Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ballet Shoe Sewing Tutorial Part 2

While Part 1 of this tutorial was for sewing the elastics in an X-shape, Part 2 will be for sewing the elastic band straight across the foot so that you end up with something that looks like this:

My beautiful foot.
This way of sewing the shoe is basically for 2 groups of people: 1) younger girls who aren't in adult sized shoes yet, and 2) dancers who have teacher who want shoes sewn this way. I guess you could prefer this way, but most dancers I know prefer and use the X method because many shoes come with the elastics already sewn in the back and because it helps the shoe stay on better. My teacher, however, is one of these teachers that prefers the shoe to be sewn with the elastic straight across the foot, so this is particularly relevant for me!

The sewing itself is actually very much like steps 3 and 4 of my previous tutorial, with a few minor differences.

Step 1: Take one side of the elastic and eyeball about an inch from the end. Place the elastic against the outside of the instep of the shoe (near your arch) and mark where the elastic meets the shoe on the elastic itself and on both sides of it. Make sure you leave about an inch of elastic below the line so the elastic won't fray after you sew it.

I promise that's my instep. Sorry for the close-up shot.
Step 2: This is where it gets different. Sew down the instep before you go any further, making sure that the elastic is on the inside and not the outside.

Step 3: Pull the elastic taut across your foot to the other side of the shoe. Make sure it's tight enough, but not too tight. This is also a good test of your sewing skills before you go any further. Mark the shoe and elastic where it meets the shoe straight across from where you've just sewn the instep, and sew.

Another close-up shot. That's the outside of my foot.
Step 4: Trim off any excess elastic in the shoe (they always give you a little more than you'll need). You can trim it down to maybe 3/4" or 1/2", but no less than that!

And that's it! Much simpler than the X because there's no angles and folding and all that good stuff involved. Happy sewing!

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