Category Archives: Make your own canvas shoes workshop

All posts to do with devising and finalising the workshop.

Preparing for hand stitching.


Marking the stitch line 8mm in from the edge


Marking the stitches 8mm apart and attaching the upper with clips.














After marking the stitch line and stitches,I attached the upper to the runner sole with tape. The bulldog clips do the rest.

What you need for hand stitching is basically a third hand to hold the work side on, so you can see the back and front.

I’m using this funny contraption because since moving house I can’t find my wooden clamp, but the upright of my desk actually provides support along the whole shoe, not just the bit you’re stitching. You can use a door if you don’t have an upright desk. I found the metal clamps in a pound shop.

Back of the clamped shoe



Stripey canvas


I found this company, Deckchairstripes ( who’ll send you up to 5 samples of the canvas for free! (Go on, get some samples! You can use them for trimmings, and flip flops:) While you’re there you can get yourself some crazy cushions, and you don’t know how to relax until you own a hammock.

It’s so cheerful, so English, and so summery! I bought some “Punting” (the middle green one) and I can’t wait to make  some shoes out of it!


Making sample shoes


Some sample shoes made testing out the pattern(s) and the new old Singer sewing machine.

Showing all the pieces to the espadrille: Sole, back piece and vamp.
Testing out the 14 ounce canvas; How does it feel tight around your foot, and how many layers can I stitch? Quite a lot as I found out, but it doesn’t necessarily make the shoe nicer to wear; lumps under the foot are not acceptable!

Trying the sewing machine on different materials; industrial felt (up to 3 layers) plus suede soles, using a leather needle of course.

A note on using ‘found’ materials; it may have invisible hard bits your needle will break/bend on! Check and squeeze between thumb and forefinger first.


And then you get to try them on! The best part if you ask me.

I’d have liked more layers under foot, but unfortunately 3 layers high was the machines limit…This can be remedied with making a cushy insert. (also handy as this can be washed or replaced) Don’t forget to include the inserts’ thickness measurement in your pattern!

Me and Eva Shackel


Eva (left) runs Workshop Skills- workshops and is helping me with devising the structure of my Make Your Own Canvas Shoes Workshop. You can find her website here: We are discussing materials for the shoes here, and how people coming on the workshop will measure their own feet, make a pattern and sew their own shoes. I’m especially fond of the deckchair canvas; it’s colours are bright and just says summer to me:-) The fabric also comes with complementary sweets!