We had so much fun (and such great visitor reaction) to our first article about the new Dritz® Espadrilles program, we’re back for Shoepalooza Take #2. This time, we started with the basic Dritz® jute soles, then branched out to select our own unique fabric options. But the creativity didn’t stop there! We added buttons, crystals, lace, and ruffles to craft three pairs of new shoes perfect for the holidays and beyond.
We can hear some of you now, “Shoes?!? I can’t make shoes!” We were skeptical at first too, but the Dritz® Espadrilles are fun and easy. The Dritz® team has worked through all the best tips and techniques to make the construction process as straightforward and flexible as it can be. Their helpful online tutorials are very detailed, include lots of clear photos, and answer many of the most frequently asked questions, from a size chart to detailed information on how to make a perfect blanket stitch to attach the top to the sole. We highly recommend them all.
Here’s a complete list of the information from Dritz®:
Between these tutorials and our original article, the how-to steps are covered in detail. This article is all about inspiring you to think outside the box (the shoebox that is!). We can’t wait to see what you create! Share your creations with us on Facebook or on Instagram where you’ll find us under: #Sew4Home_diy.
With the worldwide popularity of the TOMS® slip on cloth shoes, espadrille-style footwear is no longer just for summer. Unless you’re trekking through rain and snow, these comfy shoes are fashionable year-round.
Plus, when you choose your own fabric, you can perfectly match the shoes to a specific outfit. Or, make all the kids matching shoes for a special holiday portrait.
The full line of Dritz® Espadrilles products are currently available at all Hobby Lobby store locations across the country with selected elements also available at Hobby Lobby online. In addition, you can find them at Amazon. As more outlets are added, we’ll let you know.
The complete range of products includes:
Outer Fashion Fabrics: 24 solids and prints
Inner Lining Fabrics: 12 solids and prints
Yarn: 7 colors of sturdy, 100% cotton yarn
Iron-on Stabilizer: supports the heel and toe of the shoes
Yarn wax: prevents tangling while stitching the top to the sole – will not stain or discolor the yarn
Needles: choose from straight and curved needles, both are especially strong to allow frustration-free stitching, and they have a larger eye for the thick yarn
Needle Pullers: modified thimbles for your thumb and finger – makes it easy to grip and pull the needle; the open end accommodates a fingernail
Point Turner: made of durable bamboo, it helps create crisp points and smooth curves after turning the toe and side/heel pieces right side out
Glass Head Pins: extra long and extra strong nickel plated steel; these are a must-have for attaching the top to the sole without bending or breaking
Our three pairs of shoes feature clever ideas you can use exactly as we did or expand with your own creativity.
Tartan Plaid with Button Bling
A classic red plaid is a holiday favorite. We added twisted braid trim and sparkling snowflake buttons on each toe to complete this Christmas classic.
Soft Suede with Ruffled Arch
Faux suede combines with a cotton gingham lining to create a cute pair of kicks with a sassy ruffle and bow. This slightly more “summery” theme is especially for our fans in the southern hemisphere where warmer weather is calling.
Crystal, Lace and Velveteen Elegance
We spotted similar espadrilles going for nearly $1000 (yep, there are three zeros there!) from Dolce & Gabbana. Always ones to tackle the trends, we think ours turned out just as beautifully for a tiny fraction of the cost.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing machine and standard presser foot
- Zipper foot; optional – best for working with the braided trim we used
- Walking or Even Feed Foot; optional, but helpful when working with thick layers. We used the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system on our Janome Skyline S7.
Fabric and Other Supplies
In addition to the Dritz® products listed above, we also used our general sewing supplies as well as specific elements for each pair of shoes.
Tartan Plaid with Button Bling
- ¼ yard of wool plaid
- 1½ yards of twisted braid with a lip
NOTE: This was plenty to trim both shoes for our sample pair, which was an adult size 8.
