How Rachel Simpson shoes are made- patterns & pieces

Rachel Simpson

Posted on September 22 2021

How Rachel Simpson shoes are made- patterns & pieces


Once we've designed a shoe and chosen the perfect colours and materials, the next step is to make a sample. You might think we just make one sample and there we go, but in reality it can take two or three prototypes before we're 100% happy with a new style. We fit test each new sample, making what are often tiny adjustments each time so we get the cut of the shoe and of course, the fit just right.

Rachel Simpson shoes pattern pieces


We make our samples in a size 37 (UK size 4), so once we have a confirmed production sample the next step is to grade the patterns for every single size. We make all Rachel Simpson shoes in sizes 35 (UK 2) to 43 (UK 9), so there are a lot of patterns to make! Every single shoe is made up of a surprisingly large number of pieces- not least because we're known for our intricate designs. 

Rachel Simpson shoes boxes of patterns on shelves

There are patterns for the upper pieces, patterns for the lining pieces; patterns for the piece of leather which covers the heels, for the insole binding and the sock...the list goes on! Having well cut patterns is yet another part of the shoe making process which can make or break a shoe, and we work with some expert patterns cutters to make sure we get it just right!

Rachel Simpson shoes knives

A lot of the pieces of our shoes are cut by hand as they're too intricate for machinery, and some are cut with specially developed knives. We develop these knives from the pattern pieces and again, there are different ones for different shoe sizes- we've said before there are so many components and processes which go into shoe making!

Once all the pieces are cut out, guide lines and markers are made by hand so they can be lined up ready for stitching.

Rachel Simpson shoes- shoemaker

If you missed our previous blogs about how Rachel Simpson shoes are made, click here to have a read about the design, colours and materials and the people who make them.

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