One-to-one Fiddle Waist Shoe Making Course


  • Email Email to arrange dates

This 14-day shoe making course is for shoemakers with some handsewn experience, as it teaches the specialist skills of making a fiddle waist (fiddleback or viola waist) on a shoe – a distinctive, elegant feature of bespoke shoemaking.

You will start with a comprehensive set of course notes, calf leather shoe uppers, lasts, tools and a pack of oak bark tanned leather ‘rough stuff’ from Bakers in Devon. Then we will guide you through the 200+ steps involved in handsewing a pair of shoes.

After preparing your insole, stiffeners, toe puffs and welt, you will be shown how to create a curvaceous hold fast and then hand last the uppers. You will welt the shoe and then attach a shank and infill the forepart with cork. The fiddle waist is then carefully built layer by layer onto the shank, shaped, smoothed and blended into the cork infill in the forepart – creating a smooth surface to attach the sole to. 

Then you will prepare the sole, thinning it out before cementing it in place and smoothing it down so that it takes the wonderful curves of the fiddle. 

You will stitch on the sole by hand and then build the heel before finishing the shoes entirely by hand.

Simply choose:

  • Your UK shoe size – we have lasts in sizes 3 -13 including half sizes
  • A leather colour: Tan, Burgundy, Dark Brown or Black
  • A shoe style: Plain Derby, Plain Oxford, Toecap Derby, Toecap Oxford, or Full Brogue Oxford
  • To have blind or metal eyelets, a heel tab or counter and a toe medallion or no toe medallion

…then email us or call 020 78130093 to book a time to suit.

The fee for a tailored, 14-day Fiddle Waist shoe making course is £3100.

See our full Terms & Conditions here.

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