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Class Reviews > Shoeschool

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Posted by: farqs

About farqs star
Member since: 1/18/05
Reviews: 6 (classes: 1)
Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 1 people
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Posted on: 7/17/08 7:46 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 11 people   
Web site/URL: photo
This intense 5-day shoemaking class is a must for all shoe lovers or for those who are meticulous and have a passion for a new skill. The course provides by a master craftsman of 45 years takes you through fitting issues, equipment, tools and leather choices. Alan and Jayne, who run the course, have taught students from all over the world and have quite a collection of supplies, hard-to-find equipment and examples of sandals, shoes, and clown shoes made over the years. (There's a pair of the original Ronald MacDonald shoes on the shelf)
By the end of the course you will learn how to design, make patterns and construct a pair of well-fitting shoes based on a beginning design. I wore them home on the plane I was so proud and plan on wearing them to work Monday. It will be a little scary doing my first pair solo, but I'm determined to give it a try. Handmaking skills and the use of home hardware store supplies are emphasized to make it easier for the new shoemaker to get started. Like any new craft, upfront start up cost are high but will be worth the investment.

There are 6 students per session which is offered 4 times a year at the Port Townsend, WA location. It was a beautiful location, great fun and I plan to continue the shoemaking skills I learned. I just returned home yesterday and have already orders shoe lasts (models) and leather. Room, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and basic tools and shoe materials are included in the cost of the course. Food was great at local restaurants.

Here are photos on my blog

The only disappointment I had with the course was students in my group. None of them had any basic sewing knowledge (didn't know what was a "seam allowance"), so basic concepts took a lot of time to explain. Unbelieveable, these same students wanted to started up their own shoe business...tomorrow. We were always behind and I felt perhaps I got a somewhat abbreviated version or not able to go over more advanced concepts. Because of this I was hammering away at the hotel until 12:30 am to get caught up. The garden club touring group at the hotel were entertained by our hammering at sewing.

Believe me, it was hard work and despite this I learned plenty of new skills and information. I would strongly recommend asking at the time of enrollment who else will be taking the course or enroll with a group of sewing friends for a retreat.

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Nancy Rhodes said... (8/13/08 7:40 AM) Reply
I have always been intrigued by the little tiny ad that used to appear in the back of Threads mag. for making your own shoes. This workshop learning environment would suit me to a "T" -- especially if it were closer to home. Washington state seems to be a hotbed of sewing / learning opportunities. Thank you for sharing! I will check your blog for more details. Oh for cheap airfare!
Terri A said... (8/7/08 7:19 PM) Reply
Interesting review - thanks!
strongnow said... (8/2/08 12:36 PM) Reply
This was really interesting!
mClones said... (7/30/08 10:01 PM) Reply
Shoe making is so much fun--and satisfying. I wish I had time to do devote to it again..sigh. Great looking shoes! Wear them with pride.
Loreen said... (7/21/08 5:03 PM) Reply
I can't find reference to the cost of this workshop. Can you tell me how much you paid for the week? Sounds like fun!
Stitchcakes said... (7/21/08 1:14 PM) Reply
Neat! Thanks for the review!
Rita K said... (7/19/08 9:20 PM) Reply
Thank you for a very interesting review. My daughter has had some custom made shoes done in Asia. It's fascinating to think one could learn to do this. But then shoes used to always be made by a cobbler - like in the 'Laura & Mary' books - a traveling cobbler. I have thought how nice it must be to have custom made COMFORTABLE shoes! AND stylish too. . . . .
nancy2001 said... (7/19/08 7:43 PM) Reply
How interesting. I'd love to be able to design and make my own shoes.
bluefly said... (7/18/08 8:19 AM) Reply
This sounds very interesting. Thanks for your review.
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