Finished: 1930s Crochet Sandals

1930s crochet sandals pattern

You may remember me mentioning a while ago in my Sewing & Crocheting Plans post that I wanted to crochet a pair of sandals. Or you may have even seen them in progress in my latest Vintage Crochet Projects Podcast. Either way, I’m happy to report that they’re now all finished and thoroughly wearable. Yay!

The pattern I used was a Weldon’s pattern from the late 1930s or early 1940s. I purchased it as a PDF from Vintage Ali Patterns on Etsy and thankfully it was just a scan of the original leaflet and not a re-typed version as you sometimes get. The reason I say ‘thankfully’ is because the pattern doesn’t say which size thread to use, but rather has images of the thread that you lie your thread on top of for comparison. Therefore the pattern must be printed out exactly the same size as the original leaflet, otherwise you’d end up using completely the wrong size thread. I chose to do the striped version of the pattern and used a DMC Petra size 5 crochet thread in navy and white, which was pretty much spot on for size.

1930s crochet sandals

And here they are! I’m almost happy with them, but if I was going to make them again I would leave off the first white stripe over the toes to leave it more open. I also wouldn’t make the main part quite as wide. It flaps a little bit at the front and doesn’t look at delicate as the ones in the original pattern. What I’m going to do to combat this on these ones is sew down the very end of the main section to the sole. Currently it’s left open as per the instructions, but it doesn’t really do anything helpful. Therefore, by closing it up it will stretch the fabric a little bit and be less flappy over the toes.

1930s crochet sandals

The fabric itself was created by crocheting three strands of thread at the same time. This made the finished pieces nice and stiff, which stops it from stretching when walking. I know this is a problem other people have encountered when crocheting shoes or sandals. However, working with three threads at the same time, and quite a small hook, meant that it was really hard on your hands and wrists and I did have to take a rest from them every now and again. Even so, these 1930s crochet sandals were super quick to make up, which was a great relief after how long my 1930s peach cardigan took me!

1930s crochet sandals

I chose to attach the pieces to a pair of low heel espadrille soles, which I purchased from Espadrille Craft on Etsy. They were quite costly, £14.50 plus £7 postage (they came from Spain) but they’re incredibly good quality. The bottoms have proper moulded rubber soles attached and they’re extremely weighty. I was worried that they’d be too heavy for the crochet but they’re absolutely fine. I did order some leather insoles to add to them but they really weren’t necessary as the jute isn’t itchy at all.

Espadrille Craft provided a very helpful needle to sew the different sections with. It’s very much like a yarn needle, nice and thick, but it has an extremely sharp point. It was perfect to sewing everything together, although I did end up with quite a few scratches and pin marks afterwards. I really should go more careful!

1930s crochet sandals

They actually fit really well, despite me being worried that the soles were too short. The ties did end up rather longer than the ones in the original pattern but they can easily be tied at the front. This in a way is better because I know immediately if they do ever come undone. The sandals do stay on really well, though, so I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out eventually.

Would I make another pair? You betcha! I’d defintiely make the adjustments I mention above but they would be fantastic in so many colours. I could even do plain ones or mess about with the design a little bit to have a motif in the centre. Ooo, I could even embroider on to them. Now there’s a thought! Anyway, the choices are endless. I’m not sure I’d spend quite so much on the soles next time, although wedge ones are extremely hard to get in the UK. 🙁

Project Details

Pattern: 1930s Crochet Sandals from Vintage Ali Patterns on Etsy

Yarn: DMC Petra in White (B5200) and Navy Blue (5823) – about a third of a ball of each – from The Yarn Yard Online

Hook: 2mm steel hook

Soles: 5 cms heel espadrille soles from Espadrille Craft

Total cost: £25.90

Cate

Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.

