Thursday, September 1, 2011

how i sew my pointes

"no rain" blind melon.

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while (to be honest, there hasn't been much to write about).  I've almost finished packing everything (and I really do mean everything) for Pittsburgh tomorrow.  I'm really excited to move in and set up my own apartment.  It will be soo so so nice to have my own privacy for once, but I do admit I am scared of being lonely.  Being a scorpio, I do love my "alone-time" however I do like having people around.

So anyways, this post is all about pointe shoes.  I wear Grishko's and GO's (Russian shoe I get from one of my teachers).

GRISHKO 2007's 4.5 XXX
GRISHKO 2007's 4.5 XXXX

I wear two different sizes because sometimes my bunions act up and I need a wider shoe with a toe pad (instead of my normal cut-off socks).  I usually buy my shoes in bulk because I switch them everyday so that they can dry out all the way.

Believe it or not, I actually like sewing my pointe shoes.  It gets me excited (especially after sitting on my butt for four weeks).  Here is my procedure:

1. Figure out which shoe for which foot (since all shoes are very different, this makes a HUGE difference).

2. Sew the elastics.  I sew them as close together as possible to the back seam.  Elastic can't be too small or too big.

3. Sew the ribbon.  I sew only one ribbon per shoe (instead of two per shoe.... or four per pair).  I lay it through the shoe laying on top of the shank.  If you sew it tight enough, it actually gives your foot some support.  It's also much more efficient than sewing two separate ribbons because you don't have to worry about the ribbon fraying.  Typically I sew the ribbon next to the seams in the inside (as you can see in the picture)

4. Cut ribbons to a good length.  Only way is to actually put the shoe on and tie.
5. Sear the ends of the ribbons so they don't run.
*Tip: I use floss instead of thread because it never breaks, very accessible, cheap, and minty!

Break-in Process:
1. I usually hammer the bunion areas a little as well as the top of the vamp.

2. Put the shoe upside down on the floor, step (with as much weight as possible) onto the vamp, and pull to break the shank.  

*2. If that doesn't break it, I will either put the shoe under a table leg or in between a door (but this usually ends up breaking the door and not the shoe).

3. Before the first class, put the shoes in a leg warmer in a warmer location (maybe near a heater).

4. Spray before and during class with water.

Complicated, right?  It usually takes several tries to get it just right.  Sometimes I break it in wrong and the shoes are no good.  There goes $69!!  People always ask me how long my shoes last, but I can never honestly answer because I'm always switching pointe shoes e v e r y d a y.  They naturally have a better life expectancy because they get at least a week to dry.  Some shoes last longer than others.  When they start to die out, I will use Instant JetGlue in the tips and inside shank.  Warning, if you jetglue the outside shank, it makes the shoe very very slippery.  Also, don't forget that you can always add more, but never take off jetglue. 

I'm also trying out a new shoe! Woo!!
Bloch Balance European 4.5 XXX

They felt like SoDanca's pointe shoes, but look like Gaynor Minden's.  They have a drawstring (for my super skinny heels) and very wide box (maybe good for turning I hope?!).  .

Left: Bloch Balance European. Right: Grishko 2007.  The Bloch's look so much wider!
I hope the Bloch's work out because they're ten dollars cheaper than the Girshko's!


Anonymous said...

Loved this post! I can't wait to (possibly) get my first pair this month!

Liza said...

I wore Blochs when I danced! Loved them.

XO, Liza