Nicholas Templeman: A Bespoke Shoemaker

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dieworkwear, May 26, 2015.

  1. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    In my (limited) experience, the flat seam (historically called a round stitch or a split and hold stitch) is the toughest, because you are sewing halfway through both pieces of leather, and you can't 'pre-hole' the leather, you need to use the awl and then sew each stitch, one at a time. Also, you need to use two boar's bristles and have a very fine taper to the thread or you can strip the thread off the bristle. Finally, because both sides of the stitch are exiting the middle of the leather before entering the adjacent piece, it can be somewhat hard to find the hole on the opposite piece of leather with the bristle, and thus the sewing can be pretty fiddly.

    The pie crust (what E. Green call skin stitching, and historically was called split and lift) is easier, since you can pre-hole the piece of leather that you are sewing parallel to the surface, then re-awl that piece of leather and pierce the thickness of the adjacent piece of leather; also, because you are only having to find the hole that is on the edge of the leather with one bristle (the one coming from the other direction), it is significantly easier to sew than the round stitch.

    According to a very knowledgable shoe/bootmaker, these two stitches played different roles in the making of riding boots. The 'round' seam is used for joining two pieces of leather that are the same thickness, and has a benefit of protecting the thread from wear because of the way the leather plumps up around the thread; the pie crust stitch is used where dis-similar pieces of leather need to be joined, as trying to round stitch leather of different thickness is very problematic.
     


  2. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    That's right - split and lift is used on the tongue of riding boots to attach an often stout vamp to a thinner leg piece. A lighter leg is preferable to let you feel the horse better, and that's also where all the (very limited) flex of a riding boot occurs, on the ankle.
     


  3. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    Getting things ready for when I hit the West Coast this April.

    [​IMG]
     


  4. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  5. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    That's right, it's an old annonay grain. Looks like what some firms call a French grain, I picked up some old one off colours in it a while ago.
     


  6. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    Beautiful and perfect.
     


  7. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Ah. I have this belt from Annonay calf
    [​IMG]
    It is nice stuff, and surprisingly shows no sign of wear - that is unlike the bridle leather belts I have which began to change immediately. I imagine that will be different with shoes where the stresses are greater.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016


  8. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    bridle leather is pretty malleable, and it needs to be for saddlery use where it can mould to a more comfortable shape with wear. Your belt looks great, on a lined leather like that you can reinforce everything between the layers and belts are a great way to use up the very strong spine section that you'd be enable to use in shoemaking too. I really like Annonay calf, consistently nice to work with.
     


  9. Andy57

    Andy57 Senior member

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    [​IMG]
     


  10. rbhan12

    rbhan12 Senior member

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    Out of this world.
     


  11. jerrybrowne

    jerrybrowne Senior member

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  12. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    What's going on here then. Anyone? Bueller?

    [​IMG]
     


  13. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  14. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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  15. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I presume it's a side-elastic 'Cambridge shoe' in a whole-cut apple peel pattern.


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    Now that's what I call 'heroic cutting'!
     


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