The cutting of patterns for bespoke work is usually empirically performed, and making a conformation to given measurements often is the only feature considered. There is no portion of pattern-making that requires so much discretion, thought, and care. A suitable last should be selected or made, that not only measures the requirements, but also is adaptable to the shape, etc., that is the chief cause of departure from the average. The spring or arch of the waist should be suitable for the foot, else it is difficult if not impossible to produce a good fit across the heel. This is usually one of the faults of factory-made bespoke. The excessive arch often present in these lasts throws the throat of the boot out of its correct relative position.

It would not be difficult to arrange a method or system of constructing bespoke patterns, based upon average requirements, and that would enable such variations as are required to be made to suit individual needs. It would be well here to refer to X in Fig. 39, and contrast it with. another extreme type of foot illustrated by X, Fig. 40. The former foot would, if measured by the experimental apparatus shown on p. 64, register an angle of 35°, while the latter type would show an angle of 45°. These are, of course, extreme cases, but will furnish the mind with the requirements of a system that would have to cope with peculiar conditions. A foot with a high instep will have a heel-line that makes a large angle with the ground, while a low instep will have a smaller angle.

Again, the front line of the leg is more distant from a back perpendicular in a low instep than is found in a high instep (see p. 15 and Fig. 107). The heel is also, as a rule, larger in a low instep than in a higher instep of the same dimensions, and in the higher instep type of foot the ankle is thicker, and the leg and calf more developed. The height of the ankle from the ground varies with the foot, a flat foot being nearer the ground, while the arched foot is farther away.

In making these experiments and comparing them with the last, it should be noted that in a last the waist is more arched and the comb is thinner than the foot, so that a foot with say, 40° heel-angle would require a last with 42° to 43°. The recording of the type of foot would be rendered comparatively easy if some practical method, similar to that illustrated in Fig. 54, could be adopted. In the absence of such facilities, the style of foot may, with a little experience, be judged from the draft-plan, if the precaution be taken of indicating the waist (see Fig. 49). The draft will assist the estimation in deciding whether the foot be narrow or broad, arched or flat. A last and pattern for a flat foot will be from 38°, the average from 40°, and the arched from 42°.

The proportions that are used to establish the system about to be described are obtained as follows. A number of lasts were taken and fitted with surface-area coverings. Upon the covers (which were tacked over) were measured the usual last proportions; the joint positions on the top of the lasts being those given on p. 114. The joint positions on the bottom were determined as shown in Fig. 60, p. 83, where J is one-third of TH (the length of the last). A line was drawn on the covers round the lasts connecting these top and bottom joint-positions. When the covers were removed and laid flat upon the cutting-board, the average angle of the joint line to the base was obtained. Similarly the toe-line was fixed by joining the end of the cover to the last-length, marked from the seat-end upon the base line. The table of allowances given on p. 125 were used, and an 'average obtained. It was also observed, in examining the relations of these surface-area coverings, that as the joint girth of the last increased, so the toe-line, when laid flat, was distanced farther from the base line, and the rule was thus obtained for fixing this point on the pattern. To enable these data to be used with as little trouble as possible, a special tool has to be designed, and is illustrated in Fig. 141.

Pattern Constructor.