I finally actually get to make a pair of shoes with my own hands. They came out okaaay. For some reason I thought my sewing and pattern making experience might have given me a little bit more of an advantage but so far as first shoes go I thing I'm ok at this
Now making shoes isn't as straightforward as sewing a garment. You can't run to Joann's pick up a pattern and a book and the supplies and go at it. Nope there are very few books available on shoemaking and very little information on making women shoes. Then you need a pair of lasts which is a plastic or wood mold which is not shaped like your foot but like the shoe you'd like to make. Want to make a different kind of shoe? Well you need a different last. The supplies can be difficult as well. The leather not so much BUT you do need to know which kind you need and thing are never labelled as simply as shoe lining leather. You need other stuff like insole board and toe puffs and cement. First you have to figure out what stuff you need then you need to find it. And that never involves being able to find one shoes worth. Nope. Never.
Once you have your last and supplies that means you can just start cranking them out right? Um no. You first have to tape up your last with masking tape so you can make your pattern. Everything that goes into your shoe needs a pattern. The upper, the lining, the back counter, the toe puff, the insole, the outer sole and the sock liner. Then since you just made your own pattern and you don't really know what your doing yet then you better test that pattern out. Ok once you've cleared that stage then you can cut your leather out which is not as straightforward as fabric since there are some inconsistencies and variations. Then you can glue your upper together and sew. No stress but ripping is not possible since the holes are permanent.
Once your upper is together you then pull it over your last in a special order and then nail or staple it down. Then you undo what you've just done piece by piece and glue it down. Each layer is done seperately. Once you've done that you can glue on your soles. Remove the shoe from the last and then glue in the sock liner (with or without padding)
You then have a pair of shoes. Go you!
Things I will do different on my second pair. Skive my edges. Use a sturdier leather. Put in toe puffs and counters which I didn't do this time because I hadn't had the chance to test out the thermoplastic toe puff stuff. My stitching could have been a tad better and my trimming of the lining. Also I did not make a sock liner pattern and just winged it.