Pattern making

Share secrets, compare techniques, discuss the merits of materials--eg. veg vs. chrome--and above all, seek knowledge.
Message
Author
User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1251 Post by dw » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:26 am

Following along in Frank Jones' PatternMaking:Step by Step, he offers two methods to create a mean forme from a medial and lateral forme. The first is the "V" point pivot method. The second is the heel seat/toe alignment method.

The author suggests that the former method most accurately reflects the differences between the two sides of the last.

That said, I have done both techniques for most of the shoes I have made...just as a cross check, you understand...and for the most part the two methods result in mean formes that are really close (usually less than a millimeter) especially around the instep and heel.

And I have made shoes starting with mean formes from each method. But because they are so similar...on my lasts...I'm always dithering about which one to use.

However, some minor discrepancy between the two methods, esp. in the forepart area, does occur. Consequently, I have taken to making a mean forme from both mean formes.

I wonder if anyone sees any problem with this approach? Maybe I have a mental block or just am not schooled enough but I cannot perceive a reason why this doesn't make sense.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

[center]Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.[/center]

lancepryor
7
7
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:42 am
Full Name: lance pryor
Been Liked: 2 times

Re: Pattern making

#1252 Post by lancepryor » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:53 am

DW:

I don't see why the 'average of the average' would be a bad thing; the flattening of the forme necessarily introduces distortion, so averaging the results of the two methods may help to get a better result.

As I noodle on the whole question, it is an interesting issue to consider. One thing we know: the inside and outside formes were exactly the same along the front center line and the back center line when they were on the last, since we cut them apart. Therefore, any difference between the two is, by definition, introduced in the process of flattening the formes. Likewise, we know that the formes meet at the CP and the seat, when they are on the last. So, there is a very good argument for each approach: the pivot around the VP is based on the rationale that the two sides were the same down the front line while on the last. so the formes should be similar in that area when flattened and, for purposes of a mean forme, we want to average the two formes when flattened. However, we need the cp and seat to meet on the finished insides and outsides, so pivoting the back of the last makes some sense. And, as the book notes, the inside forme often loses some length in the flattening process, and pivoting typically will add some length back to the inside, particularly along the feather line.

OTOH, we know the two formes did meet at the CP and seat, so starting the mean forme process with the inside and outsides aligned there makes some sense as well, while introducing no distortion in the back part of the pattern, since pivoting does change the length, whereas this approach avoids that complication. On the other hand, the front center line shows greater differences between inside and outside formes, which seems sub-optimal, given that we know they should be identical.

So, each approach has benefits and drawbacks; perhaps the combination of the two means the effect of each drawback is reduced (though not eliminated).

(Here's an interesting question -- if you pivot the inside forme around a point midway between the VP and the feather line, how does the resulting mean forme compare to the 'average of the average' mean forme?)



However, I do have a question, which is why do a mean forme at all? Clearly, the inside and outside of the last are a different shape, have different measurements, etc. At least in my case, the inside measurements of toe to seat and toe to counter point are different from the outside measurements of same. So, using a mean forme will shift the center back line away from the true center back. I can understand in a factory setting that a mean forme allows the same die or pattern to be used for inside and outside pieces, but if one is doing bespoke, why not just keep inside and outside formes separate? (It may also be that in a factory last, the toe to seat and toe to CP distances are designed to be the same for inside and outside of the last, so a mean forme insures the center back line is in fact centered correctly.) Perhaps the averaging caused by the mean forme helps minimize some problems introduced in flattening the individual formes (particularly down the front center of the shoe?), but I'm not entirely sure this is the case? Any thoughts about this?

FWIW, Terry Moore does keeps inside and outside formes separate, IIRC.

I guess one could test out various approaches; two pairs of factory lasts (hence 4 identically shaped lasts) would allow one to test out the pro's and con's of the various ways of doing this and seeing how the resultant uppers lay on the last and look when lasted.

I hope Frank Jones will weigh in; I would think he has given as much, if not more, thought to topics such as this than most or all of us.

Thanks,
Lance

User avatar
dearbone
8
8
Posts: 1032
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:23 pm
Full Name: Nasser Vies
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Re: Pattern making

#1253 Post by dearbone » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:32 am

DW,

At one time leather (basil) was used to obtain inside and outside formes and that was not fully satisfactory, so they changed to heel and toe system which is also known as "Soule's system",now we shoe makers use tape to obtain formes,so just like there are five ways of attaching bristles to thread,the best one usually chosen to practice on for mastery sake,keep in mind that none of the forme taking techniques is scientific, pattern cutting is an art,It was suggested that if the two formes are close, the outside one is to be used,I personally found out that the inside forme works better on women shoes and i do not see a problem learning all the techniques given to perform a task,but the best one is usually picked to perfect.

