I got my first pair of pointe shoes at age 12. I was so excited to start dancing on pointe, until my teacher informed me that I had to sew the shoes myself. Sewing is definitely one of my lacking areas, so this was a challenge for me. However, with each new pair of pointe shoes I’ve had to sew over the past 6 years, I discovered ways to make the job easier and more efficient. Here are the steps that I follow when sewing pointe shoes:
1. Measure the elastic and ribbon and cut them in half.
2. Use clear nail polish to seal the edges of the ribbon and elastic so that it doesn’t fray.
3.Put the shoes on with the elastics and ribbons placed in the shoe.
4. Adjust the ribbons and laces so that they are positions to fit your foot and make light pen marks on the shoes and attachments where you wants them.
5. Take the shoes off and then use a pin to attach the ribbons in place.
6. Turn the shoe inside out so that you have room to move your hand.
7. Using dental floss (it is much stronger and will last longer than thread) sew your ribbons in place. Make sure you only go through the first layer of the shoe and not the outer layer. Also sew in the shape of X’s because it holds better.
8. Repeat this process with the elastics. Make sure you sew the elastics after the ribbons because the elastics would get in the way.
Wrong positioning of elastics and pulled ribbons are nothing new to me, not to mention everything I’ve sewn instantly ripping out and an occasional bloody finger. This is the refined process I have developed through my numerous mishaps.