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Backstay Mock-Ups

This video is part of our "How to Make an L.L.Bean Boot" series, showing how our bootmakers are trained to make our famous L.L.Bean Boots right here in Maine.

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CHANNELS: How to Make an L.L.Bean Boot

Backstay Blockers

Backstay Blockers (04:10)

Attach Quarters to the V-Stay

Attach Quarters to the V-Stay (05:31)

Decorative Stitch

Decorative Stitch (02:55)

Boot Top Binding

Boot Top Binding (02:15)

Now that you've practiced sewing backstay blockers, You will stitch the mock-ups. The mock-up is an actual backstay that is cut from training leather. The backstay is attached to two quarters and a V-stay with a heel protector. Just like the blockers, you will stitch the backstay to the triangle-shaped V-stay.

Before sewing, stage your work right-side up to the left of the post. To sew the mock up, you'll first position the right leg over the right stitched side of the V-stay. Center the V-notch over the stitched line, keeping it even with the edge of the leather. Slide it to overhang the edge of the leather a quarter inch. Line the outside edge of the backstay to the edge of the presser foot, and begin your straight line stitching. As you stitch, keep the leg centered over the line. Make sure you fold and hold the backstay so the tab is squared. Stitch until the needles are even with the top line of the decorative stitch.

Make your first 90-degree corner. The left stitches should line up with the top line of the decorative stitch. Be careful not to run off the backstay. Finish your 90-degree turn and continue stitching to the end. Be sure to keep the backstay centered over the stitched line as you sew. As you turn the leather to sew the tree stitch, make sure to move the heel protector out of the way.

Stitch until you are even with the point, and take three more stitches. Make your turn. Stitch to the end. Move the heel protector so you don't stitch over it. Let the finished piece hang and fold the heel protector out of the way before starting your second mock-up.

Position the right leg over the right stitched side of the V-stay. Keep the backstay centered as you sew. Make sure you fold and hold the backstay so the tab is squared. Make your 90-degree turn even with the top line of the decorative stitch.

After cutting off the hanging piece, fold the heel protector and trim the overhanging edges so they're even with the leather. Make sure you inspect the stitches. Finish your 90-degree turn.

Center the leg over the stitches, and sew to the end and off the leather. Turn to make your tree stitch. Make sure to move the heel protector out of the way.

Stitch until you're even with the point and take three more stitches. Make your turn. Stitch to the end, moving the heel protector so you don't stitch over it. Let the finished piece hang and fold the heel protector out of the way before starting the next pair of mock-ups. Be aware of where your fingers are as you sew.

When you are finished sewing the mock-ups, stitch onto the scrap leather. Trim the overhanging edges and inspect your stitches.