Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mystery Shoes

In one of my last posts, I put up a picture of my modified last to see if anyone could guess the date.  I think it was quite an interesting exercise is how redundant style is.  The key thing to note on the last is the high toe spring (when I built out, I also built upwards).  I'm also using the same last, which bends in the middle a little to fit with a heel.  That being noted, here's a picture of the try-on I made.  There will be a few alterations- mainly the dog leg seam is too low.  Feel free to shout out what your adjusted date is, and, if you feel like really taking on a challenge, what regional style they'll be (aka French, Dutch, English, Italian, etc) and what construction technique (hint: that's my insole at the bottom).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vintage Finds

There are a number of antique shops within a very short drive of where I live.  For better, or worse, my pocket book and I are gradually getting to know them.  One specializes in clocks, another in Asian pieces, some are every-which-way.  My growing favorite is about fifteen minutes North.  A collection of fun items- books, furniture, signs, pictures, decor, memorabilia, and a nice back room of clothing and accessories.  Most of the clothing is post-WWII, but they said they do get many earlier items in (they just sell right away!).  After drooling on a few 1920s/30s gowns that were too big for me I found a great little image tucked in corner.  Labelled as "Glamour Shots", it has numerous images of women with pretty, but everyday, hairstyles.  I'd date it mid-1910s, but it'd work quite well for 1912.  If you open the picture in it's own page it should be high-resolution.  Have fun!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Shoes 2

My second pair is now officially finished!  And fits perfectly.  I'll get to put them to the test tomorrow night, so long as the rain stops and things aren't too wet.  They're turn shoes, just like the first pair.  The uppers are wool pasted to whittaw leather and bound in silk grosgrain ribbon.  These only took a couple of months of sporadic working, unlike the first pair which took a year.  I could easily get a pair done in less than a week if I worked full time on it, and every time I'm getting faster.  The quality and stitching is much finer as well.  Particularly around the heel where I was allowed to work, delicately, with the tinier awl to make smaller stitches (no one makes that type of awl blade any more, so breaking one is really bad).  I can see a lot of places for improvement, but as long as every pair gets a little better, I'll be there fast.

I also purchased a 1920s pair of shoes recently.  I needed something to wear for 1912 evening attire, and these will do suitably.  They're a bit worn, but nothing a little cleaning and a few stitches won't brighten up.  They fit perfectly, which is the important part.  The fabric is gold lamé brocade, only a little worn and tarnished.

I started on my third pair of shoes this weekend.  We added a toe piece to adjust the shape of the last and I've made up two insoles, preparing for a randed construction.  Any guesses on the time period?