I MADE SHOES!! i know i’m a bit late to the party, but hey! i made shoes (without the need for elves!).
last fall at quilt market i was fascinated as i watched carolina moore (craftmoore on ig) working on espadrilles while shuttling back and forth to our hotels. i could tell she was hooked and i even offered my feet just in case she felt like making a few extra pair (sadly, she did not). so…i had to do the next best thing…make my own.
make them i did, but not for me. this inaugural pair was a birthday gift for my sister. she’s one i can always count on to appreciate my handcrafted gifts (yes, even the ones i promised 2 years ago and have yet to produce….i knew you’d bring that up sis, so i beat you to it!).
i used dritz soles along with their exterior fabric and thread for the hand stitching. first time on a new project i like to follow directions as much as possible. i did not however purchase their package of lining fabric…there’s plenty of fabric to choose from in the studio. i debated about using the purple lining…it used to be her favorite color, like 3 decades ago, but maybe people change…i wasn’t sure if i liked the purple with the multi stripes. it wasn’t until the shoes were complete that i noticed the picture on the packaging….multi stripes with purple lining…talk about subliminal advertising!!
if you’re late to the espadrille party too, i highly recommend the process. i mean, you make shoes!! for the most part they were very simple, but here are a few techniques that made it just a bit easier on my hands.
* i used a curved upholstery needle…the curve made stitching much easier!!
* wax the yarn/thread very well…it really takes a beating going through the soles and the wax helps it not only glide, but keeps it from fraying
* i tried many thimbles!! i have all kinds, leather/metal/plastic/rubberized, but i kept taking them off to pull the yarn through the stitch. so i donned a latex glove (which i admit was stolen from my father’s hospital room) and it worked “like a glove”!! i wore the glove on my “working” hand and it really gave me great grip on the needle. my fingers were grateful!
the espadrilles have been presented and were well received….enough so that she was willing to allow me to photograph her feet. now that’s sisterly love!!