Espadrille Sew Along 2018: TUTORIAL PART 2: BLANKET STITCH

Hey there crafters, dig out your resume and get ready to add “shoemaking” to your list of skills and talents.  Seriously, what kind of resume-reader wouldn’t be totally impressed by that?!  I mean, we’ve got handmade espadrilles piling up in every nook and cranny of our studio ‘cause we just can’t stop making them, but we still can’t believe ourselves that we can MAKE SHOES!  Every time I finish a pair, I look at them and exclaim, “Like, these are soooo legit!”  And then I gotta make another pair.  We are shoemakers.  Who knew! 

At this point in our little sew-along you should have your fabrics pinned to the soles, so now it’s time to hand sew them with a nice fancy blanket stitch.   Our method deviates from the Dritz instructions a bit… mainly pertaining to how we start and finish the stitching.  We like to hide the knot inside the shoe rather than have it on the outside of the sole, and we’ve also got a trick for hiding the tails of the yarn as well.   For this tutorial, we thought it would be most helpful to use videos.  Here we go!

FIRST, cut a length of yarn appropriate for the type of shoe you’re making:

  • For flats, you’ll need a piece about 80” long.
  • For wedges, you have the option of sewing the heel and toe pieces to the shoe individually or doing a continuous stitch all the way around the shoe (ADD PHOTOS OF EACH).  If sewing them individually, you’ll need 2 pieces of yarn each approximately 25” long.  If stitching all the way around the shoe, even where there is no fabric, use an 80” length.

Before you start sewing, we recommend waxing your espadrille yarn to make it go through the shoe a little more smoothly, and to prevent it from knotting up.  This step is optional, but very helpful.  Dritz makes this wax in a convenient little container that makes application so easy.

Another tip before we start:  Dritz also makes these really cool rubber thimbles for your thumb and pointer finger (they call ‘em “Needle Pullers”) for assisting in the hand sewing.  First-timers may discover that it takes some effort to get the needle & yarn through the sole.  The needle pullers can help quite a bit – check them out here:  link to our shop

Alright, enough of the pre-game show, let’s get to the good stuff - here's the video!

 

It's time to try your completed shoes on!  If you find that they are not quite tight enough, or if they slip off your heel, there's a few things you can do:

  • Dritz recommends shrinking the fabric a bit by filling a large bowl with very hot water, then immersing the fabric side of the shoe in the water for two minutes, using tongs to hold it so that only the fabric is immersed.  Then dry the shoes in the sun or use a hair dryer (don't place them in your laundry dryer).
  • You can also use heel liners to keep the heel of the shoe from slipping.  We found a great product at DSW shoe store called SOFSOLE heel liners (sofsole.com).  You can find similar products at Target.  These work great!

Now, snap a pic or two and share them with us!  Post ‘em on Instagram, and be sure to tag us.    We'll be announcing the prize winners on June 8th.  Now go strut your stuff in your handmade shoes!

IMG_5084.jpg