Shoes by Robert

My First Project: Children's Shoes

Awarded a Golden Escarbuncle for the queen's inspiration!

Making a pattern for use in cutting leather can be accomplished in various ways. No one knows how medieval shoe makers created their patterns, but it seems likely they used parts of their bodies, such as finger lengths or hand spans, to take measurements and translated these to shapes on leather.

One way to make a pattern today is to enlarge an archaeological drawing via computer scan or photocopier. However, this may not result in a good fit because leather can become distorted after centuries in the ground, or because the shoe itself may have been discarded because it was poor-fitting, and is therefore not a good basis for making new footwear.

Regardless, I decided to use the scaling method for this pair of shoes. The actual shoes did not turn out too bad, and they fit their intended child. However, I should not have included the vamp slit as part of the pattern. I should have cut it afterwards as a slit. Because I did not understand the potential issue, the vamp slit became a wedge that I cut out, and it's way too big.

I entered this pair of shoes into my first arts & sciences event, the Æthelmearc Arts & Sciences Faire and Queen's Prize Tourney in the Shire of Nithgaard on May 6, 2017, AS 52. With utmost surprise at court, I learned that Queen Gabrielle found these shoes to be inspiring and she awarded me a Golden Escarbuncle for them.

See the submitted documentation for this project for further details on this project.

As for making patterns, I have since decided on a different method: using duct tape to model the foot.

Last updated April 16, 2018.