August 1, 2014

How to use pattern making as your creative source in shoemaking

This week we continue to talk about making a collection or your creative approach to making your own shoes.
As the design is a most common way to approach a collection, in this post we will talk about making your collection through the pattern. 

Pattern making isn’t mechanical work or at least it doesn’t have to be. Pattern making is a creative process which can help you to create your collection or a single pair, differently. 

I showed this approach in my Footwear Design Course in the much broad way of creative methods and now I will demonstrate it in most simple way possible.    

How to create shoe models combinations

First, let’s take an idea or a theme for our shoes. For example, Men’s wear as an inspiration for my women shoes.  We are talking about collars, suit components etc.
Now, knowing what I want to do I will show you how I can use a simple pump shoe model and change it to my needs.

Step 1

You will make a basic pump shoe pattern and make sure it is correct.

Pumps model

Step 2.

Although you are working with a pump shoe model, you can change this model using your knowledge of creating other models and to integrate it into pump shoe pattern. For example, I will take derby shoe model and it’s elements and I will integrate it into pump shoes considering my theme/ idea.


You see what I got here, it’s not the pump shoes or neither a derby shoes, it’s a combination of both:

– Here I used the highest critical point of pump shoes to create element A.

– Element B, it’s the most basic element of Derby shoes.

Step 3

To make a collection you will probably want to make a wide range of design variations, so let’s look at the boot.
You can create a boot element ( that will give your shoes the look of a boot) on pumps pattern, using the main characteristics of boot model.



Here we got a pump-boot:

– An element is a part of boot pattern construction

– B element is a pump shoe pattern.

I can go on with those examples, combining pump shoes with sandals, moccasins, oxfords and so on, but the important thing here is to understand your creative possibilities to make a collection or a shoe using pattern making as a creative source

Do you know what you want to make and how will you do it? 



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About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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