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Prym Espadrille Classic Instruction DVD & Sewing Pattern Review by Julia

Hi I’m Julia from juliahincks.com and I've been reviewing the Prym Espadrille ‘classic’ instruction DVD and Sewing Pattern
I’m seriously excited that I can make my own bespoke shoes!  I have big feet (size 8) and often find that I can’t get the shoes I want in shops.  It’s also not easy to get nice looking flat-heeled shoes so this is a perfect project for me.
The DVD comes in a packet with a paper pattern. There are three choices of style of espadrille that you can make.  As you have the basic shapes you can quite easily adapt the pattern and create whatever style you like. The soles also come with a paper pattern but the one included with the DVD is much better and gives more options of style.
The sizing for the pattern is shown in UK and EU sizes and covers a wide range from a child size 8.5 to adult size 10.5 so I’m pretty sure that would cover most shoe sizes.  The reverse of the packaging gives small images and product numbers for all the Prym products that you will need to make the shoes shown on the front.  In order to review the video I thought I’d make some espadrilles as I watched it. 
There’s a long list of items required for this project but depending on the style you choose, you won’t need them all:
(Prices from Minerva Crafts);
Espadrille Soles £9.99
Espadrille Base Fabric – comes in a range of colours £4.59
- 40x55cm piece of Fabric for the toe section –  you could use any fabric for this as you’ll be reinforcing it with interfacing.
Dressmaker’s Carbon Paper £4.09
Espadrilles Creative Yarn £2.29
Textile Glue - £3.89
Assorted Darning Needles £1.59 for a pack of 6
Prym Creative Interfacing £6.99 (this is double sided so I’d call it bondaweb, rather than interfacing)
- 2mm Corded Piping
- 20mm Bias Binding 69p per metre
I wasn’t entirely sure what the last two items were but this became apparent after watching the video, in fact I had to search for the codes for many of the other items as I didn’t know what they were.  It would be much easier if each item was listed with what it is, rather than just an image and a code.  Thankfully everything is stocked by Minerva Crafts so they were all relatively easy to find online and in my search I found some Heel Sections which I chose to buy too, instead of using the heel pattern provided. 
I’m always looking to save money so thought I’d avoid buying the non-essentials.  I definitely needed the soles and thought I should probably purchase the base fabric as I wasn’t sure what that was.
I didn’t buy the dressmaker’s carbon paper as I could trace the pattern instead.  I also didn't bother buying the interfacing and used the base fabric instead.  There are other things on the list that you may already have in the cupboard such as darning needles or glue so although it looks like a rather expensive project based on the list of items above, it doesn’t need to be. 
The DVD opens with easy listening music and a screen showing three options for which pair of espadrilles you wish to make; a peep toe style, closed toe option and an open toe sandal. 
I chose the last option, the open toe sandal but I had a few ideas about how I wanted to change it to create something more my style.
I was expecting someone to start talking but the entire video is done visually which actually works really well and saves you becoming irritated by the presenter.  The music does become a bit annoying after a time but this can be muted, since there are no verbal instructions you can simply watch the screen and follow the steps of construction.
The video is really clear and easy to follow.  I measured my foot as I was shown to and selected the size required.  I traced off my pattern (they suggest carbon paper) and cut out my pattern pieces.  I attached my fabric to the base of the sole using the glue and left this to dry.  The video doesn’t suggest drying time but I wanted to make sure that stage was set before I began sewing the heel and toe sections in place.
I left the soles to dry overnight and prepared the other parts.  I swapped the heel pattern piece for the heel sections and after inspecting a pair of espadrilles in my cupboard, decided to add buttonholes to the heel section so I could thread my cord through this for lacing.  I reinforced the front shoe fabric with the base fabric and hemmed the edges. 
I pinned the heel section in place ready for the hand stitching and then watched the video for further instruction to see how to anchor the thread and to watch their technique on the blanket stitch. 
Each step is really clear and easy to follow, from tying the knot, where to start stitching, how to create the stitches and how to finish off. 
The actual hand stitching is quite difficult as you’re going through such a thick layer.  Someone suggested to me, having made their own espadrilles, that a pair of gardening gloves would help with this stage but I took it slowly and it wasn’t anywhere near as painful or difficult as I thought.
I put in a few more securing stitches than the video suggested to make sure they’re not going to come undone but other than that I can’t really fault it.  It’s a really clear video to follow.
As others have said, they do come up a bit big and so I think I’m going to try a size smaller next time.  I’m really happy with how they’ve turned out and can’t wait to make some more!!
Thanks for reading,
Julia @ Julia Hincks

Comments (2)

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Christina Norton said:

OMG, the stupid computer(!) posted the message before I had finished checking it. I can spell and type really, honestly! Also capitals are unintentional. I wonder if it's anything to do with prosecco? · 22nd Jul 2017 08:58pm

Christina Norton said:

That'samazing! I am definitely going to have a go at thgis. Where did you get that fabulous watermelon fabric, and what kind of fabric is it? dID YOU JUST GLUE IT ON TOP OF THE BASE FABRIC ? tHJANKS SO MUCH FOR THE BLOG, i WOULD HAVE BEEN TOO FRIGHTENED TO TRY IT OTHERWISE! · 22nd Jul 2017 08:55pm