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Mistake leads to the Signature Cut Out

the mistake
The Mistake

A skiving mistake turned into a happy accident, leading to the Signature cut out design. As I was working on a Signature upper out of the hide I got at J. T. Batchelor in London last summer, I was too heavy handed with my skiving knife. As you can see from the image, I cut off a part of the “seam allowance” or the part that connects the upper to the insole and sole.


The Solution
The Solution

I was annoyed with myself because I hate wasting leather. I could have tried to glue a patch and continue on, but other tasks came up and I left the problem for awhile. After a few weeks, I had my great shower thought of the day! Could I use the mistake to lead me to another design? I got into the studio and took a look. Using the mistake as my starting point, I created three cut outs. With some slight alteration and a decision to recycle some metal studs from a cuff, the design started to take shape.

The Cut Out Prototype
The Cut Out Prototype

With some glue, assembly and finishing , the prototype emerged a few days later. I’m in the testing phase. As expected, some adjustments will have to be made.  It is critical that the “straps” hit  the toes in the right place. I’ll have to add a step to the order process to make sure that happens. It’s coming along and I’m on track to launch the style in May.


I will name the style Happy Accident and the prototype will serve as a reminder to me that a change in perspective can always turn a mistake into a solution.

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