Regards
Nasser

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1254 Post by dw » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:38 am

Lance,

Thanks for responding...I was hoping you would since I suspect you make a yearly (?) pilgrimage to England and Terry's workshop.

I follow you...mostly...I think.

I make a mean forme because, basically, I have no formal training. Just what I have picked up from Frank's book(s) as well as Golding and Patrick and bits and pieces from other writers.

I also make the mean forme to layout the standard...undoubtedly another aspect of my ignorance since I recognize that many top-shelf shoemakers design right on the last.

But beyond that I have never been confidant that the distortion introduced to a medial or lateral forme, esp. if it is made with paper or tape, isn't going to be incorporated into patterns I cut from the separate formes.

For instance, I have tried designing Adelaides on the last and cutting out the patterns for the inset facings. While the pattern looked good on the last, once cut, the facing pieces were so dissimilar that I backed off. I lost faith in the process because I reasoned that such small pieces, centered on the cone of the last, should be nearly symmetrical if not identical.

Then too, it seems to me that many styles of shoe...such as whole cuts oxfords and balmorals and chukkas and johdpurs and whole cut chelseas...don't really benefit much from right and left vamps. Of course, almost all of the above I block, but most makers probably don't. With a straight centerline running down the vamp, nothing is added or changed by using right and left formes to create the vamp pattern except perhaps along the feather edge. And a little extra added along that edge...which will be lasted out and trimmed, anyway...easily compensates.

I don't claim that I get things perfect every time or that designing off a mean forme is ideal, but I've seen many bespoke shoes, from well regarded makers, where the facing tabs were askew or the toe caps didn't run straight across the forepart. Again, I suspect the very process of making a forme esp. with paper, creates distortion that is not only hard to identify/pinpoint but harder still to eliminate.

And yes, I have seen the center back line shift off "true north" so to speak. More times than I'd like. But you hit the nail on the head--if factories can center the backs without making right and left patterns...or do they?

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

[center]Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.[/center]

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1255 Post by dw » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:56 am

Nasser,

Thanks to you for your remarks. Again you were one of the people I was hoping to hear from.

I have worked with both the paper method as well as the tape method of making formes. I actually think that the tape method introduces more distortion than the paper method. We don't see it as readily because it comes from all the tiny little wrinkles that get built in as the tape is being wrapped and which cannot be removed when the forme is flattened. I strongly suspect that even more distortion is introduced as you try to flatten a tape shell that doesn't want to be flattened.

I use heavy duty canvas to make my formes. This is admittedly a variation of the old basil based method...but without the stretch. I have compared the resulting formes from all three methods and felt that there was considerably less distortion(edit) using the canvas. And, I suspect partially I just have more confidence in it.

Of course the real problem (for me)...maybe the critical one given Lance's remarks and what every source I've ever run across indicates...is getting a straight center line on the last.

Locating the center of the toe the center of the heel seat and the center of the cone is not all that hard. connecting these points with a straight line is another story. And even if you do, esp. on inside cone lasts, you will have more mass and more surface area on one side of the last than the other. I've never seen a medial forme be that close in shape to the lateral forme regardless of the featherline.

Might just be my lasts too.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

[center]Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.[/center]

(Message edited by dw on February 17, 2013)

User avatar
dearbone
8
8
Posts: 1032
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:23 pm
Full Name: Nasser Vies
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Re: Pattern making

#1256 Post by dearbone » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:09 am

DW,

I heard you were using canvas and i was not convince of it until i saw a lady doing a demo at the AGM in old Sturbridge, I am aware of the distortions and wrinkles on the tape and where i want to direct them to go, so when i flatten the tape, the top line of the forme from heel to toe is my main concern to get as true as possible and divert the wrinkles toward the bottom,but which ever method one is more confident with is the one to practice,The center line in the back is not really in the center of the heel,how could it be? the two sides of the heel are not the same and that is true for the rest of the foot/last,Here is a good thing i learn from my former shop master,Fred longtin who didn't used the tape method,but he used to make a leather shell(upper without lining) from every new pattern he made,just to see how it falls on the last and it's symmetry,it is low cost and fast to make.

Nasser

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1257 Post by dw » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:46 am

Nasser,

Of course you're right about the center of the heel. But you can find the center of the heelseat and you can find the center of the "comb" at the rear of the heel. A straight line connecting the two is what I aim for.

The very same thing can be said of the centerline in the front of the last--find the center of the cone and find the center of the toe. Connecting the two with a straight line is the hard part. Even making a straight line on a piece of masking tape and then running it down the front of the last to connect the two points is subject to distortion unless both edges of the tape are pressed to the last evenly and at the same time.

