Back in July, I noticed a few blog posts floating around on making your own shoes and happened to spy a pre-order offer from Melissa of A Happy Stitch for an “espadrilles kit”. Now, I’ve always liked the look of espadrilles, but along with loafers or any shoe with a stiffer upper portion, I have issues with sizing. I have quite a high arch, coupled with not-such-slim feet and therefore the opportunity to have a go at making my own really appealed.
I duly pre-ordered the kit and when it arrived – oh wow. I’ll admit it: I’m a superficial sucker for packaging – what can I say? I’m a visual kind of gal. It doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive, but I love a thoughtful presentation of things and Melissa has outdone herself. Everything is in one of several hand-printed little bags or fabric swatch cases and there are hand-written notes to say hello too. I loved it and couldn’t wait to dive in. The murderous-looking curvy needle was especially exciting.
And I am living proof that making espadrilles is actually really straightforward! I am a horrible hand-sewer. I know I should do it more and I (sort of) want to, but honestly I am not good at all. But the blanket stitch is really pretty easy and the only hard part is getting the needle through the first few stitches.
I used a Japanese canvas/linen type fabric I got from Miss Matatabi an age ago for the polka dot uppers and a really soft Kokka solid cotton for the lining. There are only two pieces and you cut out two of each, in each fabric, and then interface all of them.
From there, it’s just a case of bending and pinning them into shape, like little footwear hedgehogs and blanket stitching all the way round. My second one only took me maybe 30-40 mins, which was pretty fast!
The booklet gives you lots of little fitting tips, and I will definitely use a bit more fabric in the upper next time. As I mentioned at the beginning, I have quite high arches and I guess “thick” feet. I don’t know how to describe them – they’re not really chubby, but they’re not thin. Anyway, the upper fabric is a little tight on me, which is not unduly expected, so I’ll address that the next time I make them. I’m trying to stretch them at the moment, so let’s see how that works out for this pair.
Overall, this is a GREAT little kit. You can buy it including fabric, without fabric (my option) or the bare bones for a second or third pair (which I will definitely do!).
The second thing I wanted to mention today was the Seattle Frocktails event on October 20th from 6-9pm. I’m one of the people organizing it, along with a group of lovely ladies, and we’d love it if you came along!!
We’re holding it at a really lovely warm club venue in Ballard and tickets are now on sale for $45 each (includes Eventbrite fees, etc.). This will cover entry to the event, some fabulous finger food, a drink ticket (signature cocktails, beer, wine, soda etc.), a fantastic goody bag to take home and all the fun activities we’ve got planned for the evening, including an amazing door prize draw! (We’re running it on a non-profit basis).
If you haven’t heard of the Frocktails events before, they’re basically social events for sewists to get together and enjoy a cocktail or two, while wearing their favourite handmades! It started in Australia around 5 years ago (I think!) and there have been a number held around the world.
We’re almost 50% sold out of tickets already, so I hope you’ll be able to join if you’re in the area! All the details are on the dedicated website, so swing by and check it out! You can also follow us on IG or FB at @seattlefrocktails 😀