Shoemaking Workshops

April 7th, 2018 Jeff Mandel

Learn to make shoes and all of their pieces. Shoemaking workshops include learning about lasts and sizing, shoe design and pattern making, cutting and sewing shoe uppers (known as clicking and closing), cement construction and classic hand sewn welted shoe construction.

The group classes are offered over several month’s time, which should allow you to make a pair of shoes that fits you and/or to learn the basic techniques regardless of the specific fit. The order is as follows:
Lasts and Sizing
Shoe Design and Pattern Making
Upper Making
Cement Construction
Welted Construction

See the workshop listings below for currently scheduled or past workshops for more details on each topic including duration and price.

In addition to group classes, I also offer private instruction. Private, start-to-finish shoemaking classes take 7 – 10 days, depending on construction type and cost $3,000.

Please contact me if you have questions.


Shoemaking Workshops

Upcoming Shoemaking Workshops

    Lasts and Sizing

    To make shoes, you need a last. Getting the right last can be tricky. You can find lasts in second hand stores, eBay and from last manufacturers. Even once you have one, how do you know if it will fit or for what purpose it was originally made? What changes can you make to lasts and how?

    This workshop is an introduction to lasts and sizing. This will help you understand relationships between the last and fit, function and style. Learn about different last materials, cut types, suppliers and how to order. You will learn some standard measuring techniques and apply those to your own feet. I will provide an overview of basic last fitting and modification techniques. When you are done, you should be able to understand what it means to get a last “in your size.” Some lasts will be available for purchase and you are welcome to participate in a bulk order when class is done.

    Date(s): Sunday, January 13 2019
    Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Location: ExIT Shoes (inside Union Station, Portland, OR)
    Price: $275.00

    Please register to attend by Monday, January 7 2019. (Space is limited)



    Shoe Design and Pattern Making

    This profile and pattern making workshop is part of a series of shoemaking workshops. Take all the workshops and learn how to make shoes from start to finish, or just the one(s) that interest you.

    taped last smallunlined-casual-pattern

    This course is an introduction to shoe design and pattern making. You will learn the basics of drawing footwear designs and how to turn those designs into patterns. We’ll cover the names of shoe parts, elements of design and techniques for creating designs based on lasts. Patterns for the upper are based on the last itself. You will learn how to make profiles from lasts and create pattern templates from the profiles. We will draw and cut the patterns from paper. Cutting and sewing leather (known in the trade as clicking and closing) is covered in the Clicking and Closing workshop.

    The techniques covered here are not only suitable for making your own shoes, they are in principle the standard methods used everywhere – from small shops like mine to large production factories. Please bring your own last if you have one, otherwise one will be provided.

    Date(s): Sunday, February 10 2019
    Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Location: ExIT Shoes (inside Union Station, Portland, OR)
    Price: $275.00

    Please register to attend by Monday, February 4 2019. (Space is limited)




Past Shoemaking Workshops

    Lasts and Sizing

    To make shoes, you need a last. Getting the right last can be tricky. You can find lasts in second hand stores, eBay and from last manufacturers. Even once you have one, how do you know if it will fit or for what purpose it was originally made? What changes can you make to lasts and how?

    This workshop is an introduction to lasts and sizing. This will help you understand relationships between the last and fit, function and style. Learn about different last materials, cut types, suppliers and how to order. You will learn some standard measuring techniques and apply those to your own feet. I will provide an overview of basic last fitting and modification techniques. When you are done, you should be able to understand what it means to get a last “in your size.” Some lasts will be available for purchase and you are welcome to participate in a bulk order when class is done.

    Date(s): Saturday, April 21 2018
    Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Location: ExIT Shoes (inside Union Station, Portland, OR)
    Price: $275.00

    Please register to attend by Saturday, April 14 2018. (Space is limited)



    Shoe Design and Pattern Making

    This profile and pattern making workshop is part of a series of shoemaking workshops. Take all the workshops and learn how to make shoes from start to finish, or just the one(s) that interest you.

    taped last smallunlined-casual-pattern

    This course is an introduction to shoe design and pattern making. You will learn the basics of drawing footwear designs and how to turn those designs into patterns. We’ll cover the names of shoe parts, elements of design and techniques for creating designs based on lasts. Patterns for the upper are based on the last itself. You will learn how to make profiles from lasts and create pattern templates from the profiles. We will draw and cut the patterns from paper. Cutting and sewing leather (known in the trade as clicking and closing) is covered in the Clicking and Closing workshop.

    The techniques covered here are not only suitable for making your own shoes, they are in principle the standard methods used everywhere – from small shops like mine to large production factories. Please bring your own last if you have one, otherwise one will be provided.

    Date(s): Sunday, April 29 2018
    Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Location: ExIT Shoes (inside Union Station, Portland, OR)
    Price: $275.00

    Please register to attend by Saturday, April 28 2018. (Space is limited)



    Clicking and Closing

    This is part of a series of shoemaking workshops. Take all the workshops and learn how to make shoes from start to finish, or just the one(s) that interest you.

    pattern-markingcutting-smallPostbed Sewing-small

    An essential part of making shoes is making the upper. Learn to cut and sew shoe uppers. Building on the skills learned in the Shoe Design and Pattern Making workshop, we transfer those patterns to leather and assemble the uppers. You will learn how cut and sew leather, finish edges, manage seams and determine order of assembly for a fully lined shoe upper. Traditionally the cutting and sewing (clicking and closing) were performed by different people, here we do it all!

    Date(s): Saturday, May 19 2018 - Sunday, May 20 2018
    Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Location: ExIT Shoes (inside Union Station, Portland, OR)
    Price: $325.00

    Please register to attend by Saturday, May 12 2018. (Space is limited)



    Lasts and Sizing

    To make shoes, you need a last. Getting the right last can be tricky. You can find lasts in second hand stores, eBay and from last manufacturers. Even once you have one, how do you know if it will fit or for what purpose it was originally made? What changes can you make to lasts and how?

    This workshop is an introduction to lasts and sizing. This will help you understand relationships between the last and fit, function and style. Learn about different last materials, cut types, suppliers and how to order. You will learn some standard measuring techniques and apply those to your own feet. I will provide an overview of basic last fitting and modification techniques. When you are done, you should be able to understand what it means to get a last “in your size.” Some lasts will be available for purchase and you are welcome to participate in a bulk order when class is done.

    Date(s): Saturday, June 9 2018
    Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Location: ExIT Shoes (inside Union Station, Portland, OR)
    Price: $275.00

    Please register to attend by Thursday, June 7 2018. (Space is limited)



    Shoe Design and Pattern Making

    This profile and pattern making workshop is part of a series of shoemaking workshops. Take all the workshops and learn how to make shoes from start to finish, or just the one(s) that interest you.

    taped last smallunlined-casual-pattern

    This course is an introduction to shoe design and pattern making. You will learn the basics of drawing footwear designs and how to turn those designs into patterns. We’ll cover the names of shoe parts, elements of design and techniques for creating designs based on lasts. Patterns for the upper are based on the last itself. You will learn how to make profiles from lasts and create pattern templates from the profiles. We will draw and cut the patterns from paper. Cutting and sewing leather (known in the trade as clicking and closing) is covered in the Clicking and Closing workshop.

    The techniques covered here are not only suitable for making your own shoes, they are in principle the standard methods used everywhere – from small shops like mine to large production factories. Please bring your own last if you have one, otherwise one will be provided.

    Date(s): Saturday, July 14 2018
    Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Location: ExIT Shoes (inside Union Station, Portland, OR)
    Price: $275.00

    Please register to attend by Saturday, July 7 2018. (Space is limited)



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