I got the canvas forme method from an idea presented...probably by the same person...at an earlier AGM.

I'd be very interested if you and Lance...if he saw that same demo at OSV...would try the canvas method and compare it to whatever method you're using now.

Let me know your thoughts--what you see as the weaknesses (if any) and/or the strengths of the canvas method.

Again, thank you for your insights.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

[center]Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.[/center]

lancepryor
7
7
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:42 am
Full Name: lance pryor
Been Liked: 2 times

Re: Pattern making

#1258 Post by lancepryor » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:31 pm

DW:

A very tardy reply....

I've never tried the canvas method, though I'd be interested in trying it. If you provide some info on the specific canvas you use, and a bit more on the method, I'd be interested in giving it a try, assuming I can get my hands on some of the canvas.

I will reiterate, however, my preference for keeping inside and outside formes separate. For bespoke shoes, for which I assume one is doing separate patterns for the left and right shoes, it just makes sense to me to keep insides and outsides separate. As I've written previously, on my lasts, the inside and the outside have differing measurements (both toe to CP and toe to seat, as measured on the last), so doing a mean forme seems guaranteed to move the rear center line away from the true center line of the heel seat. Perhaps doing a mean forme from the toe to the VP would make sense, while retaining the unique features/measures rearward from the VP, but I've never tried this.

I did do some experiments a few months back trying the different approaches -- no mean forme (w/o any pivot, and with a pivot at the VP to align the heel seats), mean forme made by pivoting at VP, mean forme made by matching up the VP and the seat -- the differences weren't huge, but I did notice that the no mean forme seemed to put the heel line at the right spot a bit better, and also this approach seemed to give a bit tighter fit along the top line of the outside quarter.

However, honestly, I don't think any of this matters too much if you spring the resultant pattern on the last. I know we've covered this before, but springing the pattern gives a better result, IMO. Any approach to flattening the shell creates distortions, so springing the pattern on the last helps to minimize the effects of these distortions. This is particularly the case for the inside half of the pattern, wherein the arch/waist often is shortened by the flattening process. The springing approach works well for a standard oxford and a derby, but not for a whole cut or an adelaide, which don't have seams in the vamp/quarter area -- the spring process allows you to add back length to these areas where there is a seam.

One thing I observed in Budapest at Marcell's: after they apply the tape to the last, they really rub the tape down hard to the last with a bone folder, trying to work all the wrinkles away and making sure the tape is smooth to the last. I will say this seemed to give a bit better forme when the tape was removed and the shell flattened out.

Lance

lancepryor
7
7
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:42 am
Full Name: lance pryor
Been Liked: 2 times

Re: Pattern making

#1259 Post by lancepryor » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:55 pm

Every time I start to make a pattern for a shoe, I go back and think about my standard measures, particularly for the back height and inside and outside quarters. As such, I would be interested in what others use for their pattern-making measures.

Here are some that I use or have seen used (some of these are inferred from patterns I have which they have made):

T. Moore: (size 8UK, 8.5 US)
back height: +/- 60 mm (2 1/2 inches)
inside quarter: +/- 55 mm (2 1/4 inches)
outside quarter: +/- 50mm (1 7/8 inches)
VP: 4 1/2 inches (from front of toe)
Facings: 3 inches (")
toe cap: 3 inches (")


Marcell/Koronya:
Back height: 65 - 67 mm
inside quarter: 60 mm
outside quarter: 55 mm

Pattern Cutters Handbook: (size 8 UK, 8.5 US, average round toe last)
Back height: 65 mm
Quarter (inside and outside): 55mm
VP: 4 1/4 from toe (one method)
toe cap: 2 5/6 from toe (2/3 of toe to VP)

British Bespoke Firm:
VP: 3 7/8 inches from front of toe
Cap toe: 3 inches bare (i.e. a bit shy of 3")


I would love to find out what others use, particularly for the back height and the quarter heights. If you've experimented with various heights, what have you observed?

Thanks,
Lance

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1260 Post by dw » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:12 pm

lancepryor wrote:DW:

A very tardy reply....

I've never tried the canvas method, though I'd be interested in trying it. If you provide some info on the specific canvas you use, and a bit more on the method, I'd be interested in giving it a try, assuming I can get my hands on some of the canvas.
I'm just using the heaviest gauge canvas I can find. It's heavier than heavy denim for instance. Most fabric stores will carry it.

FWIW, I'm no expert on this stuff. I've never worked with anyone that was. That said, I like what I end up with even by comparison with some of the best makers in Europe. Not sayin' my stuff compares, just that it doesn't look amateurish by any means.

