It’s that time of year again when I get out my leather stuff and start making sandals (while still wrapped in wool). These are my son’s new sandals. In this post I share my process of making a sandal pattern using lasts.
As always I made the sandals from veg tanned leather which I decorated with a shape punch.
It’s not necessary to use lasts for simple sandal shapes or ones with just straps and I’ve made lots of pairs of sandals using only my feet for pattern making.
But if you want to try something new and are willing to invest in lasts it can multiply your possibilities to create all sorts of uppers.
Making a sandal pattern using lasts
All you need at this stage is your lasts and masking tape.
The first step is to tape the last to create a removable mould of it. Start by sticking a strip of masking tape up the centre front and the centre back.
Next start from the toe by sticking a strip of tape straight across at right angles to the center line. Continue adding strips overlapping halfway until you reach the top of the centre.
Starting from the cone, add strips vertically down the outside of the last and work it around to the inside until all the last is covered with this second layer.
Now is the time to draw your design onto the tape mask. Use a pencil so you can play around, I used a marker just to make the lines more visible on the photo.
As my straps meet under the sole I taped the lasts inclusive underside, and cut it open just through the middle. Carefully peel the mould off the last.
This is what the flattened mould looks like.
Finally cut out the pattern and transfer it to a thin piece of cardboard.
I find my shoe lasts on eBay, all of them second-hand and often vintage wooden ones. Shoe lasts are only produced for factories, I guess there just aren’t enough people who make their own footwear to make it worthwhile for producers to sell them one by one.
For more details on how to make the most wonderful sandals ever, check out my sandalmaking eBook, you won’t need lasts to make the sandals in this book!