to wear.
When & Where
Sixsmith Workshop (6smith)
Sixsmith & Company makes shoes, provides resources to other shoemakers, and works with fashion designers to provide prototoytpes of their designs.