One of the most difficult aspects of getting started with shoemaking is trying to find detailed (& comprehensible) information about pattern making.
2.2 – VAMP POINT
Now that you have the centerline marked off you can begin to locate the vamp point.
For anyone who’s curious, here’s a brief explanation of the significance of the vamp point and why it’s so crucial in the pattern. If you’re not interested and you just want to find the vamp point, skip the next two paragraphs.
When you put your foot into your shoe, you have to pass the widest part of your foot (i.e. The ball) past an opening that must ultimately fit snugly around the narrowest part (i.e. The ankle). In order to solve this problem, a shoe is made with facings that allow it to open up and then laces to draw it closed again. The facings need to allow the shoe to open up enough to get the widest part of your foot past a constrictive opening and into the part of the shoe that is wide enough to accommodate it. Therefore, the facings need to extend the opening of the shoe all the way down to its widest part.
The vamp point tells us where the facings should stop and the vamp should begin by marking the intersection of a line drawn across the widest portion of the last with one drawn straight down the middle. This gives us the minimum length of the facings; if they were any shorter than this it would be difficult to get your foot in the shoe. Additionally, if the facings were much longer (and the vamp were lower) then you would run the risk of having the vamp line intersect with the natural crease line of the shoe caused by the flexing of the foot when walking; which would be uncomfortable.
The first step in finding the vamp point is to find the widest point on either side of the shoe. Do this by setting the shoe against the edge of a table and marking the point on the forepart of the last where it makes contact with the table.
Once you’ve marked both points, wrap a string across the top of the last so that it touches the marks that you’ve made on either side. The point at which this string intersects the centerline that you marked earlier is the vamp point. Mark this on your last.
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