How to Adjust Wayfarer Shoes for a High Instep

For those with a particularly high arch or instep, the Wayfarer Shoes may feel a wee bit tight over the top of the foot.  Fortunately, it's a very simple pattern modification to add some extra ease to the pattern piece, resulting in a comfortable, custom fit. 

Note that the Adult Wayfarer Shoes pattern includes three width options, however if you are sewing for a person with a particularly high instep, this simple pattern adjustment may still help to get a comfortable fit over the foot.  


  • Scrap paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pattern pieces (print the size which best fits foot length)

Measure foot

Using a measuring tape, measure the instep from the floor, over the highest part of the foot, and to the floor on the other side.   

Add 2cm to this measurement (to account for seam allowances and ease).  This will be your Adjusted Instep Measurement.  


Adjust the Wayfarer Shoes pattern

1.  Measure along the top of the Toe pattern piece.  

Subtract this measurement from your Adjusted Instep Measurement (determined above) to calculate the amount to add to the Toe pattern piece.  For example:

  • Adjusted Instep Measurement = 14cm
  • Toe pattern piece measurement = 12cm
  • Amount to add to pattern = 2cm

2.  Mark the centre of the Toe pattern piece and cut a straight line as far as the stitching line.  

3.  Crease the seam allowance to create a "hinge" and gently pull the sides of the pattern apart until the gap in the centre equals the amount to add (calculated in step 1).  

4.  Tape the pattern piece to scrap paper to secure and blend the top line.

Cut and sew the shoes as described in the Wayfarer Shoes tutorial.  

This simple high instep modification will help you to create custom fit footwear for feet of all shapes and sizes!  Remember that it's always a good idea to make a muslin to test fit before cutting your treasured fabric.

Join us in the Twig + Tale Chat Facebook group to ask questions, look for inspiration, and of course to share photos of your lovely projects. 

Read more about Twig + Tale footwear here: