Ever wondered how embroidery would look on shoes? Well, look no further because that’s exactly what we did in our latest collaboration with Hand & Lock.

We teamed up with the world renowned embroidery house to create a truly one-of-a-kind pair of sandals and we’re officially OBSESSED!!

Featuring a stunning embroidered landscape combined with our ankle strap pattern this collaboration serves as inspiration for those looking to think outside the box for their next shoe project 🌟

Hand and Lock X I Can Make Shoes


Hand & Lock have 250 years experience embellishing, embroidering and monogramming garments for the Royal family, the military and fashion houses including Dior, Hermes and Louis Vuitton (ikr!! 🤩) so we were super excited to join forces and use these techniques on footwear.

Their commitment to sharing their embroidery know-how and inspiring the next generation of embroiderers aligned perfectly with our desire to inspire shoemakers all over the world to ramp up their creativity and experiment with different design applications to create shoes they love.

After speaking with the designers from the Hand & Lock team, we landed on a beautiful embroidered landscape that would cover the heel and the front strap, and we decided to pair this with a soft valencia leather in forest green on the ankle strap and insole.

We think they turned out absolutely GORGEOUS! 💖 Do you agree?

I Can Make Shoes X Hand and Lock London


Here’s the breakdown of how we made the shoes:

Embroidery process

Step 1 - The team at Hand & Lock digitally designed the landscape and chose the thread.

Step 2 - Then, the landscape was then embroidered onto linen in the exact size and shape of the sandal strap and heel pattern. This meant that we could easily stitch and last the material without having to cut through any of the embroidery.

Tracing the uppers

Step 3 - Next, we traced the upper pattern onto the fabric. Because it’s linen, we decided to add an allowance for a folded edge to secure the embroidery and also create a neat topline for the front strap. It’s always important to consider what fabric you are using and what will be the best edge for it, for example a raw edge in linen could lead to fraying and an untidy finish.

Step 4 - After this, we traced the lining, cut and stitched the upper together. For the lining we chose a beautiful valencia leather in a light cream which was super soft and we knew would look really great paired with the colours of the upper.

Covering the heels and the insoles

Step 5 - Then, we cut the heel pattern and glued it to our block mid-height heels with the beige heel tip.

Step 6 - Next, we traced and covered the mid-height shanked insoles in a forest green valencia leather, and then lasted the upper to the insoles over our ICMS mid-heel last.

Creating the ankle strap and the sole

Step 7 - After that, we traced, cut and stitched the ankle strap and punched a hole to attach the buckle. We then lasted them, making sure to remove any excess bulk with our safety beveler.

Step 8 - Then, we cut the sole using our 2mm resin in beige, giving it a light sand to smooth the edges before glueing it on.

Drilling in the heels and edge dying the ankle strap

Step 9 - Next, we drilled in the heels and made the insock using our pre-made insock pattern. We decided to add a beautiful contrast detail in the green leather (the same as we used for the ankle strap) and added a cream stitch as a subtle detail.

Step 10 - Finally, we edge-dyed the ankle strap to match the outside colour of the leather. We chose to do this because sometimes, when you cut a leather, the raw edges can be a slightly different colour (often lighter) and we didn’t want this contrast in colour in this area of the shoe. We think this was a great choice as it totally elevated the overall finish 🤩

You can watch the making process in our video below:


Overall, these took approximately 7 hours to make (spread out over a few days), and if you are feeling inspired to make a pair for yourself, here’s a list of the all of components that we used 😉:

  1. Mid-height lasts
  2. Shanked insoles (mid-height)
  3. Mid-height heels
  4. Ankle strap pattern (you can also use our Sandal Ankle Strap pattern which is the complete shoe and includes the ankle strap and the front upper strap)
  5. Insock pattern
  6. Folding hammer
  7. 2mm Beige resin sole
  8. Water based glue and Solvent based glue
  9. Heat gun
  10. Hole puncher


- What is the inspiration behind the landscape that you chose to embroider?

We chose to embroider a landscape because of all the elements we could bring into the design. We love mixing techniques and textures, and the landscape idea really brought this all together. 

We liked the idea that as the landscape went over both shoes it developed and changed whilst still keeping an overall mood and aesthetic. At first glance you wouldn't realise that one shoe is different to the other, but once you notice you can see the changes in artwork and landscape.

- How long did it take to embroider all of the material for the shoes? (from designing to printing etc)

The designing element took us a few hours combined. We combined different design ideas and mockups until the perfect balance was created. We then went onto digitising the design which took us around 4 hours. Each design takes different amounts of time depending on size and complexity. As we had a really clear idea of how we wanted the stitches to look, this was a fairly speedy process. The next stage of the process was to sample the designs and experiment with different colours and stitch types. This took us the best part of a day. 

- What are the most challenging parts of your process?

As our design for the shoes was rather complex with lots of detail, we wanted to ensure that the stitches we chose for the design would compliment the design rather than over complicate. We ensured we had a solid colour palette and cohesive designs between the shoes to make sure they worked as a whole and had interesting intricate elements without being overpowering. 

- What was your reason for wanting to collaborate with us / what excited you about creating shoes with us? 

As embroiderers we are so lucky to work with amazing creators and in a huge range of fields from artists, to costume makers, to fashion and interior designers. We thought it would be really cool to see embroidery come to life on a fully embroidered pair of shoes. We spend lots of our time working on new embroideries, experimenting with stitch techniques and exploring new ways to interpret designs into stitches- so to see the embroidery come to life on a stylized product. 

As well as this we love the exposure of craft and collaborating with a shoemaking school is the great way to do this combining creative skills in different areas. As a company our ethos is Timeless Luxury & Skilled Craftsmanship which we feel also reflects the work at ICMS making it the perfect collaboration.

Learn more about Hand & Lock and check out all of their amazing embroidery along with other collaborations they’ve done HERE, and give them a follow on Instagram HERE.

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