Pattern making & prototyping.

This workshop aims to create shoe prototypes. It started with an introduction to basic techniques of pattern making, such as basic patterns for derby or oxford. I had the opportunity to define and design a pattern with my own interpretation. There is the opportunity to discuss further development of individual styles and prototypes depending on complexity and skill level. Patterns are made by hand but some machines for prototyping were available. After this course I’ll be able to express my ideas by creating my own prototypes.

The workshop was taught by  Eva Klabalova , expert shoemaker and a Professional Footwear Innovation SLEM alumni.

Pattern making process.

Every shoe has its own pattern design that needs to be developed from the last before prototyping. Depending on the shoe construction, you’d be able to choose one or another.

Learning how your pattern has to be when you are designing your own shoe, is an important step in order to design for manufacturing. Avoiding wrinkles on your “tape lasting process” would help you with the pattern.

1. Derby shoe

Is a style of boot or shoe characterized by quarters with shoelace eyelets that are sewn on top of the vamp.
This construction method, also known as “open lacing”, contrasts with that of the oxfords.
Shoe structure is made from the initial steps to the prototype. Scroll down to see the process.

2. Oxford shoe

Characterized by shoelace eyelets tabs that are attached under the vamp, a feature termed “closed lacing”.
This contrasts with Derbys which have shoelace eyelets attached to the top of the vamp.
Originally, Oxfords were plain, formal shoes, made of leather but they evolved into a range of styles suitable for both formal, uniform, and casual wear.
Shoe structure is made from the initial steps to the prototype. Scroll down to see the process.

3. Final result

“Last comes first” is the most important thing I´ ve learnt. Every pattern follows its own structure that comes from the “last taping” process.

4. The place

SLEM is an international innovation and education institute for footwear. The name is an acronym that stands for Shoes, Leather, Education, Museum. They are providing a unique full-time program for Footwear Innovators and a wide range of short courses and workshops for both students and professionals.

Their programs are all based on the synergy of four main pillars: forecasting, design, technology and business. The forecasting and business programs are suitable for other kinds of industries as well, such as leather goods, fashion and industrial design.

SLEM’s headquarters are based in Waalwijk, in the south of the Netherlands, but they also have branches and affiliates in New York, China and Italy.