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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Sewing Pointe Shoes


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The teachers here believe that if they are old enough to have pointe shoes, then they are old enough to learn to sew them. :)

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She's always sewed her own shoes.


My dd sewed her first pair in class, they had a class in studio devoted to sewing the ribbons on. I've only done 1 pair for her, because I wanted to, and apparently I did then *wrong*.

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Guest tiptoemom

My daughter is 13 and en pointe for 2 years. Either I have sewn them or one of the older girls did them for spending money (10). Sunday night I made her watch a you tube video and said if she didn't do them, then no pointe shoes for class on Monday:) she was shamed by her younger friend who has always done her own, lol! She felt really good about doing them, though the took 1.5 hours

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I remember well my dd sewing her first pair. She was 11 1/2, and it probably took her three hours start to finish! She is 15 now and wears shoes that have to be replaced very frequently, so she has gotten used to sewing them super fast. A couple times I have done it for her when crunched for time, but she has handled it since that first pair.

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My DDs were sewing their own by about 13 or so. They are now so particular about how they want them sewn that they wouldn't even think of me doing it. It takes a long time but they have quite a process - darn the tips, lower the sides. It's an ordeal so I'm glad I'm not involved any more.

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The first couple of classes for pointe that my DD had were actually spent learning how to sew the shoes...if they did it incorrectly, the teacher removed the stitches and it had to be redone. Her teacher believed that if the dancers were mature enough to go en pointe, then they had to sew their own shoes! Now, other dancers ask DD to sew their shoes!

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I vividly remember sewing her first pair as they were Gaynor Mindens which are nearly impossible to sew quickly. She was 11 1/2, but she had been wearing demi-pointes for 2 yrs previously. We had the same attitude.. if you are old enough to wear demi-pointes, you are old enough to sew them. So, she started sewing at about 9. It took foreeevvveerrr!


I admit I still help with sewing shoes when time is of the essence. I can do 2 entire pairs of shoes in the time she does 1 shoe. When she gets a larger order, we'll sit down and sew together while watching TV.

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DD's teacher let her borrow a book that had a section about sewing them. I read the book too & it had a very specific method & the ballerina author spoke of being sure that your stitches were beautiful. Well... in the beginning they were anything but beautiful. Depending on how quickly she needed them done sometimes she did them (slowly), and sometimes I did them (quickly). Somewhere along the line we started to have a competition where she did one shoe and I did the other and we sort of "raced", and jokingly competed about whose stitches were more beautiful, haha! Practice makes perfect & before long she was out-stitching me!

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DD sewed hers from the beginning per her teacher's orders, but she went through them so fast that I often was outside the studio sewing them during her technique class---with nice 'purdy' stitches. As I said, she went through them so quickly that we took to harvesting and re-using both the elastics and ribbons. She eventually fired me from sewing because my stitches were much harder to take out. She much preferred the big ugly 'Brunhilda' stitches that she used. They never showed from a distance and were much quicker both to sew and unsew. :D

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DD sewed hers from the get-go too. However, it sounds like we're in the minority with how they are sewn. We use a sewing machine. Great for quick and strong sewing, not so great for portability. ;-) She knows how to hand-sew also, but rarely needs to.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We are a sad case. DD was on pointe when she was at her Dolly Dinkle school, so we had them sewn by the dancewear store (we seriously didn't know any better). I'm never going to get the seamstress of the year award. I even had my son's Boy Scout patches sew on by an alterations place. Yeah, I know. In the past year it has come to our attention that dancers should sew their own shoes. One of DD's friends tried to teach her. Oh, it was really, really bad. Then I tried sewing -not much better. I've been trying to set a sewing lesson appointment with our costume mistress, but so far, I haven't been able to pin her down. So we are still getting them sewn until we can get some lessons. :helpsmilie:

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