Almost every measurement that is used in the creation of your pattern is a function of the standard last length (abbreviated SL). Thornton points out that this is often slightly different from the real-world length of your last and that it comes from a standardized table of values that correspond to every available last size. Thornton gives only the following as a description of the SL values: “The scale continues with intervals of 1/3 in… The English size scale is thus divided into two, a children’s scale ranging from 0 to 13 (4 to 8 1/3 in.) and an adults’ scale ranging from 1 to 12 (8 2/3 to 12 1/3 in.).” If you extrapolate the adults’ scale for every size number & SL you get this:
STANDARD LAST LENGTH
According to the chart of standard last lengths, my last (which is a size 10) should use an SL value of 11 2/3″. Out of curiosity, I decided to see how accurate this was to the real-world size of my last. Turns out the SL table value (11 2/3″) was disconcertingly different from my last, which measures just less that 13″.
CREATING A STANDARD
So, substituting the real-world length of your last for “SL” mark the following points on the outline of your mean forme in order to create a standard:
Next, draw a straight line connecting Q&A and extend it to meet a perpendicular line dropped down from T. Design the quarter curve from T, through A all the way to Q as shown. Next, add an allowance for a heel stiffener by marking a point 3/16″ out from S and connecting it with C using a curve that roughly mimics the heel curve as drawn. Continue this line from C to a point marked 1/16″ inside of Q; this will tighten up the top line of the upper.
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