Many dancers darn their pointe shoes to create a slightly larger platform which gives better stability and balance. On top of this, it softens the sound when you land from a jump.
As this also protects the tip of the shoe from softening, it is a great way to increase their lifespan.
Even Though darning your shoes can take some time. You will need some patience, but it is definitely worth it.
I am going to quickly explain the way I darn my shoes. Let’s get started!
I don’t stitch all the way around the pointe shoe platform because I feel like the floor gets slippery. I like to leave the bottom part of the platform without embroidery.
You will need some materials that I recommend you buy at a sewing or craft store.
You need a curled needle, a crochet thread (1 arm long approximately), a thimble and scissors.
Pass the thread in the needle and tie a knot.
Place the sole of the shoes facing you and the front of the shoe facing away from you.
Make the 1st stitch.
What I like to do is to make a semicircle clockwise before I start stitching. It helps me to be more precise before darning.
Pass the needle through the satin at the back of the pointe shoe platform until the knot (the low left corner). Create three other stitches in each corner. You should now have 4 stitches in total.
When you have done the last stitch you can start darning your shoe, this time, counterclockwise over the thread, around the platform.
To do your 1st chain stitch. Push the needle under the thread and through the satin.
Pull the needle through. Again, push the needle under the thread and through the satin. Don’t pull the thread all the way. The thread will be in a loop, pass the needle through the loop and pull all the way.
This is your 1st chain stitch.
Repeat all the way around the platform, or like me, half of the platform.
Trim the excess of thread.
It doesn’t need to look perfect, it has to feel good. So the stitches don’t need to be at equal distance.
I like to have them close together so I don’t have to make a 2nd circle.
If you need extra support, make the stitches close together. If not, I feel that its a waste of time to make many many stitches.
Experiment with different types of thread to see what you like, if you need a thimble or not and also the spacings between stitches.
Also, don’t stress over it, if you make a mistake, it doesn’t matter. It only needs to help you feel more comfortable.