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Vintage Alden #8 Shell Cordovan Lhs Loafers Deconstructed And Made Into Hand-Stitched Wall

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Full image process here.


Warning: Image album is 94 image of the entire process!
So this is a bit of something different... I figured it warranted being posted here since it is made from an awesome pair of old shoes.
The Backstory
Someone on StyleForum messaged me and asked if I had ever made any wallets from old pairs of shoes. I told him I hadn't but I'd be willing to give it a shot but couldn't guarantee any results. He sent the shoes off and they arrived last night. Initially seeing the shoes, I didn't think I'd be able to make anything from them beyond a lanyard due to the limited space of "clean" shell. After thinking about it, I decided to get crafty and use anything I could.
The Shoes
He sent me a pair of size 7 vintage Alden 986 Leisure Handsewn #8 Shell Cordovan Loafers. The markings on the inside indicate these are from a year ending in 4. Based on their wear and use, I'd guess they are from either 1994. Could be 2004 or even earlier too -- it's just a guess. These had a ton of wear but are built like bricks.
I wanted to check out the interior components so I ripped off the heel and started removing the uppers from the sole. It was cool to check out the steel shank and all the cork on the inside.
The Process
Luckily I have my cutting dies and 4 ton clicking press otherside this would have been significantly more difficult and messy. Removing the uppers was as easy as cutting along the bottom as close to the sole as I could with an Xacto blade. I messed around with a few different components for the card holder including using the folded portions of the upper near the top of where you put your foot in, but that ended up being way too thick so I had to rethink my plan. Burnishing, beveling and sanding were all the same process so that wasn't too difficult. The edges were tough because the shell had rolls in it from use but it ended up working out. Piercing all the holes and hand stitching was just like normal too -- actually probably easier because the shell was so soft.
The result turned out a lot better than I expected. I think they are kind of a cool tribute to the Alden 986 and will allow the customer to have this repurposed item to use for many years to come.
In terms of time, this took *significantly* longer than doing a normal card holder just because the deconstruction took awhile and making sure different parts were getting glued down properly. From start to finish, it probably took me around 2.5 hours. If I were to do it again in the future, it'd probably only take around 1.5 hours since I know a bit more of what I was doing this time. It was a fun side project -- maybe I can do something like this in the future.

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Not regarding to your effort, but what a shame to not resole the loafers! They were obviously well made and seem to have (had) plenty of life left. However on your behalf I understand that you only did a job. But still...

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