Having said that I think if you're not going to use a mean form then any forme is nearly superfluous. For the simple reason that making a medial and lateral forme relies on creating a straight line down the front of the last...not an easy thing to do and despite our best efforts seldom 100% accurate. But that inaccuracy is something that a mean form is intended to address. Even when I go to outlandish extremes to get my centerline straight...dead straight...I know it may not be. How do you draw a straight line on the complex architecture of curve and counter-curve that is a last? Maybe if you're using straight cone lasts...I'm not.

I suspect that if a mean forme is not wanted then the best approach would be to design directly off the last. I don't have any experience doing that but if your eye is good...very good...it seems like it could be ideal.

As or springing...I've thought about this a lot. Almost every style of shoe I make...maybe every style...I crimp/block the vamps. From oxfords to derbies to chukkas to chelseas to jodhpurs (some of which you have to block to), I've yet to see a reason not to.

I suspect that crimping more than compensates for anything I might be missing by not springing my patterns. In fact, I suspect crimping actually does the same thing...maybe better.

I remember a post a couple of years back on one of the forums I look in on ( maybe even the old CC) where someone had made a pair of shoes...I think they were derbies...which had a substantial number of wrinkles and pipes over the joint that had not been lasted away...perhaps could not be lasted away. It kind of scared me. Until I realized that I have never seen that problem and probably never would...simply because I blocked the vamps. Well, knock on wood, anyway.

Look for a PM...
DWFII--HCC Member
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1261 Post by dw » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:40 pm

lancepryor wrote:Every time I start to make a pattern for a shoe, I go back and think about my standard measures, particularly for the back height and inside and outside quarters. As such, I would be interested in what others use for their pattern-making measures.
Thanks,
Lance
FWIW, I determine back height and topline height as a function of the last length or standard last length. I generally determine standard last length from the heel to ball measurement ..ie. HB=8/12 SLL

Back height is 1/5thsll plus 6mm. Topline is 3mm above 1/5th SLL on the medial side dipping below 1/5th SLL on the lateral side.

VP is found by measuring along the lateral side from the back height to the centerline of the forepart using the standard last length in stitch increments (as found on European tape measures) minus 1cm. [Got that one from Janne]

Top of facings at 1/4th SLL above VP.

I have to say however that the more I do this the more I get a sense of the proportions I want to see and I will sometimes "fudge" the measurements a bit here or there.

Again, FWIW...
DWFII--HCC Member
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1262 Post by dw » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:20 pm

Lance,

I guess I should add that I don't believe in last sizes...not for the bespoke maker. Maybe if you're making RTW from a single run of lasts.

If you carve a pair of lasts for a customer, what size are they?

If you start with a stock size 8 (and if you are certain that the model conforms to some arbitrary standard) and you add 2mm to the heel of the left, what size its it? What if you add 4mm to the toe? Now what size is it?

Set dimensions for the CP, back height, toe cap, or the vamp point just don't make sense to me.

If you honour the foot, you'll be true to the last. :2cents:
DWFII--HCC Member
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

User avatar
jon_g
5
5
Posts: 207
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:46 am
Full Name: Jon Gray
Location: Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada
Been Liked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1263 Post by jon_g » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:01 am

Probably you know this trick already, but just in case...

You can draw an accurate center line by laying a strip of masking tape out on your work area, draw a straight line down the center of it with a ruler. Then stick the tape to the last starting at the cone, holding it out towards the toe until you find the center of the toe and then stick down the tape everywhere else. Try this a few times and you can get fairly precise. It's out lined in Frank Jones' book.

lancepryor
7
7
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:42 am
Full Name: lance pryor
Been Liked: 2 times

Re: Pattern making

#1264 Post by lancepryor » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:13 am

