Hey Hey, after 2 days of solid work in the studio I’m back on track.
The desert boots are ready for a few hours of hand- stitching (at home in front of the TV), my workspace is now shoe reference image central (thanks to a new printer) and I managed to get most of two “first-attempt” prototype┬á shoes made… they’re more for the novelty of seeing a drawing come to life than they are for final details, but they make for great pictures!

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So rather than fill the front page up with loads of new images, I’m going to try my first “read more” divider… click through for lots of new photos.

1. Desert Boots
No new images here, just the news that I have overcome the ‘too thick leather’ problem and will soon have them finished. Then I can tally up the time they took and work out how much they’ll cost.

2. New Workspace
I’m a real sucker for making things happen, and so when I realised I had hundreds of shoe pictures trapped on my computer and doing nothing for me when I’m at my desk looking for ideas I researched, hit eBay, bought a mini photo printer and printed out pretty much all of them.

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Now I have a face full of the worlds coolest, wierdest, tallest and expensive shoes when I’m working – hopefully it will help keep me motivated.

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… and a bit of a gallery down this end of my previous ‘greatest hits’

3. Drawing > Shoe – Take 2

I’ve found myself heading down a reoccurring path when I’m sketching ideas in my little black book, so I decided yesterday to try making another one of them rather than continually making derby / oxford / desert boots if that’s not what I want to be selling later in the year.

Last week I put together the first one of these ideas, and as a refresher here it is with the sketch I used :

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This week I went for another ankle boot, as there is a pattern detail that I’ve been trying to get my head around (the oversized opening at the top) and wanted to try something more ‘fashion’ oriented.
After a few hours of masking taping, cardboard patterns and sewing I got to this stage :

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I used some of my hand dyed suede as a detail, and got a bit too experimental at the end of the day, tinkering around with a backwards 45┬░ heel.

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The crazy heel didn’t work (too much pressure on the wrong end of it and not worth me getting all engineering-y trying to overcome it) so I reverted to the sketched idea of a solid black wedge.

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A quick rejig of the one from the brown boots and it was ready for Dani to try on. The shoe is tight across the top of the foot, but loose at the openings, so that’s why it looks a bit ‘open’ or loose here.

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I made the pattern with a rear zipper in mind, but didn’t have one in the studio, so some quick work with the awl = laces. I’ll sew a zip in later or on the next one.

4. Idea > Shoe

Whilst the boot above was in its various stages of glue drying / stretching etc I started work on another shoe to satisfy a curiosity I had in mind.
It seems the Nicholas Kirkwood style seperate platform is pretty “in” right now, so I wanted to know what one would do to the geometry of a shoe. I’m not a big fan of the inner / hidden platform look, I think it can make the toe area look too fat and heavy, so I got to work on making up a stacked leather platform (no cork on hand) and then decided to partner it up with a glossy black, plain and simple design.

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After a spending quite a while pushing and pulling the upper in to place and developing a new respect for the nowhere-t0-hide-mistakes issue with ‘simple’ designs I got to this stage. You may notice the puckering around the topline… that’s either because I rushed the pattern making or the lasting, or both.

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That was at about 10pm and I decided to pack it, the neighbors don’t take to kindly to me whacking a hammer repeatedly all night long with Dizzee Rascal echoing throughout the whole warehouse.
When we get our own shop then i’ll be able to work til sun up! woo!

Back at home I managed to do a quick Photoshop job to see what I’m going to end up with.

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Anyhoot, back to work tomorrow, but it should be a little less frustrating now that I know I can get plenty of stuff done in a half week, providing I’m not stricken with an antique illness.

’tis my little sister’s birthday this week, so next on the list is to prepare a menu for the dinner I’m cooking her in lieu of a gift this year, and then it’s on to planning for Dani’s birthday next week!
Party Time! Excellent!

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Listening to : The Knack – Siamese Twins (The Monkey And Me)