November 16, 2018

What Shoemakers do, to achieve This perfect back seam

If you made your shoes and the back seam of your shoes is too noticeable, if it extends, and it happens to you too often .

You should know that you did something wrong during sewing of the upper.

Shoemaking Back seam

So let’s find out what did you do wrong?

  • You sewed the back seam with the seam allowance more than 2mm and that’s why it extends, the seam is too thick

  • You used thick leather for the upper, leather with the thickness of more than 1,1 mm. (So even if you sewed the back seam with needed seam allowance, the seam is still noticeable)

  • You didn’t flat the edges of the upper after sewing

  • You made the same mistakes (listed above) with the lining

These are the reasons why your back seam extends. It may be one of them or all of them together.

Now let’s learn how to make shoes with a perfect back seam

  1. Sew the back parts of your upper and lining in the distance of 2 mm, not more. 

  2. Correct seam allowance in the back seam is 2mm.

seam allowence

This image originates from my T-Strap Pumps Shoe Course.

There are shoemakers who prefer to sew with bigger allowance, but they cut the extra after sewing.

If it is more comfortable for you  to sew also with bigger seam allowance than 2mm, you should remember that you should add this allowance also in the pattern during pattern making. After sowing don’t forget to cut extra of the seam allowance to have a perfect back seam.

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2. After sewing, flat the seam with a hammer.

Shoemaking flat the seam

You should open the edges of the upper and lining and hit well with the narrow side of your shoemaking hammer. Next, hit well on the seam on the top side of the upper and lining with the big side of the hammer.

 3. Attach the reinforcement tape to the upper back seam

Use wide reinforcement tape with the width of 14-16 mm.

4. If you use thick leather (more than 1.1 mm) skive a little bit the edges of the upper and lining in the inner side of each, before sewing.

If you're unsure about the skiving process or the reasons for skiving certain shoe parts, I recommend reading this shoemaking article: "How to skive shoe leather in shoemaking". For additional insights and details on each shoemaking step, consult this shoemaking directory: "How to make shoes".

it's better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times

To demonstrate you in the best way how to make a perfect back seam, I prepared a short shoemaking tutorial that you can find at the begining of this article! If you're interested in understanding the typical mistakes many shoemaking beginners make, I invite you to read this post: 'HOW TO MAKE SHOES - Common Mistakes in the Shoemaking Process'

Enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe for my email to get my new shoe making tips, techniques and news to your inbox.

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About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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  1. Ooh my God, thanks for this advice, I have been making that same mistake over and over again. My next practice am going to remember all these rules. Thanks
    . Vivian

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