dw wrote:
Having said that I think if you're not going to use a mean form then any forme is nearly superfluous. For the simple reason that making a medial and lateral forme relies on creating a straight line down the front of the last...not an easy thing to do and despite our best efforts seldom 100% accurate. But that inaccuracy is something that a mean form is intended to address. Even when I go to outlandish extremes to get my centerline straight...dead straight...I know it may not be. How do you draw a straight line on the complex architecture of curve and counter-curve that is a last? Maybe if you're using straight cone lasts...I'm not.
It seems to me that the urgency/importance of the absolute straight line may be a bit overstated; first of all, remember that for a vamp, you are not cutting along that line, but rather combining the inside and outside formes to create the vamp, so any slight deviation from absolute straightness won't show up in the vamp. Likewise, if using a toe cap, the constant radius of the cap (cut with a 10" or 12" radius) should help to reduce any visual impact of a slightly off-true-center location. As such, I should think the most important issues with the center line are: the (horizontal) location of the VP; and the desired (center) location at the top of the facings -- for two reasons: you want the vamp/quarter line to be perpendicular to the center line of the last, and thus the angle of the center line (relative to the toe and also the facings) is largely determined by the location of the VP; and the angle of the facings is determined by the line down the cone from the top of facings to the VP. Having the facings line up with the center of the toe is certainly desirable, as any deviation can make the shoe look a bit askew (DAMHIK). However, the latter issue comes back to my query as to an mean forme: to the extent the inside/outside formes have a different facing shape/'angle', won't the mean forme actually move the center point of the top-of-facings away from your desired center point? I should think that with a last with a strong inside-cone design, this would be exacerbated, since the angle of the facing above the VP have to be different for the inside and the outside facings (at least when the formes are flattened), don't they?
dw wrote:I suspect that if a mean forme is not wanted then the best approach would be to design directly off the last. I don't have any experience doing that but if your eye is good...very good...it seems like it could be ideal.
I think that 'springing' the pattern on the last is sort of like doing this -- you start with the forme, cut your vamp (oxford) or quarters (derby), and then use that to modify the other piece to undo the effects of flattening. The benefit of this approach is that you don't need to retape the last for each new model; the formes stay intact.
dw wrote:As or springing...I've thought about this a lot. Almost every style of shoe I make...maybe every style...I crimp/block the vamps. From oxfords to derbies to chukkas to chelseas to jodhpurs (some of which you have to block to), I've yet to see a reason not to.
I'd love to know more about this -- e.g., for an oxford, what exactly do you crimp? The vamp piece before sewing, the quarters before sewing, the vamp/quarter after sewing, etc.
dw wrote:I suspect that crimping more than compensates for anything I might be missing by not springing my patterns. In fact, I suspect crimping actually does the same thing...maybe better.
Well, of course, the results are what matter. That being said, I don't know that crimping would accomplish the same thing as springing. It seems to me they are addressing two different issues. The crimping seems to address the need to get the leather to fit the hollow across the joints while also being able to take the curve up the facings. Springing (at least in my case) helps to put more leather along the feather line, which I need to last the leather tight to a very hollow arch/waist area (particularly important if you have a very high arch like I do, hence a very hollow/concave last in the waist area) -- otherwise, I can get a drum-head effect across the inside waist when lasting.
dw wrote:I remember a post a couple of years back on one of the forums I look in on ( maybe even the old CC) where someone had made a pair of shoes...I think they were derbies...which had a substantial number of wrinkles and pipes over the joint that had not been lasted away...perhaps could not be lasted away. It kind of scared me. Until I realized that I have never seen that problem and probably never would...simply because I blocked the vamps. Well, knock on wood, anyway.
Those may have been mine :cry: . I have a particularly tough time with derbies, because I have a very high instep, so the hollow on a one-piece front is really quite large and tough to last away. One solution could be a pieced tongue, but that is not elegant. In the future, for a derby, I definitely would try crimping the vamp.

Lance

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1265 Post by dw » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:41 am

jon_g wrote:Probably you know this trick already, but just in case...

You can draw an accurate center line by laying a strip of masking tape out on your work area, draw a straight line down the center of it with a ruler. Then stick the tape to the last starting at the cone, holding it out towards the toe until you find the center of the toe and then stick down the tape everywhere else. Try this a few times and you can get fairly precise. It's out lined in Frank Jones' book.

Jon,

That's the way I currently do it...although I use a pair of dividers to draw the straight line on the tape while it's still on the roll... but while more accurate than any other method I've used, if one side/edge of the tape is pressed to the last just a split second earlier than the other side, it results in a variance.

Undoubtedly, I'm just not experienced enough. :sigh:
DWFII--HCC Member
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1266 Post by dw » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:04 am

Lance,
lancepryor wrote: However, the latter issue comes back to my query as to an mean forme: to the extent the inside/outside formes have a different facing shape/'angle', won't the mean forme actually move the center point of the top-of-facings away from your desired center point? I should think that with a last with a strong inside-cone design, this would be exacerbated, since the angle of the facing above the VP have to be different for the inside and the outside facings (at least when the formes are flattened), don't they?
See, I come from a little different background--bootmaking. The vamp for my style of bootmaking is crimped and ends up being more like the vamp of a shoe that has been derived from a mean forme--bilaterally symmetrical. So it all comes down to lasting and how you take your drafts. As an example, some makers cut their medial and lateral toplines at different heights. But many good shoemakers assert that you can achieve the same effect by lasting. And you can. So positioning the facings is a matter of good lasting...just as out-of-position facings can be, and often are, a matter of poor lasting technique.

