If you've ever dreamed of designing your own shoes—think effortless and perfect for wearing all summer long—you're officially in luck. Shoe-loving enthusiasts can now make their own pair thanks to a DIY espadrille kit that comes complete with recycled yarn, jute soles, and instructions. "The beauty of the espadrille is in its handcrafted nature," says Nick Brown of Soludos, the shoe brand that teamed up with Wool and the Gang to create the crochet kit. "More and more people want authenticity," he continues. "And what's more authentic than a shoe you're making?"
How it works: Each kit comes complete crochet hooks, a sewing needle, instruction booklet, a Soludos jute sole and Wool and the Gang recycled T-shirt yarn—all of which can be used to crochet either a slide or lace-up sandal, as well as a simple shoe bag from leftover yarn. All you need is a pair of scissors, measuring tape, and an "I got this" attitude.
Still second-guessing whether shoemaking is in your future? Brown assures us that you don't have to be an expert. "Before this, I had never crocheted before," he says. "The closest thing would be a basket I made when I was 10, and the only one who would accept my basket was my granny."
That said, Brown has a few tips to keep in mind before you tackle your first pair of rope-soled sandals:
1. Watch the Video Tutorial
"It's a cheat sheet. We tried doing it without the video and it definitely didn't end up looking like a shoe. More like a scarf with a hole at the end of it."
2. Know Your Size
"When you're starting out, just make sure you have the right number of stitches for your shoe sizing.
3. Mistakes Are OK
"Don't be scared to mess up because it's easy to undo. I know I messed up a bunch in the beginning."
4. Slow and Steady Works
"You might be a little slow in the beginning, but then you'll get into a rhythm. That's when it becomes an addition and you wish there were more shoes to make."
5. Make It Fun
"I tried it with my girlfriend the other night. We both had a shoe and went at it. But I think a good challenge would be if you didn't pack any shoes and you were heading to Montauk or someplace for the weekend, and you had to weave your shoes on the train or the jitney."
On that note, Brown admits it might be a good idea to pack an extra pair of sandals before you travel: "Just in case it rains."
DIY Espadrille Kits, $55 each, are now available at soludos.com