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Mastering Footwear

Mastering Footwear

London College of Fashion
Taught by
Nafi Mustafa


This comprehensive 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. 

Based at our Golden Lane site, on this part-time course you’ll 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. You’ll 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’ll 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, and a thorough overview of the industry.  Through a series of practical demonstrations and hands-on workshops, you will then make three pairs of shoes and a pair of boots.  You will build up a comprehensive set of reference notes and supporting patterns for all your shoes, cover information on suppliers and tools, as well as learning how to create and complete a sample specification ticket used in the industry.

The Court Shoe:

Your first project will be a pair of ladies peep toe sling-back court shoes, which offers the best introduction to footwear pattern cutting,closing and shoe making. This shoe making course incorporates elements of heeled pumps and sandals, providing a well rounded introduction to shoe making. You will begin by discussing your design ideas and then sketching your court shoe/sling back design onto the last and making your pattern. 

You will be guided through the different types of leathersuitable for your design before moving onto the making process. The tutor willdemonstrate the skills needed to identify the different upper materials and handcutting techniques involved. You will also be shown different types of edgetreatments.  

The Oxford Shoe:

Once confident with your new understanding of the making process, you will move on to your second project designing and pattern cutting a traditional oxford shoe. You will be using the existing last and components, you have the choice of making a men's or women's style.

The Casual Trainer/Sneaker:

For your third shoe you will create your own design and draw onto the last a men’s or women’s casual trainer/sneaker. You will develop your new pattern techniques, and select your own leather materials which will take you into clicking/closing. Under the guidance of your tutor you will design and construct your own unit/sole with existing materials. 

The Ankle Boot:

Finally, you will get an opportunity to make a men's or women's short ankle boot, constructed with a zip. You will be introduced to new construction of patterns, where you will then be selecting your materials for cutting and stitching your upper. This will then be taken into the making process.


  • Creating mood/colour/materials boards
  • How to draw: Women's closed shoes with high heel,  women's high heel and flat sandals, men's/women's trainers, brogues /masculine styles for both men and women, boots
  • Final design boards
  • Stylized drawing
  • Technical drawing with specification sheet
  • Collection board

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

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.  

The shoe sizes available are:

Women’s 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 - flats and high heels available

Women’s 9, 10 - only flats available

Men’s 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

All lasts, tools and materials will be provided


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

You may also be interested in other courses from our Mastering programme.

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

Dates: (Saturdays, delivered in three parts)

Part 1: 28 September 2019  - 14 December 2019
Part 2: 4 January 2020 - 21 March 2020 
Part 3: 18 April 2020 - 23 May 2020


Your course place is confirmed once you have booked online or via the phone using a credit or debit card. There is no deadline for booking. Places are offered on a first come, first served basis, and all courses have a maximum number of students. We suggest you book early to avoid disappointment.

Payment plans:

Early booking will allow you to spread the cost of our Mastering Skills courses. Pay a 25% deposit (non-refundable) of total course fee followed by monthly repayments. To find out more or get your payment plan set up please call: +44 20 7514 7552

Please note:

Due to the length of this course International Students who hold a passport from a country that is outside  the EEA or Switzerland must already have immigration permission to stay in the UK which covers the full length of the course and has no restrictions on studying.

You may also by interested in:

Footwear Design Intensive

Starting your own Footwear or Accessories Label

Shoe Making - Pumps or Heels

Tutor Description

Nafi Mustafa began his career at an early age working alongside his father who was a shoemaker. He studied at the Cordwainers College in East London where he gained a diploma in footwear design and a Royal Society of Arts bursaries and City & Guilds qualification in boot and shoe manufacturing. Following his graduation he ventured to Italy, where he trained and worked in the footwear industry, developing his appreciation and expertise in the craft of footwear. Shortly afterwards he worked with a range of brands including Bally of Switzerland, H&M Raynes, John Hlustik Design, Levis, Wrangler, Arrow and Clarks. He then went on to set up his own design consultancy company based in London, where he provided footwear manufacturers and tanners with a comprehensive range of design ideas for men’s women’s and children’s footwear, both in the UK and overseas.

Available dates