dw wrote:As or springing...I've thought about this a lot. Almost every style of shoe I make...maybe every style...I crimp/block the vamps. From oxfords to derbies to chukkas to chelseas to jodhpurs (some of which you have to block to), I've yet to see a reason not to.
lancepryor wrote:I'd love to know more about this -- e.g., for an oxford, what exactly do you crimp? The vamp piece before sewing, the quarters before sewing, the vamp/quarter after sewing, etc.
I should have specified full cut oxfords. sorry. That said, I do crimp the vamp liner and quarter liner for all oxfords as a full cut...thus eliminating the internal seam.

lancepryor wrote:Springing (at least in my case) helps to put more leather along the feather line, which I need to last the leather tight to a very hollow arch/waist area (particularly important if you have a very high arch like I do, hence a very hollow/concave last in the waist area) -- otherwise, I can get a drum-head effect across the inside waist when lasting.
Indeed results do matter. But again, I have the perspective...for good or ill...of having made boots for 40+ years. I don't cut for efficiency (I suspect that's a bleed-off from manufacturing). I always allow enough to last at the feather edge even with deeply inset waists or waist area feathers. I see the patterning books and they barely allow enough lasting margin to accommodate the thickness of the insole much less give a safe lasting margin.

I always have at least one inch lasting margin--1/4" for the insole and stiffeners, the rest for margin. We're bespoke makers...by default, if we are true to our principles we throw away (well, not literally) over half the hide if it is a prime calf skin--much of which a factory would make into supposedly "first grade" shoes. Why worry about cutting lasting margins to a bare minimum?

Esp. when the customer covers the cost of the leather anyway? It kind of goes back to the old saw of "measure twice, cut once."--I'd rather trim than despair the lack. Or another way of saying it..."Better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
DWFII--HCC Member
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

lancepryor
7
7
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:42 am
Full Name: lance pryor
Been Liked: 2 times

Re: Pattern making

#1267 Post by lancepryor » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:09 am

dw wrote:Lance,

I guess I should add that I don't believe in last sizes...not for the bespoke maker. Maybe if you're making RTW from a single run of lasts.

If you carve a pair of lasts for a customer, what size are they?

If you start with a stock size 8 (and if you are certain that the model conforms to some arbitrary standard) and you add 2mm to the heel of the left, what size its it? What if you add 4mm to the toe? Now what size is it?

Set dimensions for the CP, back height, toe cap, or the vamp point just don't make sense to me.

If you honour the foot, you'll be true to the last. :2cents:
Of course, last sizes for bespoke are inherently just a simplification. For bespoke makers who use turns, they will order those turns in a 'size,' based on the length of the customer's feet (or perhaps heel to ball measure). So, they have a 'size' to start with, irrespective of the toe shape. Typically, like in the Pattern Cutter's Handbook, their approach will be based on a given size, with changes based on smaller/larger lasts. E.g., the example given for the 'English Bespoke Maker' (and that example of VP was for an average round toe last) is: 3 7/8" (size 8), plus/minus 1/8" per full size. This works out pretty darn close to what you would get if you use your approach, assuming you start with the same VP -- i.e. once you pick a VP for a given size, the VP will move up/down approx 1/8" per full size as you migrate away from the starting size, whether measured from the toe, or measured 70% of the SLL length forward from the CP/B.

At the end of the day, all of these are aesthetic decisions. The selection of the VP is up to the maker, based on what (s)he feels is best. Any rule of thumb or methodology is simply a shortcut to speed the process along when compared to designing on the last or making sample uppers; of course, the chosen methodology may (should) be based on experience and/or experimentation, so that one is confident that the results will be pleasing. 'Fashion' or styles may also influence things. In years past, vamps were shorter in order to make the foot look shorter, whereas today the sentiment seems to be to lengthen the appearance of the foot, to make it look more 'elegant,' Finally, I imagine, the selection of the VP may also be affected by what it does to the balance of the process -- a higher VP/longer vamp will make lasting more difficult, since the VP will be moving up the cone, creating more of a hollow in the vamp area which has to be lasted away.

Here is a question: if you have a customer with two different size feet (and hence different length lasts), do you calculate a separate VP for each last, identified relative to the CP/B? If you do, then the VP will be a different distance from the toe on the two shoes (okay, only 1/16" per half size [per previous comments], but still...). And, likewise, if the toe cap is 2/3 of the toe to VP distance, then the toe caps will be different lengths. One benefit from working the measures from the toe towards the back is that the VP measures and toe cap measures will be the same (you pick one VP and one toe cap location for each pair of shoes), and any differences will be in the quarters, and thus visually less apparent.

