Pattern Making Tutorial – Wingtip Derby

Somewhere a wingtip derby take a special place in our heart, reserved for those day, when we need a little attention to our footwear. this will get that for sure. Recently I met a famous fashion designer – we have regularly some of those at the college I work for – and I have seen a Budapest shoe in his foot. Somehow it looked familiar. Shoes are just shoes for an untrained eye, but you cal tell if you had a closer contact with one. So I asked him, how does he likes his Budapest shoes? He was shocked that I know the name. Then I asked him: did you buy them from this and this company around 20 years ago? Yes, he said and seemed even more surprised. Then I described him how the sole looks like without taking a look and the little decoration which were at the side. Well, I was cheating – I was in that little Hungarian workshop many years ago an an apprentice, so that very shoe could have been my work (very unlikely though, but I made many of those). Triangular brass nails decorations – 4 on the lateral, 3 in the medial side, wide sole painting, little burnishing marks on the heel edge – typical from the Austro-Hungarian school, etc. By the way the shoe was in a amazing condition.

I believe he got the special attention he took that shoe for in the morning.

But let’s get down to the business after the nostalgic shoe memories. I will show you a wingtip, derby design, or if it is made on a special gunboat last – Budapest. This one will be on my 224 last, but still with goiser construction.



First step – we draw the design on the last. As this tutorial NOT for beginners (please start with some more simple models), I am not going to the details, how to find those lines. Let’s just say -a few millimeter difference will make a big impact on the design.


Now remove the last copy and place it on paper – this is a crucial moment. If you don’t pay attention to keep the right lines of forces, you will end up a pattern which will hardly or not fit.


This is my method to preserve the back curve exactly as it was on the last – for sure it will mess up the feather edge, but as we have a lot of extra there, why would that make us worry? The most important part is the back curve – even if the leather a forgiving material, we still want to make that back seam pretty exact. If you make those cuts on the bottom, you will have an exact feather edge and a messed up back curve. Not my favourite combination…


At the toe we make those little slits on the bottom, just for comfort reasons. As we copy a 3D surface, we have a shape which will not going to lay down flat without a bit of struggle – those little cuts make our life easier.


And the lacing – same, longer cuts. They help you to preserve the centerline.


Both copies are done, let’s cut them out!


What difference you see between them? There is a lot.. Usually all the lines on the vamp are higher on the medial side – this is why we draw them on the last. The Geometric method will let you guess it, the tape method – in my opinion – gives a very accurate result.



A good coffee. An inseparable friend in work. It came straight from Rio from my crazy student, Ana. (Thanks Ana!)


Copy the lines – I usually start with the lateral side.


And then extend the line, smoothen them.

To be continued..


8 thoughts on “Pattern Making Tutorial – Wingtip Derby

  1. i love ur good works hoe i wish this can also be done in my country to in nigeria i personaly will appreciate it

  2. Hello, I woul like to try to handmake my self a pair of shoes like this but I’m having a hard time finding where to buy the shoe last can you please provide me where to buy the shoe last my email thank you

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