I started by covering the last with masking tape (just the areas I knew the sandal would cover–I’m lazy!) and “drawing” a rough outline of the location of the straps using a narrow black tape.
I carefully pulled the masking tape off the last and stuck it to stiff paper. To finish the pattern, I drew the outlines of the straps and added allowances of 1 inch to their ends. At right, there’s also a pattern for the sole.
I cut out the paper pattern and traced it onto crappy leather so that I could check the fit without wasting nice material. After cutting out that leather, I shaped it around the last and taped it to the topsole.
It looked okay on the last, but the proof is in the pudding, and…
…the strap didn’t hold the pinkie in, dammit! Also, the fit over the toes was way too baggie. That was due to the bulbous shape of the toes on the last, so I changed to lasts with a flatter toe. (Kindly ignore my toenails-of-the-dead. I’ll get around to removing that flaking nail polish someday.)
I redrew a wider strap on the paper pattern and cut new leather for another prototype. After nailing the topsole to the bottom of the last…
…I centered the straps over the last and…
…began taping the straps to the bottom of the topsole.
I checked the placement/centering of the back straps, then taped those to the bottom of the topsole.
It looked good. The next step was to try it on…
So I made another adjustment to the paper pattern, as well as to the placement of the slit for the strap, and the resulting prototype kept that little piggie under wraps.
I added a back strap held on with rivets and punched holes to embellish the straps. Circles were all wrong, but no need to finalize the shape of the cutouts now. My prototype work was finished. Time to move on to the real leather I wanted to use!
I made them in an iridescent purple-green and found a much more successful shape for the hole. Next time, I think that instead of a hole, I’ll try three brass spots in descending sizes. All that remains are the steps to add the sole and a wee heel.