Lance

lancepryor
7
7
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:42 am
Full Name: lance pryor
Been Liked: 2 times

Re: Pattern making

#1268 Post by lancepryor » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:21 am

dw wrote:
lancepryor wrote:Springing (at least in my case) helps to put more leather along the feather line, which I need to last the leather tight to a very hollow arch/waist area (particularly important if you have a very high arch like I do, hence a very hollow/concave last in the waist area) -- otherwise, I can get a drum-head effect across the inside waist when lasting.
Indeed results do matter. But again, I have the perspective...for good or ill...of having made boots for 40+ years. I don't cut for efficiency. I suspect that's a bleed-off from manufacturing. I always allow enough to last at the feather edge even with deeply inset waists or waist area feathers. I see the patterning books and they barely allow enough lasting margin to accommodate the thickness of the insole much less give a safe lasting margin.

I always have at least one inch lasting margin--1/4" for the insole and stiffeners, the rest for margin. We're bespoke makers...by default, if we are true to our principles we throw away (well, not literally) over half the hide if it is a prime calf skin...much that a factory would make into supposedly "first grade" shoes. Why worry about cutting lasting margins to a bare minimum?

Esp. when the customer covers the cost of the leather anyway?
I am not referring to lasting margin. What I mean is the length of the pattern along the feather line. What springing does (at least in my case) is add leather to the quarter pattern (for an oxford) but only for the bottom half of the quarter pattern. This was illustrated a year or two ago in some pics I posted about springing. The reality is that the process of flattening the forme leads to a wrinkles/compression of the forme in the waist area, so the resultant pattern has too little length in this area. Springing adds this length back to the pattern, so that the pattern actually reflects the shape of the 3D last. Another approach is to pivot the inside forme around the VP -- this will also add length mainly to the bottom half of the pattern, but this is inherently less precise than springing the pattern on the last. (By the way, this is a very straightforward process, not difficult to do.)

With respect to the facings, lasting can help make up for a multitude of sins (or, in my case, cause them...), but why should we need to make up for those sins when we can avoid them in the first place?

Lance

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1269 Post by dw » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:24 am

lancepryor wrote: Here is a question: if you have a customer with two different size feet (and hence different length lasts), do you calculate a separate VP for each last, identified relative to the CP/B? If you do, then the VP will be a different distance from the toe on the two shoes (okay, only 1/16" per half size [per previous comments], but still...). And, likewise, if the toe cap is 2/3 of the toe to VP distance, then the toe caps will be different lengths. One benefit from working the measures from the toe towards the back is that the VP measures and toe cap measures will be the same (you pick one VP and one toe cap location for each pair of shoes), and any differences will be in the quarters, and thus visually less apparent.

Lance
Ah! Really good point...I hadn't thought about that. Hmmm. I'll have to keep that in mind...thanks!
DWFII--HCC Member
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

User avatar
kemosabi
5
5
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:03 pm
Full Name: Nat Ledbetter
Location: Tennessee, USA

Re: Pattern making

#1270 Post by kemosabi » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:02 am

DWFII wrote: That said, I do crimp the vamp liner and quarter liner for all oxfords as a full cut...thus eliminating the internal seam.
Aha! This one's going straight into the bag-o-tricks. :beers:

Never did like those pesky liner seams.

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1271 Post by dw » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:24 am

lancepryor wrote: I am not referring to lasting margin. What I mean is the length of the pattern along the feather line. What springing does (at least in my case) is add leather to the quarter pattern (for an oxford) but only for the bottom half of the quarter pattern. This was illustrated a year or two ago in some pics I posted about springing. The reality is that the process of flattening the forme leads to a wrinkles/compression of the forme in the waist area, so the resultant pattern has too little length in this area. Springing adds this length back to the pattern, so that the pattern actually reflects the shape of the 3D last. Another approach is to pivot the inside forme around the VP -- this will also add length mainly to the bottom half of the pattern, but this is inherently less precise than springing the pattern on the last. (By the way, this is a very straightforward process, not difficult to do.)

With respect to the facings, lasting can help make up for a multitude of sins (or, in my case, cause them...), but why should we need to make up for those sins when we can avoid them in the first place?

Lance
Well, I apologize for the misunderstanding.

That said, I've read your remarks about springing...respectfully, hopefully, carefully. I'm not doubting...I just have never experienced the problem you're describing. Could it be because I always last "seats up?" Whatever...for me, it's an answer with no question.

As regards facings...you're absolutely correct but again, I don't really have problems there. Now maybe that's like my old saying about fit--"anyone who says they've never had a misfit is either lying or needs a higher standard of fit". Maybe I need a higher standard with regard to straight facings. Coming from bootmaking, however, one of my main considerations has always been lasting. It's more than just pulling the leather over the last...especially in bootmaking.

There is a sequence. There is constant checking. There is usually unlasting and relasting at certain points. Lasting is one of the primary skills and not as easy as it looks or may be hoped for.

