How to make espadrilles

Kate Smith / 21 July 2015

The Makery's Kate Smith shares her step-by-step picture guide and video tutorial for making your own pair of espadrilles.



When you make your own espadrilles you have limitless choice of fabric colours and patterns to mix and match with your summer wardrobe. The soles are available from The Makery (see special offer below) and come complete with templates.

Click through the images above to see the video tutorial and step-by step images.

You will need

Materials

  • Espadrille soles
  • Outer fabric, 1 square, 50cm x 50cm
  • Lining fabric (heavyweight cotton/linen) 1 square, 50cm x 50cm
  • Extra-strong thread

Tools

  • Pencil
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Tailor’s chalk (optional)
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Needle

How to make

Step 1

You’ll see there’s a pattern in your espadrille soles box. It’s double-sided: either photocopy it or trace the correct size onto another piece of paper, so you have a separate pattern for each piece. Cut out your pattern templates: 1 x front and 1 x back. Pin the front pattern piece onto your outer fabric, matching the grain line and thinking about pattern placement. Trace around the pattern template adding a 1cm seam allowance, then cut out. Flip your pattern template over and repeat for your second outer fabric piece. Repeat with the back pattern template, again making sure you add 1cm seam allowance. (This is really important!)

Step 2

You won’t need to think about pattern placement for the lining, so simply fold your lining fabric in half and pin your front and back template in place, matching the grain line. Trace around adding a 1cm seam allowance and cut out. So you should now have 4 x outer fabric and 4 x lining fabric pieces.

Step 3

On lining fabric front pieces, make a small mark on the right side of the fabric at the ‘inner edge’ with a pencil or tailors chalk.

Step 4

Take a pair of front fabric pieces: one outer fabric and one lining. Pin them together, right sides facing. Machine stitch around the edge with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving an opening of approximately 5cm halfway along the outside (longer curved) edge. Repeat for the other pair of front fabric pieces.

Step 5

Now take a pair of back fabric pieces: one outer fabric and one lining. Pin them together, right sides facing. Machine stitch around the edge with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving an opening of approx. 5 cm along the bottom (long curved) edge. (It’s best to leave the gap about a quarter of the way along the bottom edge rather than halfway along, so as not to interfere with the heel.) Repeat for the other pair of back pieces.

Step 6

Notch the curves of the seam allowance along all the fabric pieces, and diagonally trim the corners, being careful not to cut too close to your stitching.

Step 7

Turn all four fabric sections right side out. Shape the curves and corners and iron for a nice neat finish.

Step 8

Fold one of the back fabric pieces in half to find the centre point and mark with a pin. Place it onto an espadrille sole and pin in place, matching the centre back points. Using lots of pins, fix all the way around the heel section to secure it to the sole. Make sure you don’t pierce the rubber sole; I put my pins into the jute sole quite horizontally.

Step 9

Now take a front piece and pin it all the way around the front of the sole. The front should overlap the back piece at the sides - adjust the pins for this. You can check that you get your front pieces on the correct foot by making sure the little mark you made on the lining earlier is on the inner edge of each foot.

Step 10

Thread your needle with approximately 1m of double thread (2m thread doubled over) and tie a knot in the end. Starting at one side, hide the knot on the inside of the shoe amid the jute sole, and work your way around using blanket stitch to attach the fabric to the sole. I find that if I hold the loose thread with my left thumb as I go around, it makes for a much neater stitch. Leave approx. 0.5cm between each blanket stitch and pull your stitches nice and tight as you go. When you have to join threads (you should only need to do this once as it’s a bit tricky!) try to hide the knots inside the shoe within the jute sole.

Step 11

Try on your shoe and pin the side seams to fit. Remember the fabric will stretch, so better that it’s a little tight rather than loose. Remove and sew the side seams together using backstitch.

Exclusive OFFER!

25% OFF all espadrille soles from themakery.co.uk using code saga25

And if you'd prefer to learn in person, The Makery hosts workshops teaching you how to make your own espadrilles at their home base in Bath and at John Lewis, Oxford Street, London. For 25% off all Makery workshops at either venue, use code saga25

Both offers valid until the end of August 2015.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.