Tutorial: How to Make a Pair of Espadrilles + Printable Patterns
You will need:
Outer fabric – 1 fat quarter (approx. 55x50cm)
Lining fabric – 1 fat quarter (approx. 55x50cm)
Embroidery thread (or strong thread)
Sewing machine (optional – can be sewn by hand)
Pattern templates (check below)
1 Print out the templates (find below) and choose your size. The templates do not include your 1cm seam allowance – you can either draw this on to the template before cutting out or, as I did, cut an extra 1cm around the template once placed on your fabric. Pin your toe template to the fabric and cut out two from your outer fabric and two from your lining fabric. Next, pin your heel template to a folded piece of fabric and cut out two outer and two lining fabric pieces, again leaving a 1cm seam allowance. Pin one pair of the heels together – one outer fabric piece and one lining fabric piece, right sides facing. Sew around the outer edge with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving a 3cm gap a few cm of the way along the longer curved edge, as shown on the pattern. Repeat with the other heel.
2 Next, take your toe pieces and pin together one outer and one lining piece, right sides facing. Sew around the edge with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving a 3cm gap halfway down the outside edge, as on the pattern. Repeat with the second toe piece.
3 Cut notches around the toe and heel curves and trim the corners (be careful not to snip your stitches), then turn out the right way through the gaps you’ve left. Use a knitting needle to turn the corners properly. Press with an iron.
4 Take one of your heel pieces and fold in half, marking with a pin, then pin this to the middle of the heel on the outside edge of your sole. Next, pin all the way around the heel section securing it to the sole.
5 Take your toe piece and pin all the way around the front of the espadrille sole. The sides should overlap your heel piece evenly on both sides.
6 Take your embroidery thread, cut roughly to 1m in length, then separate the six strands into two sets of three. Thread your needle with one set of the three strands and double knot the end. Starting with the inside edge of your shoe, hide the knot in the jute sole and bring the needle out through the fabric. Use blanket stitch all around the edge of the sole going through the jute base roughly 5mm from the top and around 5mm between each stitch. When you reach the toe, keep stitching around, sewing both the heel and the toe piece to the sole.
7 Try the shoe on and pin the side seams for the best fit before using a running stitch or backstitch to secure.
8 Ready! Enjoy your new homemade espadrilles!
Good to know: If you don’t have a sewing machine, these can be stitched by hand using a backstitch, but a sewing machine is better.
Make sure you use a sturdy fabric like quilting cotton or denim for the outer, while linen works well for the lining.