After a few set backs I can proclaim that I have completed my Espadrilles in the nick of time! Huzzah!
This project was more of a challenge than I had initially bargained for, but I am pleased with the results.
My initial prototype (seen below) helped me discover a few design flaws, and the key factors in making a successful knitted shoe.
1. The Sole
The most important element to a shoes design. While the soles on my original prototype worked well, I felt that second time around a “double” sole for my espadrilles would improve longevity & durability.
2. The Sides
The sides of the original prototype were far too soft and floppy to provide support for the foot. To create the stiffer sides seen on the finished design,I used a seed stitch, which is less stretchy than it’s stockinette counterpart. I also held two yarns doubled,together. One of which was a synthetic thread. This made the stitches hold tighter and closer together.
On the first prototype I tried to use some cotton from my stash. The idea was to get a tribal colour scheme, however the mix of mute colours, made for an ugly design! On this pair of espadrilles I went for simple, natural colour, with a hint of gold in the trim
Pictures of the finished project below. Let me know what you think!
The Espadrille as mentioned previously is a classic shoe style that originates from the Pyrenees mountain region of Spain & France. It is defined by its jute rope sole, and is often made with canvas uppers.
The modern manufacture of these shoes, is often factor driven. The jute rope has become a decorative feature. The soles of the shoes will now be made from volcanized rubber, and surround by the jute roping, to provide longer lasting soles, that can be mass produced. The shoes are now made as flats, and wedges and have been approached by many big fashion designers.
There are still a few places, however where hand made espadrilles can be found, and the making process has been kindly laid out for us to observe.
All the videos below have been taken from http://www.espadrillestore.com
The sole is made from jute rope. The rope is wrapped around well placed pins to provide the shape, and is sewn together. The turn table allows the craft maker to create many soles quickly.
The uppers are canvas, cut to shape with machinery. Once the uppers are shaped they are sewn by hand to the jute rope soles
These videos and pictures and a real insight into how I must design both my uppers (in terms of shape) and the jute rope sole.
I recently posted that I would be making a pair of espadrilles for my latest project. Good readers I can tell you I have made prototype one, and it is far too ugly to post! My enthusiasm got the better of me as it so often does, and I neglected creating swatches, or doing any research.
As some other ladies in our Ravelry group are joining my quest to make some espadrilles, I will now be conducting the proper research, and posting it here on the blog, so that others will not need a prototype, as we are naming the beast, and will be able to come away with a beautiful shoe.
In the mean time take a look at this Valentino Espadrille that has inspired me to try harder, and make something beautiful.
As ambitious as ever I decided to try something a little unusual. I decided to challenge myself to design an entirely knit pair of knit shoes.
Although it may sound a little ‘out there’ but it only takes a little research to see that it is actually quite an achievable goal, and one shoe in particular stands out at the best to recreate in yarn.
The espadrille is a casual, sandal like shoe originating from the Pyrenees. Known for the light colored jute rope soles, these casual creations have become a classic fashion accessory, appearing time and time again on the catwalk.
Although the original Espadrille is designed as a flat, fully covered shoe they now come in a variety of heel heights and both closed and open toe.
Last month, Vogue.co,uk featured their top 10 Designer Espadrilles, stating
ESPADRILLES have long been staples of our summer wardrobes, thanks to their easy-going appeal and breathable nature. This year however, they have been given a new lease of life, coming in metallics, pony skin and hot, hot pink – even Chanel joined the jute party for spring/summer 2013.
After doing my research I designed two unique Espadrilles, which are pictured below. After careful consideration I decided to combine the two designs, creating the closed toe shoe with the colour & patterning of the open toe design.
My Next Step
My next step is to make the jute rope sole. I have purchased jute twine from a local garden centre and plan to build the sole up by knitting the twine into a long i cord, which will be folded & sewn against itself in the shape of a shoe sole.
Updates to come!