Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Completed right turnshoe - With pictures

I got a fair bit of work done this long weekend on the turnshoes. I now have a completed right shoe. It doesn't fit quite right (it's probably a half size too long), so I don't think I could actually wear it, but I definitely learned the process and can tweak the sizes better for next time.

When last you saw the turn shoe I had taken some thick felt and lasted it to check the pattern. I needed to modify it a bit to centre the heel correctly and make sure the side's met up. So this weekend I modified the pattern and cut the leather out. The following two pictures shows the shoe on the last before I started to actually attach it to the sole.

Once I did that I gradually loosened the webbing hold the shoe to the last a bit at a time, sew the loosened section to the sole as I went. That basically took me most of the afternoon on Monday. Once it was attached to the sole, I sewed up the side opening and turned it right-side out (although I may need to use thicker thread for the side seam as it broke when I turned the shoe - something they identified as a problem in the instructions).

Here is the completed right shoe. The leather's not period but I didn't want to start using veg tan until I knew what I was doing. Next up, the left shoe.

Oh, and if anyone's looking for a pair of 9 1/2 -ish turnshoes in red leather, I may have some in the near future. :)

Monday, 12 May 2014

Turnshoe Update - With Pictures

So this weekend I did some more work on my turnshoes. I popped over to Zeli's on Saturday and bought a new curved awl, since that makes punching the holes in the sole of the shoe easier.

I spent most of Saturday punching the holes in the sole with the awl. I had to pace myself because it's an odd motion and I was feeling it in my elbow. Oddly it was my left elbow, just from holding the leather while I punched the holes. I don't know why. It's still sore a couple of days later.

Anyway, after enlarging the pattern a bit I cut it out of some green felt we had in our craft box and then tacked it onto the last as per the instructions. The pictures below show what it looks like partially tacked down.

I discovered a couple of things.

First, I need to adjust the pattern more. The heel piece isn't long enough so it doesn't meet the side of the shoe properly. The heel itself needs to be shifted over a bit as well as it isn't centred properly since I adjusted the pattern previously. Not a huge deal.

I'm also a bit concerned that the shoe is going to be a bit too big. When I put my foot in, there was a fair bit of room on the sole (like an inch) when I pushed my toes to the end.  I'm hoping when I actually sew things on it will tighten it up a little bit but I've already cut the sole piece so I may as well keep going. Worst case, I can find someone these will fit and try again.

On the bright side, it certainly looks like a shoe, so that's an improvement over my first attempt a few years ago.

Friday, 9 May 2014

The making of the turnshoe - attempt number 2

It's been a while, with many other projects on the go, but I'm finally getting back to trying to make myself some shoes. I'm tired of wearing my modern black shoes to most events.

I last tried looking at doing turnshoes almost three years ago, but it didn't go well. Needless to say I was less than impressed by the instructions from the Complete Anachronist issue. So, thanks to a Facebook post by Lord Evan Quicktongue (I blame him for me spend more money on books), I found a set of pdf books from Talbot's Fine Accessories for a reasonable price on how to make various types of period shoes.

I also have an added advantage this time in that we bought a set of lasts a few years ago at Pennsic for my size shoe, which means that hopefully I won't have to do the tape my foot method to make a pattern this time.

The E-books from Talbot's cover a number of different shoe types, but I'm going to use their most recent one "Authentic Medieval Turn Shoes" as my guide.

First, I traced the foot shape of my last onto my thick leather (I'm using about 8 oz for the sole). Before cutting it out I put my foot into it to make sure it will work, so fingers crossed. I then printed out the pattern from the uppers traced it onto some scrap garment weight leather that I had lying around from a failed previous project. It looks ok but I'm concerned it's a bit too small and won't meet up properly when I sew it all together, so I've expanded the pattern a bit to give it about an extra 1/2 inch on all sides.

AElfwyn suggested using craft felt for my mock-up instead of fabric or lighter leather because it will replicate the feel of the leather I'll eventually be using for the uppers. I plan on using some nice red leather we bought in Hamilton a few years ago (not entirely period but for my first set of shoes it should work nicely).

This weekend I plan to trace out the new pattern on the felt and see how it works. I'll also probably have to make a stop at Zeli's tomorrow to see about a curved awl so I can properly punch the holes to attach the upper to the sole.

Fingers crossed!