- TWO sparkly buttons; we suggest 1½” – 2″ for an adult shoe – you could go smaller for the children’s sizes
- We used the black Dritz® inner lining fabric, interfacing, and black yarn
Soft Suede with Ruffled Arch
- ¼ yard of faux suede in a solid color
- ¼ yard of quilting weight cotton in a coordinating print
- We used the Dritz® interfacing and bone yarn
Crystal, Lace and Velveteen Elegance
- ¼ yard of embossed velveteen
- ¼ yard of quilting weight cotton in a coordinating solid
- Two skeins of embroidery floss in a coordinating color; we used taupe
- We used the Dritz® interfacing for the heel and sides, but needed a super firm fusible interfacing (such as Pellon Peltex) for the toe to handle the weight of the crystals
- Heat-set or sew-on crystals in a variety of colors to create a flower (as we did) or another pretty shape; we used Swarovski crystals, which we hand stitched in place with beading thread and a beading needle
- Lace; we purchased white lace designs in a floral motif then dyed them to match our shoes
- Wool felt in appropriate colors to create leaves or other shapes to accent the lace
- Hot glue gun
- Beading thread and needle should you choose to stitch crystals
- All purpose thread to match the fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Measuring tape
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Remove all the Dritz® elements from their packaging. The pattern pieces are bundled with the jute soles. Cut out each pattern piece along the solid line.
- Press all the fabric (do not press the stabilizer).
- Using the HEEL pattern, cut the following:
TWO from the outer fabric, with the fabric folded wrong sides together
TWO from the lining fabric, with the fabric folded wrong sides together
- Using the HEEL STABILIZER pattern and the TOE STABILIZER pattern cut TWO of EACH from the iron-on stabilizer.
NOTE: Just as with the other fabric, fold the iron-on fabric first with the fusible side (the wrong side) facing in. This way, when you cut your two pieces, you’ll end up with one for the left shoe and one for the right shoe with the fusible side in the correct position for each.
- Using the TOE pattern, cut TWO from the exterior fabric and TWO from the lining fabric. As above, fold the fabric first, wrong sides together, to insure you cut one right toe and one left toe. There are a number of little pieces for each shoe. Work carefully and stay organized to keep track of what’s what. The photo below shows all the pieces for one suede shoe, including its ruffle and bow.
NOTE: Check the Dritz® tutorials listed above and our original article for additional steps and photos of these preparation steps.
- For the ruffle, cut TWO 1⅞” x 10½” strips from the quilting cotton.
- For the bow, from the suede, cut TWO 2½” x 3″ strips for the bows and TWO 1½” x 2″ strips for the faux knots.
- For our velveteen and plaid, we were careful to fussy cut the toes to center each fabric’s motif.
- On all the pieces, transfer the center line markings (toes and heels) from the pattern to the fabric (at the top and the base of each fabric piece). This was especially important for the suede shoes in order to correctly position the ruffle and bow.
- On the Tartan Plaid toe pattern, we also took the time to carefully find the exact center point and transfer this marking to each toe. This gave us an accurate guide to sew the buttons in place.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Create the Tartan Plaid toe pieces
- Cut a length of twisted braid trim to fit along the curve of each toe’s arch.
- Baste the trim in place. All seams are ⅜” so set the trim accordingly. This will likely mean the lip of the braid will extend beyond the raw edge of the fabric as ours did. This is fine; it can be trimmed back prior to turning the toe right side out.
- Stitch each braid-trimmed toe piece right sides together with a lining piece, leaving a 2″ opening for turning. Use a Zipper foot in order to stitch right along the braid.
- Press the seam open and grade the seam allowance, trimming the piping lip close to the seam and trimming the outer fabric back to ¼”. Clip the curves and trim the corners. This step, with the exception of trimming back the piping lip, is the same for all toe pieces.
- Turn right side out and hand stitch the opening closed.
Create the Ruffled Suede toe piece
- To create the ruffle, find a 1⅞” x 10½” strip. Fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together and pin the two short ends.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch each end of each ruffle strip.
- Press open the seam allowance and clip the corner points.
- Turn right side out and press flat, pushing out the corners so they are nice and square.
- Run a line of machine basting along the raw edges.
- Find the center of the ruffle strip and the center of the toe’s arch. Align these two points. The raw edges of the ruffle strip should be flush with the raw edge of the arch. Pin in place at the center point.
