I spent this past spring in Paris studying french with my college, and as the warm weather approached, espadrilles were everywhere I looked. When my mom and aunt visited me halfway through my program, they had a well-documented list of what they wanted to do and at the top of their list was buying a pair of French espadrilles. However, after several shopping missions to the hip area of the city to find a pair, we couldn’t quite find the espadrilles that fit our feet perfectly. So imagine my excitement when, not long after returning from France, I opened a box of notions from Moda and found kits to make your own espadrilles!
Pattern: Included with the Dritz espadrille soles
Materials: 1 fat Quarter for the outside, 1 fat Quarter for the lining, 1/2 yard of interfacing (I used SF101), Dritz espadrille soles, 1 skein of embroidery floss
Time Required: About 2 hours
The first pair I made was a sample for the shop, so I decided to go bright and whimsical with my fabric choice and went for an amazing Lizzy House floral (found here), because nothing says summer like whimsical hot pink daisies.
After finishing a couple other projects on my sewing list, I decided this weekend to finally make my mom and I our French inspired espadrilles. Since the French prefer simplicity and elegance when it comes to their clothes, I had to restrain myself from neon floral when it came time to choose my fabrics.
Instead, for my pair, I broke into a fat quarter bundle of metallic linen I picked up recently in New York and lined it in the FAB metallic sardine print from Sarah Watt’s new fabric line “From Porto with Love” (found here). For my mom’s pair, I used metallic essex linen (found here) and lined it with one of my all time favorite Cotton + Steel prints from the “Paper Bandana” collection (similar prints found here, here, and here). For the icing on my metallic espadrille cake, I chose to use metallic DMC embroidery floss to round out the look.
A couple episodes of Netflix later, I had two new pairs of shoes for my mom and me, just in time to wear for the rest of the hot Texas summer! I love how versatile and comfy these espadrilles are! The shimmer allows me to dress them up or down and the metallic fish on the inside are the perfect amount of fun and whimsy to elevate them from any old shoe you can buy at the store.
I love how the sunlight shows the fabulous texture and shine that the Essex linen gives to my mom’s espadrilles!
After making these shoes three times, I have a couple tips for making this process quick and painless:
- The soles can be thick, but wearing a thimble will make the hand sewing portion of this project a breeze!
- Use a thicker needle to get through the layers. (these needles work great)
- I also used a pin in the corner of my blanket stitch to secure it as I did the next one and then moved the pin to the next stitch when each one was complete (see picture below for reference). This keeps the blanket stitches from slipping and keeps them consistent as you hand-sew.
These shoes are an amazing blank canvas to show off your creativity and a great way to enhance your handmade wardrobe! I hope you enjoy making them as much as I did!