motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I only had enough fabric to cut out the skirt, and of course I forgot to take a picture of the layout.  I think I got it lined up correctly for the most part. It was hard to get my croquis blown up enough without the details of the fabric getting blurry so I could see where the flowers started and ended.  I picked up some lining at the fabric store last night and grabbed some generic black and grey lining remnants for my stash, because I always seem to need lining.  I tell you, having an organized stash is da bomb, as the kids these days don't say EVER.

And I cut out the pockets. :)

My lasts are still drying.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
I'm going to draft the rest of this skirt pattern tonight. With my amazing willpower I will get up out of my seat and clean off the plaster of Paris from my sewing table and get cracking. WITH POCKETS.


I always regret not having POCKETS in my skirts or any garment, really, and always forget to put POCKETS in, so emphasis on POCKETS. POCKETSPOCKETSPOCKETS! I'm forgetting it even as I'm typing it! Geez.


The fabric is 100% cotton decorator fabric that gorthx gifted me a while ago. It was waiting for a decoupage project, because I thought I only had .5 yds, but it turns out it's 1.75 (yay organized stash!). And it fits in really well with my black and white themed collection. Thanks, gorthx! I hope I can piece it as drawn with the yardage I have. The back has slight variations I can't decide on.

The top will come later - a simple boat-neck sleeveless dealy I think I can draft from... something vintage.

Also, I'm debating on sewing this as part of the Fall For Cotton Sew-Along.

My custom lasts are drying in their negative molds. I'm highly suspicious they will not come out well in the toes.

motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)

As I was trying to follow the instructions for forming the uppers, I realized my earlier confusion following the instructions to sew them was manifesting. There was no ball-point pen marking to follow and I wasn't sure where to stitch.  Because of that, maybe, the lining is rolling to the outside, so I tried topstitching the upper around the opening (I did this after back seam was sewn) to see if that would help in the end. It didn't. These are practice shoes, though.

The author's buckram is also sewn to the muslin in the back seam, and the buckram doesn't go to the very edge of the muslin. Mine does. This wasn't clear in the pattern drafting instructions. So I to cut it off, otherwise I'd never be able to press the seam open. Unless it was supposed to be wetted.I couldn't tell if the pattern was symmetrical. May have better luck using masking tape pattern, but tape doesn't stick to the lasts.  Then realized the pattern is asymmetrical because cutting up the center creates uneven seam allowances unless you're really precise. And that would be where the ball point pen marking comes in?


I sewed all back seams separately, contrary to the instructions (because my layer were in the wrong order?).  The back heel seam is super bulky, especially at the top where it's turned under. I think the wool should not be stitched into the foot opening seam, or the back seam.  Or, in the back seam, create a butted seam in the wool felt.

If sewing a butted seam in felt/lining, sew that seam first?

The instructions for inserting the counter into the upper have the fabrics listed in a different order than what was sewn.  It says to put the counter between the outer fabric/interlining (muslin) layer and the wool lining. There is no interlining of muslin, the muslin is the lining. If the counter were just between the outer fabric and  and the wool lining, the bumpiness would show through.

When forming the upper on the last, the muslin did roll to the outside, despite the topstitching. You're apparently supposed to cut the felt so it's even with the counter?


It seems on the next pair (if there is a next pair), it would be better to layer all the fabrics and just topstitch them in place. Or seam the outer fabric and the lining, and then construct the wool and buckram layers and sandwich them in, then topstitch.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
So far, my favorite part of shoemaking has been shaping the lasts.

Lovely lasts

After a brief hiatus, and while still designing my swimwear, I'm ready to start forming the uppers on the lasts1. Loomis indicates everything from here on out is hand work and can be done at your leisure. Here's everything I need. Oh, except the counters, which are mentioned in the list of materials for this next step, and instructions are in the appendix. So there's an extra step.


The original counters I took out of the shoes are of a stiff, non-woven interfacing material. This procedure has three layers of buckram cut on the bias, wetted and shaped around the heel, then stiffened with Aleene's Fabric Stiffener. Each layer is put on and allowed to dry. The actual shaping took 15 minutes, and dry time was about 5-7 hours each, so it's a good thing to do overnight, or when you have other projects going on.  Or at your leisure, as Loomis says. :)


You also use aluminum foil to cover the heels so the buckram doesn't stick to your lasts. I was concerned about the bumpiness of the foil causing bumpiness in the counters. We'll see what happens!  And they sure are stuck on the foil, so I think I'll be picking that off for a little while.

Then, I'll be ready to form the uppers.

1. This hiatus also gave my lasts time to fully dry, and I'm much more comfortable handling them now.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
The shoes have been put on hold while I waited for the book to come back to the library, so I switched to...

Making a swimsuit for a vacation that was also, however, put on hold while I waited for the fabric to be pre-washed, so I switched to...

Making things from my stash, which was what I had originally planned to do in January, but was sluggish and unmotivated at that time, which worked out ok because pattern review is having a stash-busting contest.  Based on the person who's already sewn 24 yards1, and the next who's sewn 14, I won't win, but whatevs.

So I've:
- gotten to the point where I'm going to finish the upper and wrap it around my last
- croquised my swimsuit and decided on a design
- made a beach cover-up
- finished the pinstriped dress
- re-fashioned a mohair sweater
- shortened another sweater
- made a headband
- made 3 t-shirts

I'm also working on getting some music I recorded about 7 or 8 years ago up on bandcamp. I need to make some sort of album artwork, and I think I'm close to being done with that.

1 Oh, pardon me, it's actually 36.
motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)

I hate blogging. Is it still blogging if I'm on LJ? Or is it journaling. Whatever, I hate being stuck in front of my computer for any amount of time (or any computer, as I found out from going back to school and interning, yay), so I usually do these posts in two shifts: photo work, then words.  I do like to have a record with pictures of what I do that works (and doesn't work), but still I'd rather be up and making things. Like SHOES! My award for finishing this leg (ahah) is to look at the sears 20s and 30s book and dream up a shoe design. *drool*

The last thing left on my list of Things To Learn is how to make shoes.  There are several schools within reasonable traveling distance to me, however, I don't think it's financially responsible of me do something like that right now. (And thinking about that opens up a whole 'nother can of worms/journal/blog post.) So I made up my own shoe school curriculum. I checked out Mary Loomis' book Make Your Own Shoes, as well as Handmade Shoes for Men by Lazlo Vass, and wrote up a schedule.

Thursday, I started. )


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