- Pull up the machine basting so the ruffle is centered on the arch with about ¾” of suede extending at either end.
- Machine baste the ruffle in place on each toe.
- Complete, following the standard steps.
Create the Velveteen toe piece
- These steps are the same as the others except we used a super firm stabilizer and cut it to fit the toe, keeping it out of the seam allowance. This makes the toe a bit harder to turn right side out, but just go slowly and carefully, then press well, using a pressing cloth, when done.
- Remember (as with any of the shoes) to label the toes with a piece of tape indicating RIGHT and LEFT.
- Also as above, remember to hand stitch the opening used for turning with tiny, neat stitches.
Create the heel and side
- This phase of the construction was similar for all three pairs of our sample shoes.
- The only real difference was basting the braided trim to the upper edge of the of the Plaid heel/side exterior prior to layering it with the lining – just as done above on the toe.
- Place each heel/side exterior right sides together with a heel/side lining. Pin together. Along the bottom edge, approximately ½” away from the bottom corner, leave a 1½” – 2″ opening for turning.
- Re-thread with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin.
- Using a ⅜” seam allowance, stitch around the perimeter of the heel/side. As above for the toe, go slowly to maintain a smooth seam allowance, pivot at the bottom corners, and lock your seam at either side of the 1½” – 2″ opening for turning.
- Press the seam open and grade the seam allowance, trimming the outer fabric back to ¼”. Clip the corners.
- Turn the heel/side right side out through the opening at the bottom. Using the Dritz® Point Turner, gently push out the corners so they are square, then round and smooth the gentle curve.
- Press the heel/side flat, pressing in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. As above, hand sew the opening closed with tiny stitches.
- We edgestitched along the upper edge on all three pairs. This is optional but adds a bit of extra stability and a nice finish.
- In the photo below, you can see the edgestitched side piece (bottom) and the non-edgestitched toe piece (top)
Assemble heel to toe and pin to sole
- Place one toe piece wrong side up on your work surface.
- Layer the ends of the heel/side piece, also wrong side up, slightly over the arch of the toe.
- The ends of the heel/side piece should overlap approximately ½” – ⅝”. Pin in place.
- Gently pick up the pinned heel/toe unit and set it onto the sole to test the fit of the outer edge of the fabric against the sole. If need be, adjust the overlap of the heel to the toe.
- If all is well, topstitch the toe to the heel/side. Make sure your machine is threaded with thread to match the outer fabric in the top and thread to match the lining in the bobbin.
- You can choose to topstitch all the way across the arch of the toe piece (what we did on both the Velveteen and Suede shoes).
- Or topstitch just across the ends (what we did on the Plaid shoes). If you use this option, and you’re using an upper trim as we did, place a pin approximately ½” below the side trim (on each side). This will be the stopping point for your topstitching. If you go all the way up through the trim, the opening may be too small to slip in your foot.
- Topstitch from the bottom of the side/heel piece up to the pin point. There are quite a few layers at this point; you may want to opt for a Walking or Even Feed foot. We used the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system on our Janome Skyline S7.
- Find the center back of the heel and the center back of the sole. Mark each center point with a pin. Line up these pins as the starting point to pin the top to the sole. This is where it is really great to have the long, strong Glass Head Pins from the Dritz® Espadrilles product selection. Push a pin through the fabric down into the jute sole.
- Continue to pin around the side towards the toe, slightly stretching and easing the fabric around the heel.
- As you move around the toe, more easing may be necessary. Don’t be afraid to use lots of pins. You want the top to sit straight down onto the sole.
Hand sew the top in place with the yarn or double-floss to finish
- Find the yarn and pull off an approximate 60″ – 70″ length. Run the yarn through the yarn wax several times.
- For out Velveteen shoes, rather than yarn, we used embroidery floss. For the best look, we doubled the floss for a total of 12 strands.
- Thread the yarn through the needle. The Dritz® Needle Assortment includes both straight and curved needles; choose whichever works best for you. We worked with a straight needle.
