12 Days?! My oh my, that really goes against all the “yeah, like, I’ll be posting 2 or 3 times a day from now on” talk that I was throwing around when we moved house, but never fear! I have new shoes to show! … and some cute kid photos to calm everyone down and get their “awww” face on.

So, when we last spoke I had finished my first only-one-shoe Chloe sandal rip-off, and although it was lovely, I couldn’t get any walking/wearing feedback when I didn’t have a matching partner.
I got my shoe-tryer-on-er-er sister Jen to come over and give it a whirl, and we found that some of the measurements and fit details were a bit off, most likely due to my making it up by eye, and also a trap that I have now learned not to fall in to – making the shoe / straps / buckles so they work at right angles with the sole, not heading straight up the direction of the leg / ankle.

First up, failed attempt #1:



See what I mean? The ankle straps need to point UP the leg, not across it, so the buckles stay level.

The leather looks all nice and even when it’s standing on it’s own, but with a foot in there it was all in the wrong places. The front bit was too short and was pulling the buckles downwards = ugly.

Step 2 = make another pair, correct the mistakes, reduce the disgruntled mumbling about how I got it wrong the first time. (I expect a lot of myself, and screw ups dont go un-noticed)

Back to the workbench I went and here are the usual progress shots that I hope you all like to see:


Inner soles + Shanks


Cutouts for cork inlays, as per the pair of fancy, comfortable Bally shoes I deconstructed.


cork and tape…


some more veg tan and we’re getting there…


neoprene foam inserts…
about 20mm too far forward, Jen thinks they should be further back where the pressure ends up.


wrapped (badly) … measure TWICE cut once. sigh.


stitched up suede…


Heel attachment. Countersunk screw + 5 long nails + bad hammering technique.


Neoprene foam padding…


Cooper decided to ‘assist’ me for the afternoon… aka soaking up sunlight.
Heels that I got that I couldn’t find matching (2 hole) Supertaps for (why sell one item and not the matching part?) so these ones got an additional hole drilled ever so carefully in the middle.


Logo action. Haven’t decided on an official business name or font yet, but this stamp works well I think with my Phillips surname.


4 x straps and buckles… I’m thinking i’ll make Jen a mathching belt?


Final pair done, about 8 – 10 hours later (spread over 3 days) and ready to be worn.


Soft and suede-y…


Done! The last one I made had an assymetrical toe area, these ones are more squared off. Not sure which is better, one looks better on the shelf, one looks better on the foot… hmmmm…

The following shots are of Jen trying them on and striking some ‘foot model’ poses… and me using a crap camera with no flash in what appears to be a subtle earthquake.

She has promised me she will hit the streets and give them a good wearing so that I can get some pointers on strength, comfort, wear and tear etc.
The sole has been Topy’d so I am expecting that to hold up fine, but probably¬† a broken buckle or something. Heels should be tough enough, as they’re now no different to the Mollini ones I pulled apart for reference.

My other job has been super hectic for the last week, as we have an unfathomable amount of work to do. Even with me doing a hollywood-esque ‘using two computers at the same time with one hand on each keyboard’ workout, we’re still behind schedule. I smell a weekend of work coming up, and a double amount of coffee consumption.

Now, just to lighten the mood again, and let you all know that in the Even Steven world I live in, everything, um, evens out.
Today Dani and I are doing our first all-day babysitting job for our heart-warmingly beautiful niece Tahlia!
Not much work getting done, but when I get to dance with her to some Paul Simon and then sit down to an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, its all worth it.

Check out her squished up ‘cheeky’ face… classic. (click it to see it full size)

And this one (these are video thumbnail things) where she eats the camera, films me, then eats the camera some more. Ahhhh, Unkie Steve is a big softie for sure.

Next up on the cards is a pair of moccasin / loafer type shoes (to learn a new construction technique) and some f*ck-off-tough-as-nails Alexander McQueen style black ankle boots with studs on them (for a journey to the dark side of shoe making) as inspired by our pals over at DI$COUNT.

See you soon!

Listening to : Paul Simon – Graceland