I have a favorite pair of boots that were part of the inspiration for doing this. They are nothing brand name or fancy, just some cheap department store boots that happened to fit great and had a good design. I wore out the toe (literally, a hole through it). Thus, I decided to rip them apart to:
One, study the construction and techniques that went into making it.
Two, make a pattern off the pieces, so I could then make a basic block pattern off of this.
Three, make an exact replacement of the boots for myself.
These are the boots:
I took them apart with a seam ripper, scissors, and an exacto knife, starting with the straps and rings.
Next, I began to rip open the seams on the zippers. It was at the top of the zippers that I found a simple solution for the clean application of zipper ends, so that it doesn’t show or fray out when clipped.
The zipper was rubber cemented on both sides, then folded like a turned corner on a leather seam. What’s the trick though it that they don’t clip all the way through the tape after it is folded; it is only clipped to the thicker, innermost part of the zipper tape, leaving this stronger part on the outside to simple “bend” and disappear into the seam. No fraying, no nasty tabs- I feel foolish that I haven’t figured this out sooner.
After I had the zipper seams removed all the way to the inner heel (where other seams met with it), I took out the elastic piece on the upper inside calf. I don’t intend to use detail in my final collection at all, but it was still good to document and see the shapes used for an easy construction.
Once this was done, I took out the remaining topstitching along the top of the boot, thereby getting as far I could on the deconstruction of the upper.
Next, I removed the rubber sole of the boot.
Next I began removing the lasting on the feather edge, cutting apart the glue with a knife to preserve the shape of the pieces as best as possible.
Next, I removed the toe box and counter boxes.
Finally, I took apart the upper. These are all the pieces, laid out in a rough approximation of how they reassemble.
This is the last of the deconstruction for the boot. The next post will be the continuation of this process, the pattern-making for the original boot and the boot block.