23 Comments

  1. I never realized it would be possible to crochet your own sandals! They look fabulous, and even if they’re not perfect, I’m sure your next pair will be! xxx

  2. Oh wow! I love these so much! I’m just getting into crochet, I may have to try this pattern in the future!

    • This is a pretty easy pattern to do, you just need to know the basic stitches and how to decrease and increase. It’s just a little tricky because you’re working with three threads together which become quite stiff. I hope you fall in love with crocheting just like I have! xx

  3. These turned out lovely! It sounds like they were hard on your wrist, so with my wrist issues I don’t think I will be trying them! I had looked at espadrilles when I was sandal shopping earlier this year but didn’t find anything affordable/vintage looking/with arch support. I agree that the toe will look better sewn down to the sole. I wonder if the shape/exact size of the soles makes a difference in the toe part looking different than in the pattern. These will look great with the rest of your holiday wardrobe!

    • Thank you Kate! Yes, you may be right on the shape of the soles. These ones are quite narrow, so there’s probably more space for the fabric to flap about. I’m definitely going to sew the fronts down, I think they’ll look a little more delicate that way. xx

    • They’re great fun to do and much easier than I expected. It’s great to think I’ve actually made a pair of shoes! xx

  4. I saw that you posted these on Instagram – I could hardly believe that you could crochet yourself a pair of shoes! These look really cute, too. I could see this being really handy if you ever had a reason to match a dress or outfit really precisely.

    • Thank you Jessica! Yes, I can definitely see myself making more of these in really random colours just to match an outfit. The possibilities really are endless! xx

  5. Hi Cate, the sandals look gorgeous and I’d definitely be interested in making some. I’ve just searched Amazon for espadrille sole and they have some by Prym for just under £8. The are flate though which is good for me but maybe not what you want. If you can have a look and tell me if you think they’d work as they’re half the price. Thanks Carol aka Delightindeco

    • Thank you Carol! Yes, all of the ones I found in the UK were flat. I always need a little bit of height as I’m a shorty, but didn’t want anything too high as I knew I’d be wearing them quite a lot. I may have a go at making some flat ones at some point, but they’ll probably be more for messing about in the garden. I know Jess, from Duchess of Hutch, used the Dritz flat soles on here, which are the same as the Prym ones, so they should work absolutely fine. xx

  6. I still can’t quite believe that you made…shoes!!
    That’s pretty amazing. It must be so satisfying to put them on. They look fabulous!
    I saw a girl once who bought a pair of wedges from a charity shop, and then ripped off the existing straps etc. so that she could do her own customising on them. Might be an option if you spot a cheap pair in your size.
    xx

    • Hehehe! Yes, they were actually quite easy to do. I hadn’t thought of the charity shop option, I’ll have to keep that in mind for the future. Thank you for the tip! xx

  7. These are amazing! The look really cool. I love that you are willing to take on unusual projects like this without knowing how it will work out – although it usually works out really well!!

    • Thank you Tanith! I’ve always been someone who likes to push myself, no matter what I’m doing. I get bored doing the same things over and over, which is why I can’t understand modern crocheters who just stick to granny squares. There’s so many amazing things you can do in crafting, so I say to just go for it. Figuring out why and how things works and experimenting is half the fun! xx

  8. Those are really smashing. I can see why you’d want a more open toe, but that’s the beauty of being able to make thing – you can get them just the way you want them.

    I’m trying to think if there are any craft shops in Seville… there are certainly a few fabric shops that I plan to drag the Mr into this September (the area round Calle Sierpes is the main shopping drag; hopefully one or two shops will have proper fiesta dresses in the window, the sort that cost hundreds of pounds, not the tacky tourist costumes). Anyway, might be wirth keeping your eye out for a craft shop in case you can get the soles cheaper in Spain, or at least without needing to pay the postage.

    • Thank Mim! I hadn’t thought of looking for craft or fabric shops in Seville, but now I’m on the hunt for ones we can go and visit. I’m hoping to buy some shoes whilst we’re there as Spanish shoes are always good quality. I can’t wait until we go! xx

      • The accessory shops in Seville are fantastic. I always make sure I dress smartly in Spain because the locals do. And if you’re into marcasite at all, it’s a paradise for the stuff – you can buy *silver handbags* on Sierpes! (I’m planning to stock up on olive oil at Triana market this time. Get myself a litre or two of the really good stuff.)

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