Good morning! After the overwhelming response to my 1940’s Peep-Toes, and my question if you would like to know how I made them, I finally am getting around to posting about the process. Now, you will have to bear with me here, because a lot of this process took place over a month ago, and I am having to rack my brain for the details and thought processes that took place then. Shall we dive in? Let’s begin with the soles.
To begin with, here is the pattern that I used. I made a size 7, and just added about a 1/4 of an inch to both the toe and the heel, since I am closer to a 7-1/2. If I make these again, I would narrow the widest part of the shoe near the toe about 1/4 of an inch on each side, just to make them fit better. I didn’t want to do that alteration on my first pair because 1) I didn’t know I needed to. 🙂 and 2) I wasn’t sure, since it was a forties pattern, and usually forties shoes are very narrow, if I should make them any narrower. I also used cork instead of the felt that was called for in the pattern. In retrospective it would have been cushier to use felt, but it would have been a LOT warmer. Yikes! Not a good idea for summer shoes.
So, first off I traced all of the sole and heel pattern pieces onto a roll of cork (you can get some similar stuff here) with a permanent marker. You can use whatever marker you want as long as it doesn’t fade out too fast. There were notches on the pattern pieces to make it easier to match up, so I traced those off too. I traced each piece twice per shoe since the cork was too thin to do just one layer of each piece. So, for example, I needed two No. 2 heel pieces, one for each shoe (reversing the pattern for the second shoe pieces). I traced off four, then I glued two of the pieces together, and glued the other two together to form two pieces. Does that make sense? I also traced off the main sole piece a total of six times per shoe, so I could have one sole to build the wedge on, one insole, and one outer sole that would eventually be coated in plasti-dip (more on that in a future post).
One tip when you are cutting out cork, don’t slide your scissors around. It will cause the cork to chip and crumble. Instead, make short decisive cuts. I didn’t use this technique faithfully, but it did help when I did.
Here you can see on the left I have four pieces layered: Two No. 2’s on top of what I believe are two No. 1’s. The reason for the R and the L are to help me keep track of which shoe was which. Oh, and another thing, make sure, when you cut out the cork, that the right side (the unmarkered side) curves up around your foot. That curve will be gotten rid of when you glue all the pieces together, but it’s helpful for all the pieces to curve the same way when you glue them together.*
And a visual of what all the shoe pieces look like layered together. I played around quite a bit with the order of the wedge pieces, and you will see the final order I came up with in the “assembly” post.
If you are making yourself a pair of wedges I would recommend two things. Layer, and relayer the wedge pieces within the inner and base sole until you get a comfortable fit. It may feel a bit un-cushioned at first, but the fit does get a bit cushier in the finished product. I am planning on doing a post at the end of this series with a round up of alterations I would make in my next pair, so look out for that in the future. Next post up in this series: Assembling the sole!
P.P.S. Don’t forget to check out our free desktop wallpapers for the month of May!
* I had the shoe pieces labelled wrong, by the way. Silly me! The left foot should have been labelled right, but I fixed it when I assembled the pieces.