Shoes by Robert

Skóla Shoes

Related, preceding project: For Viking Age Royalty.

For the Myrkfaelinn Skóla event's silent auction, I donated a pair of Viking Age shoes to be made for the winning bidder. At the close of the auction, I traced and taped the winner's foot and soon thereafter made a pattern.

Unfortunately, the upper did not fit the sole, again. This was discovered after starting at the heel vent and stitching along both sides of the shoe simultaneously using two sets of needles and thread, until about 75% of the length was attached.

In an effort to salvage the work, I trimmed the sole down quite a bit to meet the upper, and then proceeded to finish stitching the two pieces together. I then did the same thing with the other shoe. That was not a good idea. After turning them, it was quite evident that they looked bad and were unlikely to fit.

It became clear that a re-do was in order so I used a seam cutter to disassemble the shoe, then made a new sole, cut to the original traced dimensions of the foot, but with no seam allowance. That sole fit the upper well. The lesson, then, for this Viking Age design must be that the sole should be cut with no seam allowance (it's already incorporated via the tracing, with the vertical pencil).

For this pair of shoes, a top band was added before the upper's sides were stitched. This seemed to improve the speed of attachment, and was easier to work flat rather than in 3D space on the otherwise completed shoe as was done for the royalty pair.

These shoes were displayed at the Æthelmearc Arts & Sciences Championships, Oct. 28, 2017. See the submitted documentation for further details on this project.

One upper with topband clamped in place, one with topband on it, soles cut, canvas pattern, light cardboard pattern sole pattern.
Stitching the topband in progress using synthetic thread, #004 metal harness needle, and pliers.
Both uppers with topbands stitched. Working with them flat does seem to be faster than applying them after the uppers have been attached to the soles and turned.
When it was clear that simply trimming the front of the soles to fit the uppers didn't work, they had to be removed. The soles will be re-purposed in children's shoes.
A new sole, stitched and ready to be turned.
Pair #9 for a Viking Age lady, 10th-century.

Last updated April 16, 2018.