Shoe pattern cutting

After the one day course I took at I Can Make Shoes, I felt inspired and full of confidence about making my own shoes at home. Cat and I bought all the glues, leather and shoe lasts in order to set up shop at home only to find that the lasts we had were way too long and skinny for our feet despite getting them from I Can Make Shoes themselves! (We assumed the ones they’d stock would the same as the ones we used in class but, boy, were we wrong!). It meant that even the free patterns they provided on the website don’t really fit the lasts at all which was a bit confounding to be honest. I tried to do alterations myself but found that I just didn’t know enough about shoes to do it properly!

So that’s when I found this course – it was a 4 day short course at the London College of Fashion on shoe pattern cutting. (They also do shoe design and construction in separate courses which can be taken continuously from each other). Perfect, right?

It was a bit of an odd group that gathered for this class in my opinion and there were a lot of people who wanted to become shoe designers with very little experience with shoe design, construction or manufacture… Well, they’ve all got to start somewhere I guess!

I have to say I found the class informative but simple. There was a lot of waiting around for people to catch up. (My own fault as I was the only one with any pattern cutting experience at all. On the plus side, the tutor Nafi was quite impressed with my work!) We learnt the basics necessary for shoe patterns and drew up patterns for a court shoe, loafer and peep toe sandal. Once we were taught the “rules” for shoe patterns, the only limit to what we could do was our imagination! 


I ended up purchasing some new shoe lasts from Spring Line (they’re the last British shoe last manufacturer) which were the same as the ones I used to make these ballet pumps. 

Then using my newfound skills, I drafted up new shoe patterns! I started with a basic ballet flat again just to check the fit and this is the result!

 I’ve experimented and drafted up some other shoe patterns too. Hopefully they won’t be complete disasters and you’ll see them on here soon!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Romy says:

    I definitely need to look into one of these courses. I have size 8-9 feet and my left is a lot wider than the right so finding shoes is a nightmare.

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