Seems like a funny idea to be making my own shoes-MIY being taken to a new extreme-but I’d seen them popping up on various blogs and I thought I’d investigate.
If you have visions of Manolo Blahnik kitten heels or Louboutin red soles then you’re wide of the mark because these are strictly your continental style espadrilles lovingly (!?) hand-crafted from scraps of fabric in my stash. The soles, and indeed whole kits with fabric and thick thread, are available from Prym, a company that make many haberdashery and crafting tools and accessories. I’d found them online from John Lewis and, as I live so near a store, I thought I’d pop and buy them myself.
No such luck-online or Oxford St only! Home I went to order and they duly arrived 24 hours later. I only ordered the soles and thread because I’d already earmarked the fabric I wanted to use. They come in individual sizes and with hindsight I would order one size down from my usual size 5-I wasn’t to know that at the outset though.
They don’t take much fabric-about 30cms or biggish scraps or a fat quarter- and you’ll need a similar quantity of suitable lining (or just self-line them) Inside the box you get a pattern template for the various pieces and you’ll need to trace off the appropriate ones for your size PLUS seam allowance of 1cm (very important because the SA isn’t included and your pieces will be too small if you forget to do this)
To trace the pieces off you can either place paper over the top and trace the lines through it (although this may only work if your paper is thin enough) I used dressmakers carbon paper and a tracing wheel. I don’t suppose you’ll have these in which case you could place the template over a sheet of plain paper and using the point of a pin, prick through the lines every few centimetres to trace off the outline until you have enough to draw around-not forgetting to add your 1cm seam allowance.
Now you have your 2 simple pattern pieces you can cut them out of your chosen fabric-2 in the main fabric and 2 in a suitable lining (I used some curtain lining fabric)
So there you have it-in truth I probably won’t wear them out and about all that much as they have a habit of slipping off but I think that’s always the trouble with espadrilles anyway. They can be groovy slippers around the house until I go on a sunshine holiday and can mooch by a pool in them!! I enjoyed making them as something new to try out and they probably take about 2 hours in total although mine were spread out in half an hour here and half an hour there. You could probably add trims like buttons, ribbons, ricrac, petersham etc etc if you wanted to get carried away.
Send me your pictures if any of you decide to have a go!