MASTER BULLION STITCH TO EMBELLISH
ROSE ESPADRILLES Get started • Espadrilles soles, one pair • Medium-weight white linen or cotton, 40cm x 55cm • Printed cotton, 20cm x 40cm • Strong dark red linen or cotton thread • Embroidery hoop • Embroidery thread, dark red, scarlet, coral pink, blue, green, yellow • Chalk pencil or erasable marker
Also known as caterpillar, coil, worm and post stitch – or grub knot – bullion stitch forms a wonderfully textured coil that is often used to work raised floral motifs and is particularly good for embroidering small roses. Bullion stitch belongs to the family of knotted stitches and looks striking when combined with French knots. Here it is used to embroider a folk art flower motif on a pair of espadrilles – ours are handmade, but you could embellish a ready-made pair if you prefer.
Prym’s espadrilles soles are es. en’s siz available in in adult and childr /en com prym.
Shoe front: cut four from white linen or cotton Shoe back: cut two from white linen or cotton and two from printed cotton 12mm seam allowance used, unless otherwise stated.
Embroider the flower motif
Cut out the paper pattern pieces provided with the espadrille soles, making sure you select the correct size. Fold the white linen or cotton in half, then mark out the pieces according to the cutting guide, adding a 12mm seam allowance all around – do not cut out yet as you need to work the embroidery first. Download and print the floral motif at sewmag.co.uk/ templates, then draw it on two of the shoe fronts with a chalk pencil or erasable marker, positioning it 2cm down from the seam line on the top edge of an espadrille front. Flip the design on the other shoe front so it is reversed. Stretch the fabric in an embroidery hoop. Using six strands of dark red, scarlet or coral pink embroidery thread in a smaller crewel needle, work two bullion knots side by side (see panel opposite) to form a rose centre. Work three longer stitches surrounding the central two,
followed by further bullion knots surrounding the middle. As you work outwards, the knots will become longer and will require more wraps than the two in the centre. For the leaves, add individual bullion stitches with six strands of green thread where indicated. Repeat to create two more roses in the same way. Using three strands of blue embroidery thread and using the photo as a guide, embroider the stems in stem stitch, then add French knots with three strands of yellow, coral pink, scarlet or dark red where indicated on the template with small dots. Repeat for the second shoe front, reversing the colours so that it mirrors the other.
Make the espadrilles
Once you’ve completed the motifs, remove the fabric from the hoop and press lightly on the reverse. Cut out each piece, following the outer line you have drawn. Pin an embroidered and a plain front piece right sides together then stitch, leaving a 5cm gap on one edge. Clip the corners, trim the seam allowance, turn right sides out and press. Pair each plain shoe back with a printed cotton back piece and stitch together as for the shoe fronts. Fold the long curved edge of a back piece in half to find the centre, then match and pin this to the
centre back of the sole. Line up the edge of the fabric with the edge of the sole and continue pinning. Repeat for the other shoe. Thread a larger crewel needle with a 110cm length of strong dark red thread, knot the end and pull through at one end of the back piece, near the corner. Take the needle through the rope part of the sole, 3mm from the top edge, then up through the rope and the fabric, 3mm in from the edge. Loop the thread over the needle to form a blanket stitch and pull up tightly. Continue to work blanket stitches 8mm apart all round the lower edge of the fabric piece to secure it firmly to the sole. When you reach the other corner, fasten off the thread firmly. Repeat for the other shoe. When attaching the two front pieces, you’ll need to overlap the front and back. Measure 15mm along the lower edge of the back on both sides, starting from the front edge, and mark with a pin. Place the corner of the front to correspond with this pin on both sides, then pin all round the lower edge of the front. At the toe end of the shoe, ease the fabric slightly to fit then blanket stitch in place. Where the top edge of the front overlaps the back at either side, sew a running stitch through both layers, continuing the line of stitches across the top.