The Final Countdown – Sophie Penniman

Here it is, finals week, aka the week I collapse in a blubbering heap with lasting psychological trauma. This week is also when we’re presenting our final design to a panel of industry professionals/people we have never met before. As you can see, I have never been more excited or pumped in my entire life.

Right now, we’re busily preparing for this said presentation. We’ve been creating our prototype despite a few difficulties (which I’ll get into later), and adding all our information to a slide show which we will then present. Tomorrow, we’re all meeting for 2 hours to work on it all. And then Wednesday we present. So that should be fun.

I’ve been working a lot on the prototype, and boy has it been a struggle. We ordered all our materials right around Thanksgiving, but it took them a while to come in. The only materials we got in time to really work with were our FayTex suede, which I discussed in an earlier blog post, and a bag of “assorted leather remnants“. When we ordered this mixed leather (which was described only by its weight), we were expecting a bunch of 4 or 5 inch wide sheets with which we could mold the bottom of our insole. Instead, we should have probably heeded the message on the page that warned us we might not get what was pictured, because this is what arrived:


For reference, those thicker brown strips are about 2 inches wide, and those black pieces are basically cords. Not exactly something you could cut an insole out of.

Initial reaction shot

We did find one piece a bit wider than the others, but still not wide enough for an insole. We decided to use that as our base anyway, and then kinda improvise with the other pieces. It’s only a prototype, after all.

We used the black strings and glued them on a base of cardboard in different patterns, as a nonslip grip for the heel. Despite the fact that we were making due with something we got accidentally, we ended up liking the results.

We went with the design on top because it provided the most stability. Photo cred: Sara



I forgot to take pictures of subsequent steps, but our model is coming along. We’re still completing our prototype, but it will be done by the time we present. In the future, we’ll read the fine print closer before we buy stuff, but for things not going our way, I think it turned out all right.

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