My mom has always loved to sew, and when I was small I spent many hours playing under her sewing table while she crafted. I loved the afternoons we spent together at the fabric store, picking out materials and patterns for my school clothes and playtime costumes, and I always felt special when she took my creative suggestions for ‘improving’ something she was working on.
Yet, somehow, I never learned how to sew properly. Sure, I can replace buttons, mend the odd tear and sew in a straight line (remember my wedding bunting?) using the machine. But trying to follow a pattern and actually make something a bit more complicated than geometric shapes (i.e. triangular bunting and rectangular eye pillows)? Well, let’s not go there!
But I’ve got a love for crafting and enjoy learning new skills, so when my friend Emma asked if I wanted to go to a workshop to make our own espadrilles I knew I needed a new pair of shoes…
The workshop was run by The Makery and hosted by John Lewis on Oxford Street in the haberdashery section, and everything we needed was provided in class, except for our material so that we could each make a pair of shoes we knew we’d like! Emma and I had gone material shopping together, and she’d opted for a textured white and solid red (white toes, red heel!) while I went for an old school map print (which wasn’t at all geographically correct, but still cute!).
We’d signed up to a bright & early Saturday morning session, along with seven other eager students. When we arrived we each had a station set up with our own sewing machine, scissors, pins, patterns and espadrille soles in our size – and any other bits and bobs we might need along the way were on hand.
Our class was lead by Claire, who was really great about explaining each step, checking in to see how we were getting on, demoing when necessary and offering support and encouragement as we each stepped outside of our comfort zone and got on with making our first pair of espadrilles. The workshop was three hours long, during which we cut our material to fit the patterns, sewed it to a linen lining (provided) and then sewed this to the espadrille sole to begin forming our shoes. Our particular session went over by an hour, but we each left with one finished shoe and the thread necessary to complete the other at home.
I won’t talk you through each step, but I will link you (below!) to a video tutorial by The Makery if you’d like to get a better idea of how to make these yourself – and I also recommend attending one of the workshops if you have the time!
I’m really pleased with my finished shoes, and I can’t wait to wear them. Keep an eye out for them in my upcoming #fromwhereistand posts on Instagram!
Workshops run until 10 October and cost £40. For more information and to book classes, visit The Makery here: http://themakery.co.uk/products/make-your-own-espadrilles