Whilst having a Darned Good Time I made the most amazing discovery! It is something that has saved me so much time, effort and a lot of tears! And I know it will be a help for all us busy ballet dance Mums, Dads, Grandparents with daughters who wear Pointe Shoes.
Darning Pointe Shoes
I’ve always loved seeing ballet dancers en pointe. It must be one of the most graceful, beautiful art forms there are. The elegance of a row of girls gliding gracefully across a stage is one of the most uplifting sights that I know.
However, as a dance mum, I know that the beautiful elegance and grace that is portrayed in the performance belies a lot of effort and hard work, not only by the dancer but by the person behind the scenes dressing those dancers!
I know that looking at these graceful ballerinas performing no-one on the outside would guess the sheer hard work and hour upon hour of practice that go into each dance. And no-one who doesn’t share a bathroom with a ballet dancer should ever need to know about the state of their feet!
Well, I feel it is just as much hard work for us poor mums (dads/grandmas) who have to spend hour upon hour trying to force a sharp needle into an impossibly thin piece of silk whilst avoiding piercing the hard shell of the shoe underneath. That has got to be absolutely the worst job involved with being a dance mum (anybody got anything worse?).
Am I the only one who feels that sinking feeling when they hear those chilling words “Mum, I think I need a new pair of pointe shoes”? My dread is not for the shopping trip itself – that I just leave to the professional fitters at Dancemania: whilst I sit and relax or browse the store my daughter is completely taken care of by experienced fitters who provide her with the perfect pair of shoes. No, my dread comes after the purchase, then it is my job to DARN THE TOES!!!!!!!
The times I have spent shouting at that darning needle and cotton to get into where I want it to go instead of my finger, dabbing up the spots of blood before they stain the shoe and all the time trying to maintain an elegant, symmetrical daisy chain pattern: I tell you, it is the job from hell! I dread it to the bottom of my stomach and it is only the fact that I know the toes need extra protection to prolong their working life and the thought of how beautiful the dancing will be that gets me through.
Glueing Toe Caps
Anyway, it seems that my prayers have been answered when, on my latest trip to Dancemania, I discovered stick on suede toe caps! Where have you been all my life?
These beige patches can be cut exactly to size and then stuck on with a strong white glue like Copydex to provide a perfectly protected platform for pointe!
What could be easier or quicker?
Is it better to darn pointe shoe toe caps or to glue them on?
So, I am much happier now that I know I have saved myself hours of hard work and still achieving the same result. However, I cannot help but feel a little sad. There is undoubtedly a sense of great achievement having finished darning a pair of pointe shoes and, on that rare occasion (for me anyway!), where the stitches just seem to fall into line there is nothing prettier than the swirling circle of pink stitching.
I would recommend that for a first pair of pointe shoes it is definitely worth going through the blood, sweat and tears of darning. You will always treasure your daughter’s first pair of pointe shoes no matter how battered they become and the nostalgia does owe a lot to the amount of time you have been caressing and turning those shoes whilst sewing. But once they have moved on from their first pair take my advice: ditch the needles and get stuck in!
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