If you feel as if you’ve seen these boot tops before–you have. The bad news is that I was never able to successfully get the first pair to fit, the good news is that the client is incredibly patient and has allowed me the space to learn so much from this experience. Most boot makers have a patterning system that they’ve learned from their mentor or developed on their own, and once you get a patterning system in place you rarely change it. I had to completely relearn patterning a boot top for this client, which was an amazing opportunity to evaluate why my patterns didn’t work for her and why another pattern system would. Once I got past the stress and the disappointment, I’ve enjoyed figuring this out.
I wasn’t really looking forward to stitching these boot tops again. The boots are 17″ tall and it’s a one-piece boot top, so it’s a large piece of leather and it doesn’t fit easily through the machine. No matter how I fold it, I end up making a turn that jams it into the machine again and prevents me from sewing smoothly. The flowers in the cream-colored top band are the worst because the stitching is concentrated on the top and that leaves me with a mass of leather to move back and forth. To make it easier on this pair, I stitched two rows (Brown and Teal) before I attached the top band to the boot top. Then I glued the top band in place and stitched the final row of Harvest Gold. That’s why from the front there are three visible rows of stitching and from the back side, on the lining, there’s only one row around the leaves and flowers.