Shoe restyle: painted espadrilles

Mmm, espadrilles… summer in a shoe.  I’ve wanted a pair for ages, with a nice chunky wedge heel – but being on the tallish side, I tend to have an unrequited affair with high heels.  All my pining after them doesn’t change the fact that I’m limited to about a 3 inch heel, to avoid ending up a head taller than most of my acquaintances.  So I was interested to see this pair shimmy up on eBay:

They were a shade of pink that I never wear, needed a good clean and had ratty laces – but, they were espadrilles with a 3″ heel.  I masked off the soles and got going with a stencil brush and a jar of yellow Dylon Fabric Paint for dark coloured items (I also tried a normal paintbrush, but found the stencil brush much better at working the paint in evenly.)

It took 3 coats to get the yellow consistent… with IRONING to set the paint after each layer.  No, it’s not easy to iron a shoe.  Stuffing the toes with scrunched-up paper worked best, but it wan’t ideal.  If I’d been braver at straying from the instructions on the jar, I might have tried using a hairdryer to heat it instead.

I wanted my espadrilles to lace up like Dita’s, so I sewed on a D-ring to each front section using a simple blanket stitch. They’re laced up by threading a metre of grosgrain ribbon through the D -ring, then through the already exsisting holes in the slingback strap, then criss-crossed over and tied in a bow at the side.

First wearing was to my sister-in-law’s barbeque in the brilliant sunshine last Sunday, with the cuffs of my skinny jeans rolled a little higher than usual to show those bows!

I think they’d look super cool and Coachella-glam when I go camping with 50-odd teenagers in a couple of weeks’ time (part of a youth work team taking the group to Newday) but the kids tell me it always rains, nearly always floods, and everything gets ruined in the mud.  Hmm.

Would you risk your handmade creations camping in the UK?

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