Shoe Making Tutorial #1 A Tape Pattern

There is a weekly arts & sciences (A&S) night at the place I am staying. I routinely send out announcements on facebook as a reminder, in one of my recent posts I mentioned that I was making my viking boots but people could bring whatever they wanted to work on. At the proceeding A&S night, 2 of the regulars mentioned they wanted to make boots and I am not going to lie I was thrilled! I let them browse some of my books,they hit the internet looking at different possible styles, and I told them next week to bring tape (duck, packing, or masking) and an old sock that could be destroyed.

Sabine taping up a foot. If you are going to be making a pair that goes higher then the sock, just use a piece of saran wrap as a base to tape onto Once the foot is completely taped up, you can start making the pattern pieces. Start with the sole of the foot.
 Taping up a foot. If you are going to be making a pair that goes higher then the sock, just use a piece of saran wrap as a base to tape onto  Once the foot is completely taped up, you can start making the pattern pieces. Start with the sole of the foot.
Mark where you want each of the seams to go. You will also want to make additional comments such as where the big toe is, which side has buckles, ext.
Mark where you want each of the seams to go.   You will also want to make additional comments such as where the big toe is, which side has buckles, ext.
 Once all the seams and markings are on you will want to carefully cut the person out of the sock. DON'T do this ( using a pocket knife to cut)  Once the pieces are off, you will want to lie them flat. Occasionally the sock will stretch. Simply cut the sock ( NOT the tape) where it is stretchy, the tape will hold the proper shape. If you used enough layers of tape it will be stiff enough to remove the sock entirely.
 Once all the seams and markings are on you will want to carefully cut the person out of the sock. DON’T do this ( using a pocket knife to cut) Once the pieces are off, you will want to lie them flat. Occasionally the sock will stretch. Simply cut the sock ( NOT the tape) where it is stretchy, the tape will hold the proper shape. If you used enough layers of tape it will be stiff enough to remove the sock entirely.
 IMG_20130910_202456
 Once the pieces lie flat, you then trace them onto a piece of paper and add your seam allowance.

Here is a copy of the handout I use when I officially teach this class

Early period Germanic Shoes- Part 1

So I am assuming the sinew thread on my all purpose leather shoes for SCA wear are tasty… so tasty in fact that my rabbit Fizzgig the Destroyer decided that he needed to nibble on them.  He did not damage them enough that they aren’t wearable or fixable, but it did get me thinking that maybe its time to have a backup.

As my current shoes are generic Middle Ages, and just under half my outfits are 10th century Norse, I figured I really should have a pair of shoes for Viking ( yes, viking as in the verb). This also works out well as I have been updating my Viking wear for Harvest Days where they are doing a Viking Demo (Note, the event is in just under 2 weeks)

10th century shoe. Page 150 from Stepping through time.

After polling friends whether I should do a pair of shoes or boots, it was unanimously decided that I needed boots. This works well as I could use a pair of boots for the slightly wetter events.

I chose a style found in Germany between the 9th-10th centuries as the type of boot I was wanting.

I started out by using the Tape Pattern Method . Unfortunately I wanted the boots to be taller than the socks, so I needed to find some way to wrap the duct tape and not tape my skin. Enter in saran wrap! Worked like a charm, and I am going to start using it in addition to just taping socks.

Here you can see my finished pattern after I traced out the cutting lines with sharpie. You can also see the finished pattern with the SA added to it.

I had a nice heavier green leather that I wanted to use, but when I pulled it out, I did not have as much left as I remembered. I really wanted dark green boots, so I figured I would piece the leather. ( You can see the whole piecing process by clicking on the picture which will take you the construction journal)