motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (bookworm)
DSCN1957

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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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. :)

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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.

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