My point is that with the best of patterns--even patterns derived directly from the last--it is all too easy to pull the facings off to one side or the other.

I model my lasts tight...like a boot...over the instep, and lace my facings together before lasting. I think that eliminates a certain instability that would otherwise be there no matter how you create your patterns.

Beyond that, I'm just not convinced that deriving your cutting patterns from a mean forme has much, or any, bearing on how the facings lie. Not in my experience.

And again, I'm perfectly willing to consider that my standards are too low. But I'd have to be convinced, because at this point, without the background or experience, I suspect I have a mental block.
DWFII--HCC Member
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

lancepryor
7
7
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:42 am
Full Name: lance pryor
Been Liked: 2 times

Re: Pattern making

#1272 Post by lancepryor » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:34 pm

dw wrote:
jon_g wrote:Probably you know this trick already, but just in case...

You can draw an accurate center line by laying a strip of masking tape out on your work area, draw a straight line down the center of it with a ruler. Then stick the tape to the last starting at the cone, holding it out towards the toe until you find the center of the toe and then stick down the tape everywhere else. Try this a few times and you can get fairly precise. It's out lined in Frank Jones' book.

Jon,

That's the way I currently do it...although I use a pair of dividers to draw the straight line on the tape while it's still on the roll... but while more accurate than any other method I've used, if one side/edge of the tape is pressed to the last just a split second earlier than the other side, it results in a variance.

Undoubtedly, I'm just not experienced enough. :sigh:
I know this has been discussed before, but I find the easiest way to draw the line down the vamp/facings is to put the last (comb and toe) against a flat table top, line up the last so a pencil flat on the table top touches the center of the toe and the center of the cone, and then use the pencil sliding along the table top to connect the two -- the line has to be straight, since the table top is flat.

The question/challenge is what angle the bottom of the last is at relative to the table top; while the line by definition must be straight, it is straight only when viewed from the perspective of the table top, so changing the angle of the last will change where the straight line touches the vamp. What I have just thought of is to also mark on the last (tape) your desired center point at the vamp line (ie. the VP). With 3 points on the last (center of toe, center of facings/cone, and VP), there is only one angle/orientation of the last where the pencil will hit all 3 points. So, you get the last lined up with the toe and facings points in the right spots, then adjust the angle of the last until the pencil lines up with the VP -- then, draw the line to connect the 3 points. Voila, a straight line that connects the 3 points.

Hope that is clear (maybe I should do a video?).

Lance

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1273 Post by dw » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:37 pm

lancepryor wrote: I know this has been discussed before, but I find the easiest way to draw the line down the vamp/facings is to put the last (comb and toe) against a flat table top, line up the last so a pencil flat on the table top touches the center of the toe and the center of the cone, and then use the pencil sliding along the table top to connect the two -- the line has to be straight, since the table top is flat.

The question/challenge is what angle the bottom of the last is at relative to the table top; while the line by definition must be straight, it is straight only when viewed from the perspective of the table top, so changing the angle of the last will change where the straight line touches the vamp. What I have just thought of is to also mark on the last (tape) your desired center point at the vamp line (ie. the VP). With 3 points on the last (center of toe, center of facings/cone, and VP), there is only one angle/orientation of the last where the pencil will hit all 3 points. So, you get the last lined up with the toe and facings points in the right spots, then adjust the angle of the last until the pencil lines up with the VP -- then, draw the line to connect the 3 points. Voila, a straight line that connects the 3 points.

Hope that is clear (maybe I should do a video?).

Lance
Lance,

It's a great way to do it and yours is a good, clear explanation. I just can't get the hang of it. :sigh:

With an inside cone last, and given that the comb/cone on my lasts are fairly narrow (to ensure a tight topline) I just never can seem to hold the last steady and all lined up long enough to draw the line. I think it may also have something to do with the fact that I'm using plastic lasts--they tend to slide around on any surface you hold them up to.
DWFII--HCC Member
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

lancepryor
7
7
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:42 am
Full Name: lance pryor
Been Liked: 2 times

Re: Pattern making

#1274 Post by lancepryor » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:36 pm

DW:

Maybe a couple of small foam pads mounted on the face edge of a workbench or table top would create enough give and friction to keep the last from sliding around?

(I'll have to try that myself!)

Lance

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Pattern making

#1275 Post by dw » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:07 am

lancepryor wrote:DW:

Maybe a couple of small foam pads mounted on the face edge of a workbench or table top would create enough give and friction to keep the last from sliding around?

(I'll have to try that myself!)

Lance
:thumb: Worth a try...

BTW, for those interested...
DSCF2548_(800_x_600).jpg
DWFII--HCC Member
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

Post Reply