SHOE DIY: Dritz Embroidered Floral Wedge Espadrilles

Dritz came out with new wedge espadrille soles, as part of their customizable espadrilles line. I used some Fairfield World Smooth fusible interfacing to give the fabric uppers extra support for general wear and floral embroidery. To add color to the wedge soles, I used DecoArt Americana Acrylic paints, in colors that matched the embroidery floss. This is my 2nd pair of Dritz espadrilles that I've made. I wanted them more customized and reflective of my art style. My 1st pair, Polka Dot Ankle Wraps Espadrilles, are flat using the available Dritz fabrics. While I've been doing embroidery for about 30 years (no joke!), if you are a beginner, I found this awesome video that shows 7 Basic Embroidery Stitches. For this project, I used chain stitches, French knots, and blanket stitch. Blanket stitch on a 3D object...the edge of the trickier than on flat fabric, but I found this awesome Dritz espadrille blanket stitch video on Instagram by Deepika Prakash.

Fairfield World, Dritz, and DecoArt provided me with their products for this project. Fairfield World paid me to create this project. Some of the links are Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases made using those links, will result in Amazon paying me a small percentage of the sales.

However, I use these links mostly to show you what the products look like. You can find much of this in your local big craft and fabric stores, for less than Amazon with coupons and sales. That's certainly what I normally do for supplies I have to pay for, like embroidery floss for 40c a skein. The floss colors I listed are close to what I used, which was probably 20 years old, from my aunt, and I'm unsure of the brand. I restocked my floss with DMC brand, and tried to get close matches.



1) Squeeze a little of each paint color onto the paper plate. Using the small flat paintbrush, paint each braid a different color. The top and bottom braids are both Carousel Pink, because they intersect. Rinse and dry your brush between each color. From top the bottom, the color order is Carousel Pink, Banana Cream, Coral Shell, Bubble Gum Pink, Saffron Yellow, Melon, and Carousel Pink. Add a second coat of any colors where the natural braid color is still showing.

2) With Carousel Pink and a bigger flat paintbrush, paint both insoles. Let dry completely, and paint a 2nd coat. I can't promise that this paint will hold up to heavy wear. It blends the edges, so they aren't obvious later when sewing the uppers to the heel. I looked at the finished uppers on the heels before choosing to do this step. However, I'm putting this step towards the beginning, so the paint has plenty of drying time.

3) Open up the fashion outer and lining fabrics. Steam iron them both flat. Set the lining aside. Cut a piece of Smooth Fusible Interfacing the same size as the fashion outer fabric. Place the Smooth onto the outer fabric, rough glue side down. Iron the two piece together, working slowly, so the glue bonds to the fabric.

4) Remove the pattern from the soles packaging. For this project, cut out the heel and toe patterns to the size of your sole. With the dressmaker's pencil, trace these twice on both the outer and lining fabrics. Trace the patterns close together, leaving a large section without anything on it. This section will be used later for the ankle strap. Cut out the lining fabric along the traced lines, and set these pieces aside. Cut the outer fabric loosely around the lines, to leave handling room for the embroidery. Trace the dart lines for the heels onto the heel fabric pieces.

5) With the dressmaker's pencil, mark the center line of each outer toe piece. Lightly draw a design. Mine is a stylized take on flower petals. I used two strands of embroidery floss at a time. Thread the hand sewing needle with Geranium embroidery floss. Knot one end. Chain stitch along the outer arches. When your thread is running low, knot off on the back. Thread more embroidery floss, knot one end, and continue chain stitching. Chain stitch the middle arches with Light Coral. Chain stitch the inner arches and make French knots with Light Topaz. If you have trouble with French knots (they are tricky) either skip them or use single stitches. When you are finished embroidering both toe outers, carefully cut along the pattern lines, making sure not to cut through your embroidery.

6) For the heels, I realized after I did the embroidery and went to sew the darts, that my embroidery didn't line up at that seam and I had to redo that section. Ugh. My hindsight, and your foresight. At the sewing machine, load it with black thread. Sew the darts closed on both of the outer and lining heels pieces. Then, on the outer pieces, draw your embroidery design and embroider it. This embroidery is actually upside down. The dart side will be attached to the heel. Whoops. It still looks cool this way, so I just rolled with it, and we'll pretend this placement was intentional. That last outer row of French knots was unnecessary, as they became skewed while doing the blanket stitching later. Hindsight...but they still look pretty.

