What is a Shoe Pattern?
The shoe pattern is the shape of all the parts needed to make a shoe. The shoe pattern is cut in 2D but once thepattern parts are assembled the shoe upper can be lasted to set the 3D shape. You can learn more about lasts andLasting in the article About Shoes Lasts and Shoe Lasting. On the shoe assembly line the workers follow the sewing pattern for the shoes to create the uppers.
You can say the pattern is the template for all the shoe parts. To make a shoe you will need many pattern parts cut form different materials. Even a simple shoe design will require many cut pattern parts, more parts are required inside than outside to make all the inning and reinforcement parts.
When a new shoe is being developed the pattern maker or pattern cutter will first create a paper shoe template pattern. The pattern maker will create a forme from the last. The forme is simply the 3D surface of the last laid flat to paper. Once the forme is created the flat pattern can be draw.
A shoe pattern make may use the taped last method to cut the shoe pattern. In this technique the pattern maker will layer masking tape onto the last, them draw the design directly on to the surface. Once the design is finished the entire taped panel can be removed or the design can be cut off the last piece by piece. There is no right or wrong way, for the pattern master is a matter of preference.<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" style="margin: 20px 0px 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.62em; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center;">Shoe flat pattern Complete Shell pattern
Today we also have CAD CAM software that a designer can use to "draw" the pattern onto the computer model of the last. This is a more advance way to create patterns but there is still art an art to holding the last in hand and marking the design by eye.
Shoe pattern cutting is really an art. While it not hard to cut your own patterns step by step it takes years to truly master the craft of pattern making. There are many books on the subject of of pattern cutting. Here is a good one by Frank Jones.