Hello, my friends! Amid the swirl of book launch prep, I also made shoes. SHOES.
They look legit, right? When my lovely friend Melissa of A Happy Stitch contacted me to see if I’d like to try my hand at shoe-making, I was all in.
I was actually a little nervous. There were some super long and curvy needles involved and the very helpful and thorough kit included “needle pullers” (plastic thimble looking things) which intimidated me. I ended up not using them, which I regret because my fingers hurt a bit afterwards.
Making espadrilles, I discovered, is FUN. And way easier than I expected. I knew that I would need to practice a bit to get the hang of things and asked if it would be okay if I made a pair for both me and K. Melissa quickly shipped me all the supplies needed for two pairs.
I would estimate that each pair took me about two hours to make, give or take a few minutes. Sewing up the fabric pieces with the sewing machine is a breeze; after all, there are only two pattern pieces. Even with the interfacing and lining pieces added on, the machine sewing part took just a few short minutes. The most challenging part was the blanket stitching of the pieces to the soles. And this is mostly because I am the world’s slowest hand-stitcher. I started with the black pair (for me), and after a few false starts, I got into a nice stitching rhythm. The instructions are excellent and Melissa went above and beyond with the packaging. I didn’t take beauty shots of the parcel, but you can see the loveliness here. It literally comes with everything you need except a sewing machine (and the thread for the sewing machine, but hey).
I found it tricky to get the fit right, but that might be just me. I knew that the sizing ran big, but I wasn’t sure how deep (wide?) to make my blanket stitches. I guesstimated and the result was a rather loose-fitting pair. I normally wear a size 7, but the espadrilles I completed fit more like a 7.5. On the flip side, I didn’t want the teen size 4 to be too big for K, so I enlarged my blanket stitches yet her feet barely fit. Then again, she’s going through a crazy growth spurt so I probably needed to reduce the blanket stitching dramatically from the get-go to give her more room. Side note: the teen size 4 was about 3/4″ shorter than the women’s size 7, but a lot narrower.
Although I haven’t yet, I plan on re-doing the stitches so that our espadrilles slip on and stay on effortlessly. They look great, though, and I feel irrepressibly proud to have made SHOES! K loves them and is so sad that she’ll only be able to wear them for a nanosecond before she grows out of them. Well, I’ll just have to make her another pair…maybe wedges, next time?
Thank you, Melissa, for letting me try out your beautiful kit! I received the materials for free, but all of my opinions are fully my own. I can’t recommend this kit enough!!! ESPADRILLES! Who woulda thunk they could be DIY’d?
P.S. All those glistening spots you see on the wood floor? M had just taken a shower and had left wet footprints all over the place. Keepin’ it real.