Espadrille Sew Along 2018: WEDGES TUTORIAL PART 1

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Making Wedges

One of the things we love most about making wedges is all the possibilities for the straps.  You can use fabric, ribbon, or even make a cork or leather strap with a buckle to make it look really pro!  For this pair we used rayon to make soft, flowy straps that can be wrapped around the ankles and tied in a big bow, and we think they’re downright sexy, no?  This tutorial will show you how to make the rayon straps, but we've included bonus instructions at the end for making a cork strap and buckle that looks ah-may-zing!!

 

 

CUT PATTERN:

  • Cut all 4 pattern pieces on the appropriate size line.   Note:  If you have wide feet, you may want to consider making one size larger (if you are using size 8 soles, but have wide feet, cut on the size 9 pattern lines).  Likewise, if your feet are very narrow, you may want to size down.
  • Make 4 labels from a small piece of masking tape and label two of them “RIGHT” and the other two “LEFT”.
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CUT FUSIBLE INTERFACING:

  • Depending on the type of fabric you’re using for your shoes, you may want to adjust how much of the shoe you interface.  If you’re using canvas, denim or other heavier weight fabrics, use the toe stabilizer pattern and heel stabilizer pattern to cut 2 each from fusible interfacing.  We used quilting cotton for the outer and lining fabrics, so in order to provide more stiffness and structure, we used the heel and toe patterns (instead of the toe and heel stabilizer patterns). Whichever you're using, you want to cut 2 each from fusible interfacing. 
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CUTTING AND INTERFACING TOE SECTIONS:

  •  First, give your fabrics a good press. 
  • Place your outer fabric and lining fabrics right sides together.
  • Place the toe pattern on fabric, pin and cut.  These are the toe pieces for the LEFT foot.    Adhere the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your outer fabric, then put a “LEFT” label on it to identify it as the left toe piece.  Place another “LEFT” label on the wrong side of the lining fabric. (first and second photos, below)
  • Flip the toe pattern over and place it on fabric (so the printed side of the pattern is face down). Pin and cut, then adhere fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the outer fabric.  Label each piece with your “RIGHT” labels. (third and fourth photos, below)

CUTTING, INTERFACING, AND MAKING DARTS IN HEEL SECTIONS:

  • Place outer and lining fabrics right sides together.  Place the heel pattern on fabric, pin and cut. (first photo, below) Repeat for the second shoe.  Note:  The heel pieces are the same for both shoes. 
  • Adhere interfacing to the wrong side of each outer fabric.
  • Transfer the dart marks from the heel pattern to wrong side of all four heel fabrics.  We find the easiest way to do this is to cut the pattern on the dart lines, then trace them on the fabric with a fabric marker or pencil. (second photo, below)
  • Make darts by folding the heel piece right sides together, matching up the dart lines.  (center photo, below)
  • Stitch darts from the bottom edge up to the point.  (fourth photo, below)
  • Trim darts as shown and press the seam open if you can.  (final photo, below)  If you don't want to trim, you can press the dart to one side.

MAKE STRAPS: 

  • Cut 8 strips of rayon (or other) fabric, 2” wide by 28” long each. 
  • To make each strap, place 2 strips right sides together.   Shape the strip at one end as shown in photo, with the sides curving into a point at the center.  This is most easily done using a rotary cutter.  Don’t worry about it being too perfect.
  • Stitch strips at sides using a ½” seam allowance, leaving the short end open.
  • Trim seam allowances, turn strap right side out, and press.
  • Repeat to make 4 straps
    • NOTE:  See our bonus instructions at the end of this post for making a cork strap in lieu of fabric!
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SEW STRAPS TO HEEL SECTIONS:

  • Place outer heel piece on your work surface right side up.  Find the center point of the top curve and measure over 2” to each side and mark with a pin.  (top left photo)
  • Place straps on the heel as shown in photo, aligning the edge of each strap with the pins you just placed.  The strap should be angled about 45 degrees.  Pin straps to heel. (top right photo)
  • Baste straps in place. (bottom left photo)
  • Take the straps and place them one on top of the other and pin them down to the heel section, about an inch from the dart (bottom right photo).

