January 3, 2019

5 Best Shoemaking Hacks for Beginners

It became already a tradition for me to post each year my best shoemaking tips and hacks
In this new video, we say goodbye to the past year, and hello to the new year, where I have prepared for you 5 best shoemaking hacks for beginners. 
These 5 shoemaking hacks are very simple but so useful and helpful especially for beginners in shoemaking.

So let’s dive in…

1. How to cut leather upper correctly

It is very important to know how to cut leather upper correctly, because if you don’t know you will have problems with your uppers during lasting.

Many beginners in shoemaking even don’t know about this small but very important detail. Yes, every small detail can be very crucial in our shoemaking progress, that’s why I often devote so much of my time to small details in shoemaking.

That's why most of my lessons have duration of more than 90 min and sometimes more, and a total duration of some the courses is about 2700 hours! 

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 you should prepare a few hard drives, for sure!  

All leather types has different directions of stretchiness: in one direction it stretches more than in the other direction. 

So if you will cut your upper patterns in the stretchy direction, during lasting your upper will enlarge and it will lay too low on the shoe last

As a result, you will have too open (too loose) footwear and it is very crucial, especially in such footwear types like pumps, slingback pumps, T-strap pumps and other shoe types woth low topline. 

That’s why it is very important to cut your leather uppers correctly by choosing the right direction of leather, where it stretches less.

See how to choose the right direction to cut your leather uppers in the video that is at the beginning of this article.

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2. How to find the correct back height in every court footwear type

To have comfortable footwear that don’t hurt your feet in the back or doesn’t slide from your heel when you wear them , you must find the back height on the shoe last correctly. 

There are different measurements for the back height to create the top line of the footwear.

I use one of them and from my more than 18 years experience, I know that these are the best measurements to have comfortable footwear. 

So I want to share my knowledge with each beginner in shoemaking to help you in your craft.

There are certain measurements of the back height that you need to find in each shoe size and if you want to know how to find the correct shoe last size following your feet measurements, read this article: "How to make shoes-Sizing And Fit". 

Using this measurements you will draw the sideline of the top line in each court shoe type ( flat ballets, pumps, Oxford shoes, Derby shoes, Loafers, T-strap pumps and so on).  

Learn in this shoemaking tutorial how to find the correct back height for every court footwear type.

3. How to make neat & smooth sideline in each footwear type

From the experience of working with thousands of beginners in shoemaking for the lasts 7 years, I know that you don’t pay too much attention to the accuracy of your lines, when drawing the design of your shoes on the masking tape, but you should. And if you want to learn the entire process of making shoes, i welcome you to read this article: "How to make shoes".

If you draw the sideline not accurately, you will have trouble during cutting of leather, during folding that is a part of shoe assembling process, and instead of easy work you will encounter many unnecessary difficulties. 

So even if you designed inaccurate, not smooth sideline on the masking tape pattern, you should correct it before you will move on. 

In this video you can learn 3 shoemaking hacks on how to fix it.

4. How to design beautiful throat line on the shoe last

I told you many times that there is a certain order to learn shoemaking to achieve best results and get the right progress in shoemaking. 

I’ll repeat it again, the first footwear type that you as a beginner in shoemaking must make, is flat ballet shoes.

If you still don’t know why, check this post

Why Flat Ballet Shoes Is Your Starting Point in Shoemaking

When you will start to apply the design of your flat ballets or pumps you should follow one important rule to have beautiful and rounded shape throat line.

5. How to close the seam edges

Not everybody has sewing machine with a function to firm the ends of the seams.

So if you, as many other beginners in shoemaking, don’t have it, now I’ll share with you this shoemaking tip on how to close the seams easy and professionally, and to get more other shoemaking tips, read this article: "How to make shoes- Best Free Shoe Making Tips And Tutorials For Beginners".

It is super important task, because if you wont close the edges of the seams, they will open, for sure.

Learn how to do it in my last shoemaking hack

Thank you all and have a great New Year.

If you are a beginner in shoemaking, I wish you great progress and if you dream of making your shoes but can’t decide…

Stop dreaming and go for it! That's the only way.

If you believe your schedule is incredibly packed and you don't have the time to learn, here's an article that explains the time commitment required to make a pair of shoes at home: "How to make shoes-Time Commitment to make shoes by hand at home"

Now, you can apply this shoemaking techniques right away in your work, so if these shoemaking hacks were super useful for you, please, comment below.

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About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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  1. Hello Sveta,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. You help me to build upon and improve my skills and understanding in making beautiful and comfortable shoes.
    Side note: I enjoy the music you play in your videos. The music make me happy and I dance, dance, dance!

  2. Thank you so so very much for sharing this very important tips, i find them so interesting and helpful, the tips will help me become the best shoemaker in my country. Thank you again.

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