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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking


This is something essential, you need to learn for a ‘simple’ pump. Simple things are the most difficult sometimes, but if you are aware of some easy rules, you don’t need to be afraid – this is a piece of cake. I remember when I was 15, working on my first pegged construction, my master worked on a heel like this. In those times we did not only study shoemaking, but ‘steal the craft’ as they said – learn as much as we could, watching the older ones, even if they did not explained. Luckily he was OK to share this with me, so beside enjoying the first pegged welt attachment, I had an eye on a heel. This is the way I was taught and I do. You might find it pretty handy.

This is what we are looking for. Do you realize the front perfectly matching? This is what we need there. If there is gap – do it again.


First of all, let’s make a pattern! It is easy – you just roll the heel on a paper and draw the edges. (you can even do it on leather by the way).

DSC_1649 DSC_1648 DSC_1647 DSC_1651

Now add allowances. A bit more on the edges.

Check how much you need on the heel breast (means: front of the heel).

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Mirror the pattern and check. If it is bigger – good. This is the way, we, shoemakers work.


Click it! Don’t worry about the elasticity of the leather – this case it is just perfect.DSC_1657

Let’s check the thickness – 1,1 mm. Way too thick for this job, so we need to make it thinner.


0,6 mm – perfect. Make sure you prepare the surface well! A bit of sanding, apply the glue, ready to use. (I used an industrial leather splitter here)


Next step – attach on the center line, apply a little stretch. I mean a very little.


So far so good – we have enough extra to cover the edges and the heel breast. Cover from one side…


then the other.


I know.. I felt the same way. Weird look! How it is going to be that nice ever? Well this is the trick. You make one, straight, nice cut though two layers at once. Now remove the top…


Then lift it up and remove the bottom layer.DSC_1676

The trick is done. You put back the layers (you might need to attach some glue at this point) and you get this:


And for the end of this post…

1. if you want to learn more – you are very welcome in my courses. You always learn more personally.

2. Please do not ask where did I got this and that. Not only makes me feel I kept an infomercial here, selling shoemaking stuff, but you are not going to be happy with the answer (I ordered many hundred pairs at once). Let’s just focus on the knowledge, you get here, right?

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