 

 

    MAKE HEEL SECTIONS

    • Place heel lining right side down on top of heel/straps and pin.  (photo at left, below)
    • Stitch heel using a 3/8” seam allowance, leaving an opening where the straps are coming out of the heel.  (center photo, below)
    • Trim diagonally at corners and trim seam allowance all the way around, except at the opening.  (photo at right, below)
    • Turn heel sections right sides out.  Use a point turner (you can use a chopstick or knitting needle) to gently push out the corners and shape the curves.
    • Turn the seam allowance at opening to the inside, press, pin, and topstitch very close to the edge to close the opening. 

    MAKE TOE SECTIONS:

    • Pin toe outer and lining fabrics right sides together.
    • Stitch using a 3/8” seam allowance, leaving a 2” opening along one side.
    • Trim diagonally across corners, then trim seam allowance all the way around except at the opening.
    • Turn toe sections right sides out.  Use a point turner to gently push out corners and shape curves.

     

    PIN FABRICS TO SOLE:

    • Find the back center of the sole and mark it with a pin. 
    • Find the back center of the heel section and mark with a pin.
    • Place the fabric on your sole, aligning the pins.  Push a pin down through the fabric and sole to hold the fabric in place.
    • Continue pinning heel to sole.  Check to make sure that the heel ends are lined up with one another – if they aren’t aligned, unpin and adjust the heel section and re-pin.
    • Find the top center of the toe section and mark with a pin.
    • Match up the right toe section with the right sole, and the left toe section with the left sole.
    • On either shoe, find the point on the inner part of the sole where the slope begins, and measure up 1-1/2”.  Mark with chalk or disappearing fabric marker.  Repeat at the outer part of the sole
    • Pin the inner point of the toe section to the sole at the inner mark, and pin the outer toe section to the sole at the outer mark.
    • Continue pinning toe section to the sole.  You may need to ease a bit – this just means that the fabric may not sit flat on the sole as you pin, rather it will “bunch up” a bit between the pins.  This is ok – it happens because there is extra fabric in the toe section in order to get the shoe shaped properly.  Just try to spread the extra fabric evenly around the toe. 

     

     
     
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    That brings us to the end of Part 1 – in Part 2 we’ll show you how to blanket stitch the fabric to your soles and then your handcrafted shoes are ready to wear!  Be sure to post a progress photo of your work… tag us and use the hashtag #espadrillessewalong2018.  We can’t wait to see!

     

    BONUS TUTORIAL:  CORK STRAP AND BUCKLE CLOSURE

    • Cut two strips of cork 3/8” wide by 12” long.  Clip them together (wrong sides together) and edgestitch on the two long sides.
    • Cut a 2-1/2” long piece of 3/8” elastic.  Fold it in half, then make a very small cut in the center of the elastic on the fold. 

     

     

    • Wrap the elastic around the center bar of the buckle, inserting the prong through the hole in the elastic. 
    • Baste the two ends of elastic together.
    • Transfer the Strap/Buckle placement lines from the heel pattern to the wrong side of the outer heel fabrics. 
    • On one outer heel fabric, place the cork strap between the lines to the right of the dart.  Place the elastic wrong side up between the lines to the left of the dart.

     

     

     

    • Baste elastic and cork strap to heel using a 1/4" seam allowance.
    • Place heel lining right side down on top of heel/straps and pin as shown in photo.
    • Stitch heel using a 3/8” seam allowance, leaving an opening where the straps are coming out of the heel.
    • Trim diagonally at corners and trim seam allowance all the way around, except at the opening.
    • Turn heel sections right sides out.  Use a point turner (you can use a chopstick or knitting needle) to gently push out the corners and shape the curves.
    • Turn the seam allowance at opening to the inside, press, pin, and topstitch very close to the edge. 

     

    You have just completed the heel section for the LEFT SHOE.  Label it with a piece of masking tape so that when it's time to sew the fabric to the sole, you'll put it on the correct foot!  Repeat all steps for the right foot - however, when placing the cork strap and buckle on the heel section to baste in place, you need to reverse the placement (in other words, place the cork strap to the left of the dart and the buckle to the right of the dart).

    Megan Sawyer