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Panda Espadrilles with Eleanor

Hi, I’m Eleanor from nelnanandnora and I’m here to talk about the Espadrille Soles by Prym. I was offered these to test at a perfect time as I’d seen lots of lovely espadrilles in the shops and wanted make something a little different. I sew almost all my clothes so it seemed logical to try these out and extend the range of my handmade wardrobe a little further.

Originally I’d planned to use some navy blue embroidered fabric, modify the pattern and make ankle ties but then I remembered this gorgeous pand print fabric that was tucked away in my stash and it seemed perfect for a first attempt. The lining is a soft green spotty print cotton.

The pack includes a double sided printed pattern that needs to be traced or photocopied and the instructions are available for download via a QR code on the outer packaging.

A specific Yarn is available – in several colours – for stitching the uppers to the soles, but I decided to use Gütermann Topstitching Thread as it is easier to source, comes in more colours and I had seen it suggested elsewhere.

The process is fairly straightforward: cut the pattern pieces – both outer and lining – as mirror images of each other, stitch the outers and linings in pairs, then pin and blanket stitch each piece to the soles, finishing by backstitching the uppers to the backs.

Here you can see the process of creating the shoe fronts; the backs are created in the same way.

To keep the stitching even, I marked ¼” / 6mm intervals around the sole with a Water Soluble Marker and Seam Gauge. I used a large eyed hand sewing needle from my varied and largely inherited collection, as the thread is quite thick (similar to these). A Thimble is essential if you don’t want holes in your fingers, and I’d also suggest having some small Pliers on hand for pulling the needle through tricky spots, especially when sewing in the loose ends of thread (which I pushed through the sole and out at the sides).

A little easing is needed around the toe area – which is indicated on the pattern – and I found it easier to release the pins at the toe and ease the fabric gently with my fingers as I stitched. I had planned to use small tucks at either side but the fabric was too thick in this case.

I’m delighted with the results. My feet are fairly wide so the fit is snug (and secure). It wouldn’t be difficult to alter the pattern pieces for narrower or wider feet or high insteps. I’ll definitely be making some more!

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