Searched forever to find someone who could sew leather in Chicago so I could make my mom an overnight bag from a hide I got from work. Sara, the woman behind Chicago School of Shoemaking, not only knows how to sew leather but you can take a class and learn how to be a true designer and make clutches, shoes, earings, etc etc! SO MUCH FUN!!! I didn’t know what to expect but I loved it. 5 hours on a Saturday with her and we had a beautiful finished bag.
Prerequisite: Exploring Leather Work, or advanced leather skills.
I’m travelling to England in August to get more training in traditional leatherworking skills. I expect to teach these techniques to the more advance leather working students.
We’ll be focusing on finer skills, hand stitching and lacing, more knowledge and experience with vegetable tanned leather and formation and construction of interesting handles as well as zipper installation. Training and use of the industrial sewing machine on site as well as elaborate edging techniques make this class series a good choice for the more serious leather worker. There will be many opportunities for your own designs to be incorporated into class projects. All materials, hardware and use of tools are included.
Discover and learn the art of patternmaking for custom made shoes. Create patterns for new styles and design shoes on paper, creating patterns for your designs that will fit you and others you know. Understanding the structure of a shoe and the variety of details that can be modified are the goals. Sizing for all shapes and sizes of feet included. Class focus is on patternmaking. No actual shoes will be made during class. Includes all materials and use of tools on site. (Beginning Shoemaking is a prerequisite.)
Classes scheduled upon request
This hands-on fundamentals course is for people who want to learn how to make items and projects out of a variety of weights and types of leather. Whether you have done some leather work on your own, have already attended a workshop at the school or have never worked with leather before, this is the best class to refine your skills and move forward to more intricate projects and advanced classes.
In 6 weeks we will cover all the basic information students need to complete 5 different projects. We explore many aspects of working with leather: cutting, gluing, shaping, dyeing, hardware, and finishing techniques. Patterns and projects are provided as well as many choices of leather types and colors. You will also have time and space to work on independent projects of your own designs as the class progresses. All materials, hardware and use of tools are included.
Feel free to download this pdf of the class syllabus.Exploring Leather Work Class Syllabus 2013
We’ve got a lot of new things going at the school—one of which is a new classroom across the courtyard!
This will allow us to hold classes in 2 spaces at once. We have a new class starting on the 20th called Intermediate Leather Work, designed to take the Exploring Leather work to the next level. We’ll be focusing on finer skills, hand stitching and lacing, more knowledge and experience with vegetable tanned leather and interesting handles and zipper installation. We don’t have the syllabus completed at this time, but I know many of you have been waiting for the next class in the series. We will still be running the Exploring Leather Work on Tuesday nights for 6 weeks for those of you who want to repeat that class. As you know, we’ll still be doing similar projects as before, but there’s always new leathers and hardware to incorporate.
And for those who are itching to jump into independent bench time, we are VERY close to having the new space done which will house that. I really appreciate your patience with us as we’ve been finalizing details on a system that will keep that space and tools available for you on a pretty regular basis.
Please sign up asap—there are only 6 spaces in each class.
Please tell your friends to visit us at the Renegade Craft Show this weekend. We are displaying the leather projects and shoemaking process that the school is offering. For $5 you can make a cool leather piece out of the materials we’re bringing to get you excited about taking a class. In exchange, you get a coupon for $5 off a leather working class or $50 off a shoemaking class! Love to see you at the show.
Booth #76 is near the corner of Division and Honore.
We just added a bunch of classes to the summer calendar. Since we filled the Exploring Leather Work classes on Tuesday evenings so quickly, we decided to run another 6 week class on Thursday evenings starting July 5th- Aug 9th. We’ve also got some Sandalmaking classes scheduled starting July 7th. Check out the class dates calendar and grab your spot. We’ll be showing photos of the sandal designs by July 1st.
Ok People –this is your chance to have some input in some hand made sandal design. I’ve got some ideas I’ve been working on…but if you’re interested in making a pair of sandals for yourself, now’s the time to send photos, pictures, or drawings to us and get a 10% discount on the class for your efforts. There are only 6 spots in each class–so we’ll add classes if we get a lot of submissions. We’ll choose 3 designs from your offerings that can be made in a one day class and have the proper materials for them on hand. How about it?
We’ll be finalizing the designs by Friday, June 22. So send your ideas in asap–to info[at]chicagoschoolofshoemaking.com
Let the Sandal Designing Begin!
Katie Hastert may have found a new calling. She was a model student in her first class at the Chicago School of Shoemaking and has now signed up for the Intermediate Shoemaking Class. We’re excited to see her next pair of shoes–of her own design.