Heath and I took a shoe making class this weekend at the Chicago School of Shoe Making...
In two days we made our own custom fit shoes.
First, our instructor measured our feet and made our patterns.
Then we cut our chosen materials to size. (I try not to buy any new leather, however, I wanted to learn exactly how a shoe is made and the only way to do that right now in Chicago is with leather. Now that I know, hopefully I can apply what I've learned to non-leather shoes).
This machine pinches the leather so you can cut all the necessary pieces to assemble.
Then we punched holes in the back pieces and hand stitched them together.
We used these mallets to pound our stitches flat.
This makes the heel.
Instead of tying knots in the nylon thread, we burn them.
We had to shave down several pieces of leather so they were much thinner.
Here's what Heath's look like before we stitch them to the midsoles...
I stamped my initials into my midsoles.
My shoe with a moustache.
This beautiful machine allows you to stitch the tops onto the midsoles.
Then we glued the midsoles to the soles and heels, and we used a hammer to ensure the glue sticks.
Next comes the shaping of the toes and heels. We wet the leather and stuff the toes and heels with paper, shaping as we go.
They're a little lumpy at this phase, while the leather dries with the paper inside. But once we take the paper out in a couple of days, it should be smooth.