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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Tracy makes tutus

Having two daughters that dance (beautifully – but don’t tell them I said that!),  I find myself making dance costumes on a fairly regular basis. It’s that or go hungry.

So a year or so ago I embarked on the quest to make a classical pancake tutu. There wasn’t so much around on the web then about how to go about it, but I found a “pattern” of sorts, got chatting to the nice people at The Sewing Forum, took advice from the dance teacher, bought oodles of net took a big breath…and gathered for all I was worth!

My prototype was made from the “Wendy” pattern. I didn’t finish it at the time but I learned a lot and went on to make several that have been danced in since then. Recently a small dancer at the dance school needed a tutu and the colours of the protoype just suited her, so I got it out, fitted and finished it off. 

It is seen here being unglamourously worn by a cushion – it looks much nicer on a  real person. Wishing the dancer good luck in her festival.