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


    Past Shoemaking Workshops

      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, July 21 2018 - Sunday, July 22 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, July 14 2018. (Space is limited)



      Cement Construction

      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.

      lasted

      There are many different types of shoe construction, the most common of which is using adhesives to bond the upper to the sole (and sometimes also to the insole. Known in the trade as “cement construction,” this course teaches how to make shoes by bonding the upper to the insole and the whole works to the sole. You will learn how to form a shoe upper around a last (lasting), how to make and last the supporting components like heel counters and toe puffs, how to attach it all to the insole, and finally attach unit soles with integrated heel. Most shoes in production today are made this way.

      If you took the classes on upper making and pattern design, you can use that to make your shoes, otherwise an upper will be provided.

      Date(s): Friday, September 28 2018 - Sunday, September 30 2018
      Time: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
      Location: ExIT Shoes (inside Union Station, Portland, OR)
      Price: $850.00

      Please register to attend by Friday, September 14 2018. (Space is limited)



      Welted Construction

      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.

      hand-sewing

      Welted shoe construction is one of the most common methods of hand sewn shoe construction. You will learn how to prepare a leather insole, form a shoe upper around a last (lasting), make and last the supporting components like heel counters and toe puffs, how to sew it all to the insole, attach soles and build heels. Note that this is not Goodyear welted construction. The Goodyear welt is intended for machine stitching. For more information, check out the Goodyear welt page on Wikipedia. (It could use some love, but the basics are there.) The method I teach uses a leather-only welt (pictured above). This is the classic construction method that most people think of when they think of handmade shoes.

      If you took the classes on upper making and pattern design, you can use that to make your shoes, otherwise an upper will be provided.

      Date(s): Thursday, October 25 2018 - Sunday, October 28 2018
      Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
      Location: ExIT Shoes (inside Union Station, Portland, OR)
      Price: $1,250.00

      Please register to attend by Friday, October 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, November 3 2018
      Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Location: ExIT Shoes (inside Union Station, Portland, OR)
      Price: $275.00

      Please register to attend by Saturday, November 3 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, December 1 2018
      Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
      Location: ExIT Shoes (inside Union Station, Portland, OR)
      Price: $275.00

      Please register to attend by Friday, November 30 2018. (Space is limited)



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