First pointe shoes

I In addition to our  son, we are blessed with two dancing daughters. The eldest has been en pointe for several years now – and the youngest dancer has been DREAMING of getting her first pointe shoes for EVER! She finally got her wish last week and she has been walking on air ever since (although she may stop being quite so delighted when she realises how much it hurts!).

The ends of the shoes have to be protected at the toes otherwise the satin just wears away.  There are leather patches etc you can be to stick on the ends these days but a traditional method is to darn them with thread. There are several ways of doing this, but the dance teacher recommends using a spiral of chain stitch worked from the outside in like this. Depending on the make and style of the shoe it can be quite hard to actually sew – sometimes the satin is bonded very firmly to the hard bit of the toe leaving no room to push the needle under. I’m used to hand sewing but I found this quite tough despite my thimble – it’s a good job she won’t be needing new ones too often.

I guess it’s worth it; I think they look quite pretty now – although they’ll look less lovely when they’ve been danced on and they’re all grubby. I can even overlook how sore my fingers are when I see them like this next to her tutu.

I have done the sewing this time – but she will be doing it herself when she wears these out! I’m glad our little Miss finally got her wish though.

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3 Responses

  1. Thank you for showing a photo of the darning, I haven’t seen any others. My teacher, Nina Stroganova, darned them in a pattern of overlapping triangles she learned from Mama Toumanova. Then, she reinforced the inside by wiping it with white shellac. Her shoes lasted forever. You reapply the shellac whenever needed.

  2. i do this to my shoes to!!!! it is sooo helpful!!!!

  3. Could you please explain to me how you ended the chain stitches? I’m having trouble figuring out how to! Thanks a lot!:)

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