It’s Shoemaking Time! Yes, I’m learning to make my own shoes.

I’ve been interested in learning how to make my own shoes for a while now. Thankfully, I found a wonderful online instructor, Sveta Kletina, who has the most extensive collection of videos on all-things-shoemaking! (

Making custom shoes has a lot of similarities to custom clothing projects; working on a form (a shoe last instead of a dress form — see the pic below), creating an initial block pattern and correcting the pattern, then designing a specific style from the block pattern, and cutting and sewing the fabric (typically leather in the case of shoes), and then lasting the shoe (that’s where you bring the “uppers” (the parts of the shoe we are all used to seeing) together with the insole and outsole and heels.

Shoe lasts with altered dimensions for a better fit.

Shoe lasts with altered dimensions for a better fit.

Here’s my initial work on my first block pattern. It starts by taping off the last with masking tape, then transferring that taped “pattern” to cardboard, then making a mock-up on soft paper (like printer paper) and trying it out on the last to see how it fits.

Shoe pattern from masking tape

This is the OUTER half of the shoe’s masking tape pattern, being set on to the cardboard.


Paper pattern on last

Paper mock-up to check the fit on the last.


That’s where I’m at so far. . . more to come!


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