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Bevelled soles on jl and c&j handgrade? - Page 2

post #16 of 22
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Can someone please explain what a bevelled waist actually is?
Have a look here: http://www.amesbury.co.uk/bespoke/en/style5.html It's a way to bevel and create a semi-circle to the edge of the sole (under the waist). This gets the sole as close as possible to the edge of the shoe and hence gives it a lighter and more elegant appearance. As Amesbury says, it can only be done (properly) in a handmade shoe. In a machine-made RTW shoe you can only approximate that look. Here is a John Lobb shoe (RTW and machine-made) with a bevelled sole: Note how the sole "rests" on the ground, but then, when it comes to the waist, suddenly takes off and "flies". It's a look beloved by English shoemakers (but by nobody else). Non-English shoes, even bespoke ones, do not have a bevelled waist, unless the design goes for (and tries to imitate) a particular "English look".
post #17 of 22
Thanks for the great explanation. Gotta love this forum.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Can someone please explain what a bevelled waist actually is?
These aren't the best pictures in the world, but hopefully, they should help. Here's an Edward Green shoe with a straight-cut (ie, unbevelled) sole at the waist: Here's another Edward Green shoe with what EG calls a bevelled waist. The sole is rounded over on the side, but otherwise, it's very similar to the straight-cut sole above: Here's a Vass shoe with an honest-to-goodness bevelled waist. The sole edges are rounded over, and it's cut so close to the side of the upper that you can't see the welt stitching on it: Finally, here's a John Lobb Paris shoe with their bevelled "bootmaker" sole. It's very similar to the Vass waist above, although it's a bit thinner and it's a bit closer-cut:
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Jcusey, the bevelled waist pictures are very helpful, especially the Vass. I presume the Vass shoe in your picture is the Oxford medallion. Other than the one image on Amesbury's waist I have never seen any shoes or pictures of shoes with "fiddle" waist. I made it a point to look for them during my recent visit to London. I checked out JL Paris (Jermyn Street), EG, C&J, Cleverley, Foster & Son and even Berluti but with no luck. Foster & Son and Cleverley said that they could do it (bespoke) but could not show me any samples. Similar pictures depicting fiddle waist shoes would be much appreciated. Also, how does fiddle waist compare to bevelled waist in terms of skill level and degree of difficulty to make them. Wouldn't the fiddle waist necessitate a steeper arch along the waist? If so, how would it affect the fit and comfort?
post #20 of 22
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Jcusey, the bevelled waist pictures are very helpful, especially the Vass. I presume the Vass shoe in your picture is the Oxford medallion.
Yes, it is.
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Other than the one image on Amesbury's waist I have never seen any shoes or pictures of shoes with "fiddle" waist. I made it a point to look for them during my recent visit to London. I checked out JL Paris (Jermyn Street), EG, C&J, Cleverley, Foster & Son and even Berluti but with no luck. Foster & Son and Cleverley said that they could do it (bespoke) but could not show me any samples. Similar pictures depicting fiddle waist shoes would be much appreciated.
Something as pronounced as that Amesbury shoe? I've never seen it on any RTW shoe. In fact, I've looked throught the bespoke shoes on Jun Kuwana's website, on the Cleverley website, and on the John Lobb St. James website, and I can't find anything remotely comparable. The only footwear with as pronounced a bowing on the sole at the waist that I know of is the cowboy boot, and most reputable RTW and custom bootmakers will be able to do something like that.
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Also, how does fiddle waist compare to bevelled waist in terms of skill level and degree of difficulty to make them. Wouldn't the fiddle waist necessitate a steeper arch along the waist? If so, how would it affect the fit and comfort?
I would think that it would require a steeper arch. That's why the heel is so high on that Amesbury shoe and why you see it on cowboy boots, with their two- or two-and-a-half inch heels. Frankly, the fit and the comfort of the shoe is likely much more effected by the higher heel than it is by the bowing of the waist. Lucchese makes some fine boots, but you're not going to convince me that the level craftsmanship that goes into them is equivalent to the level of craftsmanship that goes into, say, a Vass shoe. In other words, doing a proper fiddle waist may require some specialized skills, but I don't think that you have to be the best of the best to pull it off.
post #21 of 22
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"Bevelled Waiste" is like most other things in this business, much harder to explain with words compared to a demonstration. In rough terms it goes like this; The black oxford shown is welted from heel to heel. In the waiste area, I make the feather for the welt a bit further in on the insole. Depended on the shape, may be 2-3 mm. There is several ways to do the following; Skive down the welt stip to half thickness in the waiste area, then sew it in. The other way is just to leave the thickness the same all over, but the result will be neater when skived. After the welt has been sewn in, the waiste area must be trimmed width-wise as well, because when the sole is glued on the welt it should be hidden on the inside of the sole edge. I make the split in the sole on the outside without a channel and stitch it to the welt with a smaller version of an inseaming awl. The last thing I do is shaping the sole edge in the waiste area with an angle. The sole edge is suppose to make the final look of the bevel. Therefore it needs to be thin at the top, towards the upper, and trimmed in an angle that makes the sole narrower at the surface of the sole. Hammer it close into the upper and finally shape it with a waiste iron, depending on the thickness of the sole edge. I told you, very difficult to explain. I hope it makes some sense to you.
When in doubt, go to the source. Thought you guys might find this interesting - from a custom shoe maker of very high quality located in Norway.
post #22 of 22
Regarding the bevelled waist. The shoemaker I spent time with made a shoe with a bevelled waist. Among other things, what he did was "split" the sole from behind the ball of the foot back to the end of the sole, i.e. make the sole thinner (in the vertical dimension) through the waist than in the forefoot -- he may also have done this with the welt, though I don't believe so; since the waist area doesn't touch the ground, there is no impact on the wear/durability of the sole. He also placed the stitches closer to the upper in this region than he did for the balance of the sole, so I presume he also moved the holdfast in this region more towards the center-line of the insole (as described by Rider's shoemaker earlier). And, he trimmed the sole very close through this area and really worked hard to make the outside region of the sole reflect the curve of the upper/last. Regarding the fiddle-back waist. I asked the maker about this. He said he would probably use a thicker shank -- probably two layers of leather rather than one for the shank (the UK bespoke makers seem to use a leather shank rather than a wood or metal one). Then, he would skive/bevel the shank to produce a much more pronounced side to side curve. The sole is placed on the insole after having been wetted/"mulled," so it is relatively soft and pliable; therefore, it will take the shape of the shank/insole. As such, I don't believe that a higher heel is necessary to produce the fiddle-back waist. I will certainly find out when I start actually making shoes.
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