…Workshop Shoes…

I have always loved making, buying and wearing accessories. Obviously, I have spent a lot of time learning about and making jewellery and decorative adornments but the one item I really wanted to learn about and never got to was…shoes!
Last year, I was thrilled to find out that Lara Collinson of Luli Pulani was offering a basic shoe making workshop at the Lock Stock Market in Woodstock. I signed up straight away! The workshop was a great introduction into the process of making ballet pump style shoes. We got to select, whether we made a round or pointed toe pump, the leather as well as the lining fabric for our shoes. From there we got to cut and glue all the materials and we covered the insoles. The workshop was only a couple of hours long so our prepped materials were then taken to the workshop to be sewn, lasted and soled. It was great to collect the finished shoes a couple of weeks later. I really enjoyed learning the basics but being a maker by nature I felt that I would have liked to have seen the workshop production side of the process.

Here is a photograph of my finished pumps…


I was very excited when I heard that Lara had recently teamed up with Astrid Diliberto of Boheme to offer shoe making workshops at Astrid’s workshop. I was able to attend one at the beginning of August and it was fantastic.
Once again I made a pair of pumps and this time I was able to be a part of/see the production from start to finish.

We started with an introduction…a very sweet poem by Astrid…and a fitting…    



…pattern tracing…



…lots of glueing…


…Firdows the very talented seamstress demonstrating how she sews piping using a post machine…


…Edgar has been making shoes for 18 years…he makes the lasting process look very easy…



…waiting for the glue to set enough for the soling process to be completed…    

And finally my beautiful, finished shoes…


Astrid and Lara have big plans for Workshop Shoes…they will be offering shoe workshops where participants will be able to make different styles of shoes such as brogues (as well as the ballet pump ones) and they also plan to start handbag making workshops.
I look forward to attending more of their workshops as they were informative and generous in sharing their knowledge and the workshop environment that they created was really fun and relaxed.

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