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Student sketching heeled shoe

Footwear Summer School Short Course

Course description

Based at our Golden Lane site, youll have access to the full range of industrial machines used in the making process such as the skiving machine as well as the different types of sewing machines used for stitching leather. Youll learn how to click (cut your leather by hand) and how to prepare and fit the many components involved such as the linings, insoles, stiffeners and heel coverings.

You will start the course with an introduction to footwear pattern cutting, including foot anatomy, size fitting systems and last measurements using a range of contemporary lasts, before moving on to making your first shoe.

The court shoe:

Your first making project will be a pair of ladies court shoes, which offers the best introduction to footwear pattern cutting, closing and shoe making. The styles you will investigate will include the 'Mary Jane' and' T-bar' before you move on to sketching your court shoe design onto the last and making your pattern.

You will be guided through the different types of leather suitable for your design before moving onto the making process. The tutor will demonstrate the skills needed to identify the different upper materials and hand cutting techniques involved in cutting. You will also be shown different types of edge treatments.

Flat sandal/high heel:

For your second project you will have the choice to make a flat sandal (male/female) or a high heel. You will design and cut your own patterns and investigate different styles including, slotted, skeleton and thong (sandals). You will move onto constructing the shoe, stitching the components together and attaching your sole and heels.

Loafer, court shoe or sandal:

Once confident with your new understanding of the making process youll start your third project designing and developing your own style of loafer (male/female), court shoe (female) or sandal (male/female), using the lasts and existing components you have been using.

Who should attend?

Beginners. You should have an interest in footwear making and a desire to learn but no previous experience is required.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older.

Clear, easy to understand lessons:

  • Our tutors will explain things in easy to understand, accessible English. If they need to use any special terminology they will make sure they explain what they mean.
  • New methods will be shown to students through live demonstrations, in a way thats crystal clear and easy to understand.
  • Experience life on campus
  • Network and share ideas with students from across the globe
  • Access the technology and materials relevant to your discipline
  • Shop in our college shops for any materials you might need
  • Ask questions of your tutor in real time
  • Receive feedback and critique on your assignments
  • Experience the many sights of London on your down time

A certificate of completion:

  • You've put the work in so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.
  • We always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are great to compliment your cv.

This course is scheduled to run on campus in a face to face delivery format. Please note that due to the ongoing pandemic situation this course may be adapted in line with UK government guidance or other operational requirements. This may include changing course location (to another UAL site), cancellation of the course, or moving part or all of the course online. In the event of any changes being required we will inform you as soon as possible and support you in any changes required. Please bear this in mind when making any travel, visa, or accommodation arrangements.

Available dates

Enquire about this course and we will contact you when new dates are published.


The course will be taught through a series of practical demonstrations and hands-on workshops and cover information on suppliers and tools as well as how to create and complete a sample specification ticket used in the industry. At the end of the course you’ll leave with three pairs of shoes and a comprehensive set of reference notes and supporting patterns for all your shoes.

The course will include:

  • Materials & leathers and appropriateness of selection
  • Explanation of specialist equipment and machinery and treatments which may be achieved
  • Basic understanding of terminology and foot anatomy
  • Drawing onto the last
  • Last taping
  • Making an inside and outside/ mean form and design standard
  • Closing (stitching the upper)
  • Preparing the insole
  • Lasting (shaping the leather)
  • Attaching the sole and the heel


In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please bring the following materials/equipment to the first class:

  • A pen and notebook
  • A selection of drawing pencils and an eraser
  • Small scissors

All other specialist equipment will be provided. While every effort will be made to meet your size requirements, please be aware that it may not always be possible to make the shoe in your desired size. This is not a design course and the shoe style you make will be determined by the capabilities of the studio.

Meet the Tutor:

This in-depth shoe making course offers you a unique opportunity to learn and develop all aspects of footwear pattern cutting and making under the guidance of specialist footwear tutor Nafi Mustafa.

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