Recently I have taken part in a project to be able to design and make my own shoe.
The first thing we had to do was to take part in some induction sessions to learn about the health and safety risks as well as to learn the techniques needed to make our final shoe. During these beginning sessions we made a mock up shoe using leather and cotton fabric.
To make our shoes the first part of the process was to choose a last – the model the shoe will fit around and begin to tape it up. After taping up the last, using a knife we had to cut down the centre front and centre back to remove the masking tape and be left with what would be the pattern for our shoe. Once the tape is removed stick it to some pattern paper and label. The taping up process also involved taping the sole of your last to create the shoe sole pattern.
Next we had to draw out a mean forme using our pattern pieces? We also had to create a standard – the piece that your design is drawn on to accurately and you use this to make the pattern pieces for your shoe.
The next step would be to use the pattern pieces to cut out the right pieces from either the fabric material or leather. Using the pieces you could then glue and sew together the fabric to make the main part of the shoe. After this is done you can make your shoe on the last stretching the fabric over first and then gluing the outer sole to the shoe.
The Real Thing
The brief we had been given was to design a sandal inspired by either the digital wave or pause trend. For my final shoe I decided to focus on the pause trend because it linked more closely with some of the research I had already collected.
Using the different moodboards I had created I designed and played around with a few ideas that had come from images I had collected whether it be used for pattern, texture or colour. The design I decided on was a wedge heel sandal with two straps and a ribbon tie around the ankle. I had also chosen a layered square pattern to embellish the straps which had been inspired by a particular image first of all and explored further through primary research into geometric shapes.
After doing some research for the trend I had decided on a particular colour that I wanted to include within my final design although there wasn’t a choice of many colours so I managed to find a company online that had a bigger choice of colours that could deliver quite quickly. The leather I used for the majority of my shoe was similar to a coral colour with still some tones of brown which worked well with my theme. I also used a white leather that had holes in it to create the smaller squares for the layering effect on the straps of the shoe.
The heel is made from layers of wood that I had glued together and left over night to dry. The following day I went to the workshop to use the band saw to cut the shape of the foot out of the block of wood. After the shape of the foot had been made I used the bobbin sander to create the curve in the insole of the shoe where the foot would sit comfortably. I liked the heel just wooden but I didn’t want to leave it like that because it wouldn’t necessarily go with my final design as a whole so I tried out a few different colours to paint it and settles on a light brown colour that compliments the rest of the shoe.
The square design was inspired by an image from one of my moodboards surrounding the trend and then the idea was further developed through the use of geometric shapes and primary research.
Overall, I think my shoe turned out well and better than I expected. For the display I wanted something that created atmosphere and feeling within the viewer or whoever was attracted to the shoe. I didn’t have the time to make my display but I managed to find something better to use than what I would have been able to make. First of all, I managed to find a black mirror that had a border of light bulbs around it which would make a good base for my display. I didn’t want to leave the mirror in the design so I wanted to fill it with something wooden, luckily I came across a wooden chopping board that fit in the gap of the mirror.