DIY Rifle Paper Co. Espadrilles

August 8, 2017
Rifle Paper Co Espadrilles

Rifle Paper Co Espadrilles Rifle Paper Co EspadrillesRifle Paper Co EspadrillesRifle Paper Co EspadrillesDritz Espadrilles made with Rifle Paper Co canvas.Rifle Paper Co EspadrillesDritz Espadrilles made with Rifle Paper Co canvas.I have been looking to add some accessories to my handmade wardrobe for some time now. I had looked at kits for DIY espadrilles on Etsy, but unfortunately, they were just too expensive (including the exchange, shipping, and duties, getting a kit from Spain to Canada was going to be around $250.00). Then I found espradille soles for $9.99 on Amazon (made in China) but since they come from the quilting supply company Dritz, I decided to try to find local vendor instead. Well…I tried calling the chain fabric stores in my area and none of the employees had any idea what I was talking about. Then I tried calling bigger centres, with the hope that they might carry them or at least know what I meant, but to no avail. Not even Toronto! So, Amazon it was.

As for the fabric, I bought this Cotton and Steel/Rifle Paper Co canvas at Patch Halifax about a year ago with this project in mind. I used the – always lovely – selvedge edge design of the canvas for some pull tabs at the heel. You could probably get away with using a fat quarter of fabric for this project, but since I wanted to play around with the pattern placement, I bought half a metre to be sure. The lining is Robert Kaufman Essex Linen.

The shoes are a lot of fun to make! I’ve never done any kind of blanket stitch before, and I laughed at my own smug sense of achievement. It feels like a skill I should have picked up at Brownies or at summer camp somewhere. There are many sew-alongs and tutorials available online, but the best one is from Ada Spragg. I used her photos for reference each step of the way (Thank you, Sophie!).

A few issues: First, all of the tutorials wanted me to add a seam allowance to the pattern pieces, but my copy included them (maybe Dritz has updated their pattern?). Also, the instructions DO NOT recommend enough thread to finish a shoe!

The other, terribly sad issue was that after all that work the shoes are too big. The soles only come in full sizes and I generally wear a 6.5 (37 EU), so I went with the 7. I’ve now ordered the size 6 soles to compare, and I am going to see if there is some kind of insole combo that will fill this pair out for me.

Despite these setbacks, I loved this project.

Project: DIY Rifle Paper Co Espadrilles #1 

Total cost: $45

Fabric: $20

Notions: $25

Total Hours: 10

Fit: Size 7

What to work on: the final toe-cap stitching. Mine isn’t nearly as neat or as full as I would like (I think I had too much wax on my thread by that point.) I won’t use blue chalk next time either.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply PsychicSewerKathleen August 8, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Gorgeous shoes Erica! WOW you should be proud of yourself 🙂 I was sad to read you won’t be able to wear them re size – that must have been devastating when you first tried them on and discovered they were too large. I think after all that work and beautiful outcome, I would have sat down and cried. I’m sure a size 7 will be happy to buy them from you if you’re inclined or know a size 7 you could gift them with for their birthday or Christmas 🙂 They are just amazing and now you know you can make your own shoes who knows where this might take you in the future 🙂

    • Reply Erica August 8, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you so much!! I was disappointed, but I think of all my sewing as practice. I’m Celiac, so I had to do a lot of “practice” baking when I first found out and sewing feels like that. But I like the thought of giving them away if I can’t get them to work. I think espadrilles are a great gift idea in general!

  • Reply Lori August 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Wow, these are so cute! Love the fabric you chose. I’m sorry they turned out too big. I’m wondering about the ropey insole — is that comfortable to walk on? I’ve been toying with the idea of making my own pair at some point so I’m curious.

    • Reply Erica August 8, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      Thank you, Lori! The top, braided part of the sole (what you walk on) is actually soft and flat. It’s jute, but I don’t feel any difference. You could sew or glue down a canvas layer on top of the jute as well. I think you should make some!

      • Reply Lori August 8, 2017 at 5:02 pm

        Thanks, Erica. 🙂

  • Reply Rebekah Jaunty August 9, 2017 at 10:12 am

    So impressive! First espadrilles, then the world. You’re building such a cool, customized wardrobe.

    I just realized that the print on the bottom = SNAPS! You’ll be leaving a sewing-related footprint everywhere you go.

  • Reply Tina August 26, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Your shoes are beautiful! As for the sizing, I’ve had that same problem of needing to go a 1/2 size larger. In most cases, a cheap DOUBLE in-sole (not the regular thin flat ones) cut and fit in the shoe will take up the space and make them wearable.

    • Reply Erica September 7, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      The Double insole is a great idea!!

    Leave a Reply