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.

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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!

Suffolk Pointe Shoes

suffolk pointe shoes

For my third post in the shoes series, I’m talking about my current pointe shoes. Right now, I wear Suffolk’s Stellar shoes.

To start these shoes are very nice looking. The satin is slightly pinky peach. They have a cloth drawstring that I usually replace with an elastic one to help the shoe fit better. I am slightly obsessed with Suffolk’s ribbons. The brand’s ribbons are the same on each side, with a slightly dull look. This means less pancaking and no worries about sewing a ribbon on the wrong side, which I love.

Part of the reason I started wearing these shoes is because it has helped with the twisting I previously discussed in my Bloch shoes post. The twisting doesn’t even occur in these shoes. They are very strong, which I personally like. Since they are strong, I recommend breaking the box in beforehand. I always do this because if I don’t I’m sure to get blisters in class. You want to be careful when doing this to avoid over breaking in.

These shoes have been really good to me. I never had problems performing in them, they last awhile, and shape to the foot well. They are a little more expensive Bloch, but it is worth it because of the decent life span of the shoes. The Suffolk shoes are really nice and if you are looking for something new check out the brand because I know a lot of people who like them other than me.

I hope you enjoyed the post and come back next Monday for final post of the shoe series!


Bloch Pointe Shoes

Starting a new series on shoes this week. The first shoes I’m going to talk about are Bloch shoes.

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All of my Bloch shoes.

Bloch shoes were my first shoes. I wore Bloch European Balance, like many starting dancers. They were a great starter shoe. Not that these shoes aren’t good for wearing as a more experienced dancer, but they are better as a harder shoe. The reason they are better starter shoes is because they are very hard, which I personally think is a good characteristic for dancers new to pointe.


First pair’s box.

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First pair of shoes.

One thing I really appreciated about these shoes is that they helped my feet not twist. My feet tend to twist in shoes and there are few shoes that fit right and can stop it. Of course as my feet grew stronger and more accustom to pointe the shoes weren’t able to prevent twisting as well.

I always felt very supported on these shoes and enjoyed wearing them. My first ever on stage pointe performance was in European Balance and I’ll always have special place for these shoes.

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My one and only non European Balance shoes that are still Bloch.

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The box, that doesn’t even go with the shoes.

I did wear one pair of Bloch shoes that weren’t European Balance. These shoes were ones that my studio was selling along with other custom shoes company members that were no longer dancing had order. They fit just fine, but I have no idea what they are because they are custom and the box doesn’t go with them.

Well, younger, not as experienced Ella had decided she really needed to break in these shoes. I over broke them in, so much so that the nail in the shank actually came out. Now this isn’t much of a problem for older dancers, but for twelve-year-old me it was.

I hadn’t even had one class in them and they were useless to me. When I did take class in them, it was no easy task. I soon got rid of those shoes and that has to be my most embarrassing mistake with pointe shoes, so to any newcomers¬†pointe, be careful when you break in shoes!

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I hope you enjoyed reading about Bloch shoes and my embarrassing mistake. Come back this Friday for a post on flat shoes and don’t forget to follow, like, and comment!