I'm not really proud of showing this shoe here, but it's my first venture into 18th century shoe making and I'm desperate to learn from the experienced craftsmen here ... so here we go.
The pictures show the last stages of my first try of a 1750s ladies' shoe with silk/linen upper and white rand. Following the original I picked for form, proportions, heel height and a number of other details (cf. http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the ... rch/156125
) the treadsole went on with the grain side facing upwards, so towards the foot rather than the ground. (A reason for this may have been to give the sole a bit more traction on the smooth interior floors the wearer would have walked upon - these shoes were meant for being worn indoors mostly, as attested by the pattens accompanying (and sometimes surviving together with) them.)
The treadsole is sewn to the the white rand (ca. 8-9 stitches per inch, should actually be more I think), which obviously acts as a means to connect treadsole and the upper construction like a welt normally does. Where it meets the heel breast, the seam continues down the heel cover. The piece of leather at the bottom of the heel is likewise sewn to the lower end of the of the heel. Seams are protected at the bottom by an incision at an oblique angle.
So far so good, but I completely failed to get the nice, straight and extremely regular seam the originals show. Part of it (the larger part, actually, I'm sure) is due to my doing this for the first time, part of it to not fitting the heel size exactly enough to the shoe/last and yet another part is is due to not (yet, let's hope for the best here!) knowing the construction methods employed at the time. Also, I think the whittawed leather I used was a bit too thick for the rand resulting in a too high/thick rand in terms of proportions.
Or, in other words: Hhrrrnngrrrrhhharghhhhhh...&%8xx"!**#&***!!! (read: what-a-great-learning-and-character-building-experience :-))
The one detailed description of this part of the construction of a white randed 18th cent. shoe I found actually shows a different construction method where there is no visible seam to the white rand. With the slipper in question The folded white rand is stitched through from above and through both layers in a way that the seam comes to lie wedged between rand and upper so that is hidden from view (cf. http://www.museum-digital.de/nat/index. ... oges=29398
, I have the article mentioned there). I (foolishly?) chose to no go that way. No I'm wondering if there are more descriptions of constructional details like this for the method I not quite managed to employ?
I think I should have used thicker leather beneath the silken heel cover to provide more of an "anchor" for the stitches running along the breast and bottom of the heel - I had the problem that the very thin alum tanned leather/silk layer tended to tear out.
Thanks in advance for all comments/questions/pointers!