Nicholas Templeman: A Bespoke Shoemaker - Page 16
On a split, raised lake, do they score the leather after they've stitched the seam, or before?
Also, if there is adjustment needed to the last after the welted fitting, how often is the welt removed and the upper entirely re-lasted on the adjusted last, vs. just adjusting the last and using it to stretch the upper on the existing welt? How hard is it to successfully re-last and inseam a previously lasted upper, given how little lasting margin is left after the welt and upper have been trimmed for the fitting?
Depends what you need to adjust - if you've got the width/outline wrong then any reblock will be a compromise as the insole won't stretch, the upper will just be forced off the edge of it.
If the width is good but you've just got the measures a little off then you can reasonably manipulate the upper leather, just like a tailor will do with a hot iron, stretching and shrinking the material to the correct size and shape. Shrinking is more of a compromise than stretching, and there's only so much you can do before the pattern gets thrown off.
Relasting and rewelting isn't too much of a problem - the shape is already in place so there's not so much actual lasting required and you don't need as much lasting allowance - provided you've not drastically increased the size of the last. You can stitch a runner around the edge to give you some more allowance, but they usually get in the way.
A bit of a hatchet method of adjustment is to gore the insole, you can get tons of extra width and avoid rewelting, just sew some insole into the gore and you'd never even notice the difference. Good to adjust old shoes that have been grown out of, probably not the most moral way of adjusting someone's brand new shoes though.
So yeah, it depends on how much adjustment you need, and where. Try and avoid it by getting the last right wherever possible.
April 6th and 7th (Wednesday and Thursday)
The Benjamin Hotel at 125 E. 50th Street
April 8th and 9th (Friday and Saturday)
The Eliot Hotel at 370 Commonwealth Avenue
April 11th and 12th (Monday and Tuesday)
Westin St. Francis at Union Square
Note, he may be showing with Steed in NYC at The Kimberly Hotel, but he can also take appointments back in his room at The Benjamin. You can book appointments through his website.
Even if you're unsure whether you'll order, it might be good to stop by to get your measurements taken. Fittings can sometimes be done remotely, but measurements have to be taken in person.
Justin Fitzpatrick (Westlake boot) and Septieme Largeur (Arsene boot) both offer boots that button that are not bespoke, I hear that it is not the fastest or easiest method, but there are hooks which can be used to help fasten the buttons. There are videos on the Justin Fitzpatrick website of how to fasten the buttons by hand (which is not possible with all button boots) and with hook. I imagine shoes would be similar to boots.
Edit: beaten to the punch, but by the person who would know best
A hook is pretty essential if you're going buttons, I think Abbeyhorn do some nice ones. A lady customer many years ago where I once worked received her pair knee high button boots, and she was delighted with them. A few months later, however, she returned - rather upset that half the buttons had been plucked off and her poor nails had been savagely chipped away following what must have been far too many hours of frustrated buttoning.
I'll never forget the look on her face that day, when she set eyes upon a button hook for the first time.
Cleverley in London will make a bespoke version for the scatter-brained or lazy, where the buttons are (presumably) non-functional and the boot is opened and closed with a zip. (I believe, David Beckham owns a pair of those.)
Not a fan of that zipper. Wonder if one can hide elastic under those buttons to make them slip ons......