Espadrilles!

I made some shoes!  That’s right, guys – you can make your own shoes!  And what’s even better is they won’t cost you very much at all.  😀  I got my Prym soles from Guthrie and Ghani – I’m pleasantly surprised by how comfortable they are.  And look – they have cute little bobbins on the soles 🙂  You’ll need a fat quarter of fabric (yes, you can make these on a fat quarter!).  I used a fat quarter I got free with an issue of Love Sewing magazine.  Then, you’ll need a fat quarter of lining fabric and interfacing, co-ordinating thread, and also some extra strong thread or cord to hand stitch your upper shoe to your sole.  It cost me less than £15 to put these together!

The pattern is included with the soles – there’s no seam allowance, so remember to add that on before you cut anything out!  The pattern is certainly hackable – if you put ‘DIY espadrilles’ into Pinterest you’ll find loads of ideas.  So many possibilities 🙂

All the instructions you need are online.  For the most part, they were surprisingly easy to make.  The challenging part was getting the upper pieces to fit onto the sole.  I only used a few hundred pins, as you can see!  Also, there’s a wiggly line on the pattern labelled ‘ease’, but given how much excess fabric I had at toe I took that to mean gather, which seems to have worked out alright.

They look okay, I think, but if I make another pair I will do a couple of things differently.  Firstly, the upper shoe feels a bit floppy.  Next time, I’ll use a stiffer interfacing, or sturdier fabrics, or both.  I don’t think these ones will last too long. However, I can see that they would last quite well if you used the right fabric.  I suppose that even if the uppers don’t last too long, I could always re-use the soles for another pair if they still have plenty of life in them.  Secondly, they’re a tiny bit too big for me 😦  I think this could be rectified by making my blanket stitching a couple of millimetres deeper all the way around the shoe.  Thirdly, I would make my thread thicker for my blanket stitch.  I did double up my thread, but I think this is supposed to be a ‘feature’ of the shoes and I don’t think it’s quite visible enough on these.  I would probably use three or four strands next time.  I’m debating whether to do these last two things for this pair or whether to put up with them as they are.  Having said all that, the aim was to have a pair of espadrilles to use on my holiday later this year – they will be fine for that, and it was all good practice for another pair!  I think I’ll be more ambitious and try wedges next…

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Eve’s skirt

I made a little skirt.  I’d been threatening to make something for my friend’s little girl (hi, Kate!) for ages and I finally got round to doing it last week 😀

It was sooooo easy – just rectangles sewn together in the right way and gathered back in with a bit of elastic.  🙂  I lined mine because the fabric I used is a tiny bit see through, but you’d only need one layer if you have a thick enough fabric.  It was basically two rectangles sewn down the side seams with the top folded over to make a channel for the elastic and the bottom hemmed.  Simple as that!  No pattern or anything – just a waist measurement, a length measurement and a bit of mathematics.  The skirt looks a little less flared than it actually is in these photos because I only have adult-sized coat hangers.  I had the stretch the elastic out to make the skirt fit on the hanger – it’s quite a bit more gathered at the waist in real life.  I used a decorative stitch on the bottom hem too, which I think looks quite cute.

It was a very quick project that has used up some fabric remnants I had left from other projects.  I got the Michael Miller Marionettes cotton (from Plush Addict) to make Colette’s Macaron dress – it’s 99% complete, but I realised I’d managed to insert a faulty zip, which now needs swapping when I pluck up the courage. The lining is a the cotton I used for my tutu.  I have some fabric left from my Quilting Bee dress, so I might make another little skirt.