Shoe Pattern: Basic pattern is important!



 In this shoemaking post, I will explain to you why the shoe basic pattern is important in shoemaking, what is basic shoe pattern and what types of basic pattern exist in shoemaking.  I dedicate a lot of time to the explanation about the basic pattern in each of my shoe making course

 Now, let’s start from the beginning, from the shoe pattern. 

Shoe Pattern

You have one shoe last and, of course, you want to make different shoe models using the same last.

How do you usually work?

What you do is, you attach the masking tape and design your shoes on it, then you check it if you made your masking tape shoe pattern correct. When you want to make a new shoe model on this last (as it should be), you do it all over again and then check your masking tape shoe pattern.

So, each time when you are making a new shoe pattern, you waste valuable time to check your masking tape pattern until you get it right. 

Make your basic shoe pattern to work smart


Now I want to ask you, why you should spend your time and effort on the same shoemaking process if you can work smart instead?

You can and should work faster and easier with the help of Basic Shoe Pattern. We already had this conversation about the basic pattern before in this post,( “How to speed up your shoe making process using basic shoe pattern”)  but I must make it clear even more.

I can see it in the example of Evgeni ( Beginner Shoemaker Challenge ) you still underestimate the importance of the basic shoe pattern in your shoe making work. This actually one of the advantages of this shoemaker challenge (and I am so happy about it) that I can understand better what kind of information is useful to you and what is still unclear, but you don’t even know it.


I will answer his (Evgeni) and your question “Why we need to make so many basic patterns?: The basic shoe pattern of your last and then the basic pattern of your specific shoe design, like oxford shoes and many other shoe models”.


Basic pattern


 The best way to explain is to show it. That’s why I prepared for you this shoe making tutorial.



Now, let’s talk about main mistakes that are the cause of your wrong shoe patterns, whatever your shoe design is.

In most cases, it happens when you are attaching your masking tape pattern to the cardboard.
Yes, simple as this and you do it wrong! Now, what you need to look for?!

  1. You need to attach a masking tape pattern at the right angle.
  2. You need to spread all wrinkles and folds of masking tape pattern correctly. You need to do it, do not change the correct dimension of your last.  Those wrinkles and folds of masking tape always created as a result of transferring masking tape pattern from 3D shape (your shoe last) to 2D shape (the cardboard).

basic shoe pattern

So when you make your basic shoe pattern for different models of shoes, each time you struggle with the same  problems:

* finding the right angle

* spreading all of the folds correctly


Why should you work this way?


This way you spend so much time on useless tests. This is a just wrong way to work.

That’s why first you should make the basic pattern of your last.

Check it using ordinary paper pattern, to make sure you transferred it in the right angle and spread well all of the folds.

Only then you should make another masking tape pattern with the footwear design that you want to make ( second basic pattern).

Just think about it, you will only need to do it right once.


This way you will attach your new design on the already checked first basic pattern with the right angle and will avoid common mistakes that happen during the transfer ( 2D-3D ). The first basic pattern will serve you as a guide to attach each of your new shoe designs made on the same last correctly from the start.


The first basic pattern is a kind of a template for any of your shoe designs that you will want to make. This is how you will spend less time with pattern making and will avoid many mistakes developing different types of shoes.

I hope I made you think of the process, let me know in the comment if it will change the way you work ( I hope so) on your shoe pattern.

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  • March 21, 2019

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