The Anatomy of a Pointe Shoe

Ms. Lindsay recommends the following video about how to tie your pointe shoes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8iqhxwR6eU

She has recorded the following videos to demonstrate how to sew your pointe shoes:

Preparing and sewing the elastic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scB90yYRYtc 

 


The Anatomy of a Pointe Shoe

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(1) platform of tip

(2) edge of pleats or feathers

(3) outer sole

(4) waist seam

(5) quarter or heel section

(6) vamp: top of the box that covers the toes (vamp length is the distance between the drawstring knot and the top edge of the box. Some European manufacturers refer to vamp length as the distance between the drawstring knot and the edge of the pleats or feathers)

(7) pleats or feather: an area underneath the box where the satin is pleated to fit under the sole

(8) wings or supports

(9) shank or narrow supporting spine: attached to the back of the insole

(10) stiffened box or block: made of layers of glue and fabric surrounding the toes and ball of the foot

(11) drawstring knot

(12) drawstring casing: piece of bias tape stitched around the edge of the shoe to contain the drawstring

(13) insole

(14) back seam: divides the quarters

Directions for Sewing Ribbons onto Pointe Shoes

• We suggest using a strong needle and waxed dental floss instead of thread.
• Be sure to stitch ribbons and elastics around all four sides, not just along the top edge.
• Position ribbons and elastics all the way down in the shoe so that their bottom edges almost touch the sockliner.
• Sew below the binding so as not to interfere with the drawstring.
• We do not recommend: criss-crossing two pieces of elastic over the instep, trying ribbons through a loop sewn to the heel, placing elastics where they could irritate the Achilles tendon, or slitting the satin to thread ribbon through the sides of the shoes. When the fit is good, these measures are rarely necessary.

Sewing on the Ribbons

Example #1

1. Cut 4 pieces of ribbon, approximately 22″ each.
2. Find the proper place to attach ribbons by folding down the back of the shoe so that it touches the sockliner. Use a pencil to draw lines at the creases.
3. Place the back edge of the ribbon against the pencil line. The end of the ribbon should be all the way down by the sockliner. Angle the ribbon so that it is on the diagonal.

Example #2
This arrangement can help the dancer with a highly arched foot and a very flexible ankle feel more support and stability.

1. Cut ribbon into two equal lengths, one per shoe, approximately 45″ each.
2. Find the proper ribbon attachment by placing the ribbon underneath the dancer’s arch while she stands flat in the shoe. Holding one end of the ribbon in each hand, pull it taut. Slide the ribbon forward and back to locate the highest point of the arch. Use a pencil to mark the inside of the shoe at the spot that corresponds to that highest point.
3. Position the middle of the ribbon on the middle of the sockliner at the place indicated by the pencil mark. Stitch the ribbon on both sides of the shoe, keeping tension on the portion that will run underneath the foot. When pulled, the ribbons will be perpendicular to the sockliner and outer sole, rather than on the diagonal.

Example #3
This arrangement can provide extra support and stability to dancers who pronate (or rotate foot inward).

1. Cut ribbon into 4 pieces, approximately 22″ each.
2. Find the proper place to attach ribbons by folding down the back of the shoe so that it touches the sockliner. Use a pencil to draw lines at the creases.
3. Position the outside ribbon just as in Example #1. Position the inside ribbon so that it’s back edge is 1/2″ forward of the pencil line. Both ribbons should be on the diagonal.