New suede(?) shoes, part 3

Lets try it again. I’ll just post a lot of pics, and then I’ll comment on them in the bottom.

The first picture shows the tools of the trade. There is a ruler for measuring and drawing straight lines (who would have thought that you could do that with a ruler?), harness needles (they are blunt – not sharp – for a closer look, check out the second picture), waxed linen/flax thread – the really sturdy type, a sharp, thin awl, a thimble ring and a sharp (really sharp) knife. I also use some type of material to protect the table from cutting and piercing – a chopping-board usually does the trick.

Next picture shows the harness needles. They are blunt, and they are two! They are blunt, because they are not used to pierce holes in the leather. The awl is used for that. The needles are used to guide the thread through the holes. They are two because you make turn-shoes by stitching them together with a so called saddler’s seam, where two needles are used for the same thread – one needle in each end. The saddler’s seam is presented further down this post.

Next picture shows the three different pieces of the shoe in question. There is a overleather (1), a gore (2) and a sole (3). The colour markings show where they fit together. The construction is a bit tricky, and it is easy to get lost when trying to figure it out. I stitched the gore in place at the overleather (green to green and red to red – yes – it takes a whole lot of folding and shaping to get it straight), before I did anything else.

Next two pictures show a piece of the sole. The awl goes in at the top, but it doesn’t go the whole way through it – it changes direction, and goes out on the side – the sole is thick enough for this. The reason for this is that the thread would be worn out (off?) in less than a day if it were to be placed directly under the foot (between the foot and the ground).

Next two pictures show how the above is made in practice. This example shows awling technique for a so called flesh edge seam, which is the most common seam for stitching together pieces of the overleather. The thread is not seen on the outside when the seam is finished. The only difference between the flesh edge seam and the saddler’s seam is that the flesh edge seam really only goes through the edges of the leather, when the saddler’s seam can go straight through the leather, from top to bottom.

The next picture is a detail of the flesh edge/saddler’s seam. Both needles go in (one at a time) the two holes made by the awl, one from each side. When each needle has been pulled through, you just tighten the thread, and go for the next set of holes. The last picture shows how the flesh edge seam looks.

When stitching the overleather to the sole, the saddler’s seam is used.


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