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!

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