Sewing Pointe Shoes

Final post about shoes before moving onto a new topic. This post will be about how I sew my shoes and my tips for sewing shoes.

Let’s start with supplies:

  • sail needle
  • normal needle
  • elastic drawstring
  • dental floss
  • pointe shoe ribbons
  • pointe shoe elastics
  • scissors

I always start by sewing on the elastics and ribbons and then replace the drawstring. I do this because once the elastic drawstring is in, it is much harder to sew on the ribbons and elastics.

First, pull out the cloth drawstring (if you have one) and then put unsewn shoe on the foot. Test where you want to sew elastics. I sew mine criss-cross, so there is more support and to avoid twisting. You must also be sure that the elastics you use are meant for pointe shoes because they are stronger. If you use other elastics it will be harder to dance and you may eventually have to switch them to pointe shoe elastics.

Where I sew my elastics is shown in the images above. I sew both of the elastics to the back of the shoe first. Once both elastics have been sewn to the back, I sew the fronts with the ribbons.

A great trick for sewing the ribbons, to avoid them ripping off like I have often struggled with is to not cut the ribbons. It seems a little weird and like it might not be comfortable, but give it a try. I can’t take credit for this idea, it came from my friend Sarah. With the elastics and ribbons sewn as I described, the shoe should look like this.

Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

I always sew my elastics and ribbons with square stitching. This doesn’t take much more time, but allows for a lot more strength.

Once all the elastics and ribbons have been sewn I use the sail needle to put the elastic drawstring in my shoes. I have to do this because it is the only way I can get shoes to fit right. I also use dental floss to stitch my shoes because it is way stronger than thread and is much cheaper than the special pointe shoe thread. I also want to recommend the Suffolk ribbons once again because they are my absolute favorite.

I have also dabbled with darning. I used the sail needle to stitch with thick thread around the platform rather than covering the whole platform. It was nice to try, but I don’t think I’ll do it again. It took a little too much time and didn’t make enough of a difference.


Partially sewn shoes

I may not have brought a lot of new tips to the table, but I hope you found something new and helpful in this post. Come back this Friday for a new post and don’t forget to share this post with others!

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