Glueing and pleating the front of the lining…

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Glueing and pleating the front of the lining...

Then, glue was pushed under the lining, which had been tacked near the edge of the last, and left to get a little ‘tacky’ before the tacks were taken out and the lining pleated and then trimmed as shown in the photo. The upper was then pulled back over the shoe.

After being lasted up..

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After being lasted up..

This photo shows what the boot looked liked just after being lasted up, but before the toe puff is added or the front lining lasted and glued. Looking at the boot like this is really rewarding because it is the moment that you can see it ‘come alive’ so to say. Before lasting up I didn’t know how the toe shape of the last and the style of the boot would work in accordance to the idea I had in my mind about how they would look, but I’m actually really pleased with them, and that is a really relieving feeling!

More lasting…

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More lasting...

After tacking the heel a little, and the alternate parts surrounding it, I moved on to doing the rest, pulling each layer in the correct direction (always including the heel stiffener on the heel), checking it was smooth, holding it and then tacking it in. After doing the rest of the lasting, the heel was focused on again, where more pleats were created and tacks hammered in to make it as flat and secure as possible. The tacks in the heel and the surrounding area were then hammered a little themselves to make sure all was in place.

Tacking the heel..

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Tacking heel..

After tacking the front in place for the moment, I moved to the heel, slowly pulling it up over the last and into place, like shown in the photo (which was actually a lot harder than one would imagine!) I then nailed in a few tacks on the heel and surrounding it, pulling the leather and checking that it was smooth over the last beforehand.

The beginnings of ‘lasting up’

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The beginnings of 'lasting up'

As shown in the photo, the next step was to begin actually ‘lasting up’, which is process of tacking the upper, lining and stiffener onto the insole and last. To start this, a few tacks were nailed at the heel of the shoe, not in correct position but at a good placing point on the heel so that it would hold in place for the moment but could later be moved. The focus then went to the front of the shoe, as I started tacking it. Beginning in the middle, tacks were alternately nailed in, making large pleats either side of the central point. To make sure that there were no lumps of leather, the lining and upper were pulled separately and held in place before being tacked in, and that is something that is consistently done throughout the whole lasting process.

Inserting the heel stiffeners..

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Inserting the heel stiffeners..

Now it was time to put in the heel stiffeners which had been soaking in water. The first thing to do was make a little rectangular cut out of their curved side in the middle, so that there was room for the end of the zip to move. Then, normal white glue was put onto the shiny side of the stiffener, and sitting down, with the upper and lining between my legs, the stiffener was inserted in between the two, as shown in the photo. Next, glue was put between the stiffener and the lining and all three were pressed into place. The whole ensemble was then put onto the last, and sat on the ‘pole’ before being rubbed right and left and pulled towards the last at the same time for a little while in order for bits of leather to not be caught up, and to make sure that all three were sitting together nicely. (*please note that the last two steps aren’t shown in the photo)