Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Last at Last!

First thing this morning (OK, 10 AM) I couldn't wait to see if my first last had lasted!
Its a foot! And an Ankle! Its kind of bumpy, but I don't blame it.
Its also really heavy. I hope that doesn't make it hard to work with. JD asked my why I didn't put a pole down the middle for a handle, kind of like a foot-sicle. I didn't even think of it.

This whole duct tape thing really is doing things the hard way, but taking the form of another shoe wasn't something that I wanted to do, neither was taking an impression directly from my foot (how do you get you foot back).

Now I have to figure out the left foot... The reasons that I haven't just forged ahead are: 1. Some of the tape has gotten loose (perhaps I used to much oil on the inside), 2. Yeah, I kind of ruined my plaster mixing bowl. When I had poured all of the plaster into the form last time, I couldn't put it down or it would collapse with the weight of the plaster. So, by the time the plaster in the form was hard the plaster in the bowl was hard too.

Hey, even though my lasts aren't boot length I may still be able to pull off boots because I took the duct tape and I'm going to use them for a pattern.

Now I have 2 patterns, the ones that I took from the dis-assembled shoes with 1 3/4" heels, and the one from the duct tape.

So pattern makers, how would the pattern for a shoe upper change with the heel height?

Hmmm, stay tuned. I'm going to compare the two and explore the mechanics of shoe pattern making.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. When I made my dressform, I used plaster of paris impregnated bandages to wrap myself in. They are wrapped around and then when they are getting dry and starting to harden, you cut the person out (up the back in this case). Place the cast to dry. When its dry, you sew up the back and then put some extra bandage over that part so that it doesn't leak when you fill it.
    Once its got no gaps, you smear the inside with surgical soap. Then, the cast is filled with two part expanding foam (it comes in separate bottles and the contents react with each other. You mix them together and stir until it starts to warm and thicken then pour really quickly into the mould and it will start fizzing up and expand into the mould you made). When its dry, you cut off the outer cast and file off or sand off any bits of plaster that have got stuck to it, and voila you have a dress (or foot) form. The expanding foam is reasonably lightweight and it is sandable so you can get your last to be smooth.
    Just an idea for the left foot last.
    Looks like you are getting on really well with the last so far though and I am looking forward to seeing how the shoes come out.

  3. Very interesting! I am amazed by this process so far.


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