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Traditionally, bespoke shoes are made with a last that is made specifically for an individual. This process makes bespoke shoes expensive because creating a unique last takes a lot of time and effort. With Sapatero Manila the process is slightly different. Instead of creating a last from scratch they instead customise an existing last using the measurements and shape noted down in the first partLayer upon layer of leather is applied and sanded down until the desired measurements and shape is achieved. The advantage to this are two-fold. Sapatero Manila is able to keep the cost down and deliver a pair of shoes in a much shorter amount of time.

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While the last is being customised the upper is being made simultaneously. First the burnished calf leather is skived into the required thickness. Then it is cut it into different pieces according to the design. Because my design has a punched captoe each hole is individually hammered to achieve the brogue design. Each piece of leather is then glued and stitched together to form the entire upper of the shoe. The lining follows the shape and is stitched to the upper.

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When both the last and upper are finished the next step is to mold the upper on the last or what is known as lasting. Sapatero Manila lasts the upper by hand pulling the leather and applying nails to hold down the leather to achieve a proper mold on the last. Lasting a shoe by hand allows the shoemaker to form the shoe to the last more closely taking into consideration the differences in leather and design.

Next: Part 3: Fitting, Constructing the Sole and Hand-welting

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