My last pair of boots. Part 4: Design and tops

Here is part four of the sequence showing the making of my Last Pair of Cowboy Boots, constructed by the famous Lee Miller of Austin Texas. They’re a fancy custom pair, and today you’ll get an idea of the design. (See previous parts here: initial fitting and construction, parts 1, 2 and 3).

The notes below are by Carrlyn Miller, who runs the business end of the shop and also helps with design, ordering, and finishing the boot:

Here is the first version of the pattern that Lee drew up for your design.

Jerry%27s Boots1

Here you can see that Lee has removed the thread from the sewing machine, and is “sewing” on the paper pattern that he’s drawn. There will be holes then poked through the paper that corresponds to the design. You’ll see the purpose of that tomorrow.
Jerry%27s Boots2
Another view as he’s going around the pattern.
Jerry%27s Boots4-1
We make two different sets of paper patterns. This pattern Charlotte is filling in and will be used as a cutting pattern. Again, this will be clear as we go along.
Jerry%27s Boots5
The yellow and green leather has been pulled for your roses.
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Here is the paper pattern that Lee has just finished “sewing.”
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The Pacific Blue Kangaroo leather for your tops.
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Laying the patterns on the skin to determine where the tops will be cut from.
Jerry%27s Boots9
Tops have been cut out!
Jerry%27s Boots10
A note on design: it incorporates two features introduced and made famous by Charlie Dunn, who originally owned the shop and under whom Lee apprenticed. They are the inlaid “mirror writing” and the pinched leather rose—usually yellow to represent The Yellow Rose of Texas.

Charlie’s own boot



  1. darrelle
    Posted June 17, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I would have never guessed a Yellow Rose Of Texas motif for your design Jerry. Looks like they are going to be very sharp looking boots!

    • Posted June 17, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      It’s traditional from that shop, and I love how they make pinched roses.

      • Posted June 17, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink


      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 17, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        Yellow roses are also for peace, so they’re appropriate for Jerry in that way.

        Very cool how they do the rises.

  2. Posted June 17, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Wow, excellent design! Woo-hoo!

  3. Posted June 17, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Have to admit, I would have bet big on at least one moggie.

  4. Michael Day
    Posted June 17, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh. So the mirror design occurs naturally by “sewing” onto the doubled-over top pattern. Cool!

  5. Posted June 17, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m dying of envy. I’ve wanted full custom cowboy boots for years, and these are just going to be so stunning. I hope to be lucky enough to own a pair like this some day (though, consoling myself with a pair of full-on-rock-and-roll customs by Hollywood RiffRaff will help.)

  6. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted June 17, 2016 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    There will be holes then poked through the paper that corresponds to the design. You’ll see the purpose of that tomorrow.

    I’ve stitched leather by hand. I think I’ve guessed.

  7. LAG
    Posted June 17, 2016 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting. Thanks.

  8. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 18, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    It freaks me out when Jerry says “last pair of cowboy boots” because it’s like a Twilight Zone episode or something foreshadowing his demise!

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