7) Pair up the lining and outer pieces, right sides together. Back at the sewing machine, zigzag stitch around the pieces, along the cut edge. On the toes, leave a 3"-4" gap, for turning the pieces. I found the gap is easiest to sew together later, if the gap is on the side. For the heels, leave 2" gaps on either side about 1" down from the top. I made one slightly larger than the other, to make turning easier. These are where the strap pieces will go later. Turn the pieces inside out. Use the Dritz point turner to help shape the corners. For the toe pieces, fold the gap edges in, and pin in place. Top stitch around the sides, close to the edge.

8) Back to the leftover outer fabric. Cut four rectangles 2" by 10". Make these rectangles longer if you have bigger ankles. My ankles and wrists seem to say the same size, even if every other part of me got bigger over time. Go figure, it's the shoes that always fit. Which reminds me of the movie "In Her Shoes". If you haven't seen it, you should, for many reasons other than great shoes. Anywho, pair the rectangles right sides together. Zigzag stitch around the sides about 1/4 from the edge, leaving a short edge open. Trim the sewn corners, making sure not to cut through the thread. Turn the pieces inside out. I found turning these tricky, because of the interfacing. Instead, I sewed one long and one short edge, trimmed the corners, turned the piece, folded in the open long edge securing it with pins, and top stitched around the closed sides. Whichever sewing mething you use, the straps need to be topstitched, for added stability.

9) Cut 2.5" matching pieces of hook and loop tape. Towards the strap end, straight stitch a rough hook piece. About 1/2" away, along the strap, stitch one fuzzy loop piece. Repeat for the other strap.

10) For the other strap pieces, cut two 2" squares. On one square, fold in two opposite sides until the meet. Topstitch along the folded edges. Slip the folded square through one slide adjuster hole. Fold over the square. Topstitch the folded fabric closed by the slide adjuster and back down the sides. Repeat with the other square and slide adjuster.

11) Slip the strap pieces into the gaps of the heel, folding in the raw edges. Straight pin all of the gaps closed. Topstitch straight around the sides, close to the edge. Backstitch where the straps are, for extra durability.

12) Center the toe piece. Use the glass head pins to secure the toe piece to the matching shoe's insole. Repeat with the heel pieces, with the slide adjusters on the outer sides. I pinned and sewed one shoe at a time.

13) To start, cut a long piece of black creative yarn. Pull it through the yarn wax several times. The wax makes the yarn easier to sew through the layers. Fold over the yarn  about 1", at one end. Push the fold through the big straight needle from the assorted needles pack. I liked using the straight needle, but if you like the curved needle better, definitely use that one instead. Knot off one end of the yarn. Use the pliers to pull it tight. I found a double knot was unnecessary for this project.

14) Pick a starting point along the shoe heel. Push the needle through the heel, insole, and upper fabric edge. Use the pliers to pull the needle, if it's difficult to pull by hand. Ok, back to this awesome Dritz espadrille blanket stitch video on Instagram by Deepika Prakash. This was super handy in sewing the blanket stitch along the shoe edges. Last time I used the rubber grippy things that Dritz makes, but I couldn't keep my grip and my fingers ached quickly. For this pair, I used Deepika's suggestion of pliers to pull the thick needle up through the layers. With these uppers having a lot of layers and sewing through painted materials, having a great grip on the needle was essential.

 For more shoe making inspiration, check out my list of Shoe Tutorials that I've done. The color combo and motif I used for this pair, can be changed to suit your style. If you aren't artsy, customize these espadrilles with your fabric choice. You can use any medium weight fabric for the outer and nice cotton for the lining, though Dritz has some nice selections. Thin canvas and denim are durable fabrics that would be great for outers. You could even add ribbons or machine embroidery to make your own fabric design. You could also use fabric paints to create artwork. Whatever you choose, have fun with it. Happy Makery!


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