Craft Rocks – Espadrille making at Craftyangel

Craft enthusiast Jo Burgess explores the world of needlecraft in this exclusive column for Mr X Stitch!

You may remember from a previous column (you can read it here) that my favourite crafty place to hang out is Craftyangel, a beautiful fun sewing shop in Hertfordshire where you are always greeted with a huge smile, bottomless cups of tea and a friendly dog called Pixel. Recently I went to the shop for espadrille making, led by the fabulous Angela Hounsell who owns the beautiful shop. 

What a giggle. The day was 50/50 giggles and shrieks as we pricked ourselves with pins and needles constantly while trying to conquer the pinning and sewing technique to begin with 🙂

My goodness, talk about kids in a sweet shop. New shoes in any fabric you want? Where do you start! I opted for one of my favourites in the shop, full of bright planets for the exterior, and a plain denim coloured cotton for the interior. Having previously made a clutch bag out of it at my birthday sewing party, now I would have shoes to match!

My space age bag

For espadrille making you need two fat quarters to begin with, one for the outside and one for the lining. We used the Prym soles and pattern. So the first job is to cut out the fabric and pick your thread. I opted for a red Prym thread to compliment the space age fabric. 

Craft Rocks - Espadrille making at Craftyangel
Fabric and thread, good to go

Then the next job was to sew your outer and lining fabrics together and place them on the shoe sole. This is quite complicated. You need to make sure you get the pieces the right way round on the right sole and spend ages pinning them into place. It’s really worth spending the time on this. You have to use a LOT of pins!

Craft rocks pinned espadrilles
Pins, pins, lots and lots and lots of pins

Then you sew around the base using a blanket stitch. 

espadrille making
Blanket stitches in place

Once the back is safely in place, it’s time to pin the fronts on and stitch around them too. Lots more pins! Then it’s time to sew up the side seams. I tried the shoes on throughout the making process a lot to ensure a good fit. 

Craft Rocks - Espadrille making at Craftyangel
My finished espadrilles!

One of my buddies who was with me that day was Samantha Molloy, also known as Stitched Up Sam. She went on to make the most beautiful embroidered espadrilles. Sam is a free motion whizz, you can see more of her work in her Etsy store here

Craft Rocks - Espadrille making at Craftyangel
Samantha Molloy’s embroidered espadrilles

Have you ever made espadrilles? It was the best fun, if you want a fun sewing day out with your buddies I can’t recommend espadrille making enough – lots of tears, some from laughing, some from pin pricks… You can buy all your supplies from Craftyangel, you could even social sew for the day and make them there! 


Soles: £9.99

2 x fat quarters: £6

Thread: £1

Total: £16.99

Best song to make shoes to: Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis

Best cake to eat at Craftyangel: Angel cake of course!

To enquire about espadrilles, equipment, fabric and social sewing time email

What are you waiting for?  Give espadrille making a go!

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