Just the musings of a small-town professional ballerina, business owner, wife, and beagle mama as she attempts to make it through this thing called life.

Dec 30, 2013

How To Sew Your Pointe Shoes

Hello, dear followers!
It's Monday and, according to the new schedule, you know what that means! Monday's posts are now dedicated to informative articles. Today's topic will be sewing pointe shoes, so I'll show you my step-by-step process.

Until I was about thirteen (and I was on pointe at about ten), my mother sewed my pointe shoes. There comes a time in every little ballerina's life when that responsibility needs to be our problem, because let's be honest, nobody really likes to do it. Our fingers get raw and, after a while, sewing shoes becomes a chore, not a privilege as it was when we were young and enthusiastic about all things ballet. But not to worry, here is a quick and easy to follow tutorial. Let us begin!

  • Tools

We're going to need scissors, a ruler, elastic, ribbon, a needle, thread, and of course your shoes (the pliers and knife are for cutting your shank, which we will cover another time). We keep a large plastic container to hold all the extra ribbon, elastic, and other miscellaneous sewing supplies.

  • We're going to start by cutting two 7 1/2 inch elastics. Depending on the size of your ankles you can cut it longer or shorter. Put the shoes on and measure the elastics against your ankle to know about how much you need.
  • Next up, ribbon. You'll need about 2 1/2 yards, which can be a pain in the butt to measure out if you're working with a bolt. SO, here's my solution. Keep a pre-measured ribbon on hand. You can buy these online or at your local dance store. Unravel the pre-measured ribbon and line it up with the bolt of ribbon. Then you'll know exactly how much to cut.

  • Take the 2 1/2 yard ribbon, fold it in half, and cut it at the fold. So now you have two long pieces of ribbon.
  • Now take the two ribbons and cut those in half. You'll end up with four medium-length ribbons. Then set the ribbons aside.
  • Thread your needle, grab one of the two elastics and place it on the heel of the shoe. Where you sew on the elastic is entirely up to you. Personally, I find that putting it further back holds the shoe on your foot better. You can also adjust how tight it is around the ankle by sewing higher or lower on the elastic.

  • Now, we'll move on to ribbons. Fold the 1/4 ribbon at the end a couple of times. This will keep it from fraying.

  • Put on your shoe and make a mark with a pen at the arch of your foot. This is where you'll sew your ribbons so it will keep the shoe tight to your foot and accentuate your arch.
  • Sew on the ribbon.
  • Do the same to the other side.
  • Do the same to the other shoe, and there you have it!

Thanks for reading, lovelies. If you have any of your own tips and tricks, post them in a comment below! If you have any questions then feel free to e-mail me at: rhiannon@maine.rr.com. And don't forget about Dancer S.OS.! E-mail me your questions, whether it's dance drama, finding the right pointe shoes, or wanting to improve your turnout, I'm at your disposal.
Happy Holidays!
Rhiannon -

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