- Insert the needle into the jute approximately ¼” down from the top edge of the jute just to one side of the seam. Push the needle through the jute and up through the fabric, coming straight out about ¼” in from the finished fabric edge. Pull the yarn through until the knot snugs up against the sole.
- Stitch the top to the sole with a ¼” blanket stitch.
- We’ve summarized the construction steps here, but remember that additional photos and instructional detail can be found in our original tutorial as well as within all the great Dritz® tutorials linked above.
- Continue to work around entire circumference of shoe, keeping your stitches as uniform as possible.
Finishing – button bling for the Plaid Tartan shoes
- Using the center point originally marked on each toe, take a stitch with the hand sewing needle to secure your thread. As you can see in the photo below, we actually used the Dritz® yarn to stitch our buttons in place.
- Stitch the sparkly button securely in place through all layers of the toe piece.
Finishing – bow for the Suede Ruffle shoes
- Find the two small strips that make up the bow and its center faux knot.
- Fold the knot in half lengthwise and, using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the long sides together. The ends remain open and raw.
- Turn right side out through the open ends. Roll the seam to the back and press flat.
- Fold the 2½” x 3″ bow piece in half so it is now 1¼” x 3″. Pin in place leaving an approximate 1″ opening at the center.
- Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch together. Remember to lock your seam at either side of the 1″ opening.
- Press open the seam allowance and roll the seam to the center back.
- Pin both sides together. The piece is still right sides together; you have not yet turned it right side out. Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch both sides.
- Turn right side out through the center seam opening and square all the corners. Press flat and hand stitch the opening closed.
- Place the faux knot piece wrong side up on your work surface. Place the bow right side up on top of the knot. Pinch the bow to create a small single pleat.
- Wrap the knot around the bow to secure the pleat. Overlap at the back and hand stitch to finish the bow.
- Hand stitch the bow in place on each toe at the apex of the arch.
Finishing – crystal, lace, and felt flowers for the Velveteen shoes
- There isn’t a specific way you must do this particular embellishment. The type of crystals you choose can be the high-end Swarovski crystals we chose or simple rhinestones. We opted to use hot glue application in combination with hand sewing, but you could go 100% with either technique.
- While working with the design, the key is to give yourself a more solid surface than just the fabric. We cut small piece of flexible plastic to fit inside the toe (you can use the toe pattern from the Dritz® kit), which keeps the arch shape and provides something stable under the fabric. Adding some crumpled paper towels or tissue paper under the plastic piece also helps. You could cut a similar piece for the heel, although we didn’t find that necessary.
- We purchased a standard piece of cotton lace and dyed it to best coordinate with our shoes. We chose to match the floss used for the sole stitching.
- After the dyed lace has dried, cut it apart into segments to fit across the arch of the toe and along the side near the heel (make sure you have the shoe positioned correctly so you’re working with the outer side that will show when the shoe is on the foot). We positioned the lace on the toe so it cascaded from the center down one side (the same outer side as the heel lace). This looks a bit more interesting and visually pleasing that an exact center placement.
- Our lace segments were hot glued in place. Use a light touch with the glue. Lace is… well, lacy; try to keep your glue behind the most solid areas of the lace so you keep any residual “glue hairs” to a minimum.
- Let the lace layer set. When dry, add a couple leaves. Our leaves were cut freehand from felt with a pair of pinking shears. Hot glue the leaves in place on the lace flower. They should be pointing toward the toe of the shoe.
- Hot glue or hand stitch the crystals in place in your chosen design. All our crystals were hand stitched with beading thread. We created a small flower shape on the toe with five clear crystals for the petals, one light pink crystal for the flower’s center, and two green crystals to accent the leaves.
- In addition, we added one smaller clear crystal to each heel lace segment, centering it within one of the lace’s motifs.
- Obviously, as with any very fancy shoes, these beauties aren’t meant to be worn outside. If they do get soiled, clean them very carefully by hand.
- Slip them on, and you’re ready to stand toe-to-toe with their $1000 cousins from D&G!
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Construction Notes: Debbie Guild
Crystal Design and Application: Alicia Thomaas