My last pair of boots. 6. Finishing the tops

I believe my boots are almost done, but we’re behind on the photographs. All will be revealed! The boots are by Lee Miller of Austin, Texas, and the photos and captions (indented) by Carrlyn Miller. I have no idea how anyone manages to stitch in such intricate ways!
Here we are going to begin to stitch around the name.
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 At this time we’ll also sew the linings to the back of the tops.
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On the right side, you can see that the name has been stitched on the outside with blue, and the “stitch in the ditch” in rust, blue around the rose, with the detail and again the “stitch in the ditch” on the stem and leaves of the rose. The left side name only has the blue outline of the name.
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Here is a better view of the stitching around the rose.
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Charlotte is trimming the excess lining from the top panels.
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 Here’s one panel done and ready to start the fancy stitching. [JAC: All the stitching is fancy, of course, but Carrlyn’s referring to the decorative stitching on the shafts.]
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 Here Lee has started stitching. One row at a time.
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A closeup.
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One panel is done! [JAC: the clefts are at the front and back of the boots, with the panels sewn together at the sides. Thus the names will be mirror images of each other along the sides, forming two divergent curves that touch in the middle. This style, in which a name is turned into art, was pioneered by Charlie Dunn, with whom Lee apprenticed. The pinched yellow roses in leather, whose construction is a trade secret, also came from Dunn. Note that there are 4 rows of “fancy stitching,” all perfectly lined up, and all done by hand on a single-needle sewing machine.]
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 Now he burns off the thread ends.
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 And Lee uses this particular hammer to press them down.
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  1. Jenny Haniver
    Posted June 25, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    These are just gorgeous; such beautiful handwork. Among other pursuits, such as being a reading specialist, my mother did fine leather work and bookbinding. The paternal branch of her family has its roots in the Austin Colony (but the part that’s been effaced from the history — indentured servants and slaves) and there’s cowpoke in the blood, though she learned her skills in Los Angeles in the early 20th c. from Israil Berland and his wife, exceptional bookbinders and leather workers who’d emigrated from pre-Revolutionary Russia in the late 19th or early 20th centuries and learned their craft in Russia. If my mother or the Berlands were alive, I know they would be profoundly respectful of such exquisite work, and would surely be itching to learn the secret of the pinched roses.

  2. Posted June 25, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    A yellow rose stitched in boots . . . sounds like the first few bars of a great country song.

  3. Posted June 25, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I have never, ever wanted a pair of cowboy boots…until now. Watch your feet, Jerry!

  4. Susan riddell
    Posted June 26, 2016 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    The boots are so gorgeous it is a shame they will be covered up by your jeans!

  5. WD Bailey
    Posted June 26, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I personally prefer to go barefoot everywhere and as often as possible, but after seeing how these boots are made I believe that I’m going to have to have a couple of pairs made. If I am going to have something on my feet it should be something that brings me pleasure to wear

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