How to Make Dance Shoes

By Carolyn Kay Neeley

Dance shoes, like ballet or jazz shoes, are a trendy accompaniment to dresses and skirts, and luckily, you don't have to shell out tons of cash to get some. You can make your own custom-fit, custom-fabric dance shoes in just a few hours, with only basic sewing skills. You can choose the sole you want, depending on where you will be doing most of your walking, although leather is a solid choice for almost any surface. In addition, choose a fabric that has a close weave, like polyesters, sturdy cottons and denim. However, almost any fabric can be used, taking into consideration what you intend to use the shoes for (regular wearing or costume, for example) and where.

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Step 1

Lay the piece of paper on the floor, and trace your foot, making a shoelike pattern. Cut out this pattern.

Step 2

Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides facing, and pin the paper pattern to both layers.

Step 3

Cut around the pattern, going through both fabric layers. Unpin the pattern from the fabric.

Step 4

Choose one of the fabric shoe patterns you now have, and cut an oval shape in fabric about 2 1/2 inches from the end of the heel and 3 1/2 inches from the end of the toes.

Step 5

Hem the opening you just created, sewing a length of thin round elastic about 1 inch shorter than the circumference of your oval into the hem. Alternatively, sew a strap of thin flat elastic across the opening.

Step 6

Cut about 1/4 inch off your paper shoe pattern all around. Pin this smaller pattern to the leather or other material you've chosen for the sole.

Step 7

Cut out the sole (single layer), and remove the pattern.

Step 8

Center the sole on the solid fabric shoe piece (not the piece with the opening). The sole should be on the outside of the shoe when it is completed, so the "wrong" side of the sole and the "right" side of the fabric go together.

Step 9

Carefully sew the sole to the solid fabric shoe piece. Trim any excess threads.

Step 10

Pin the top and bottom of the shoe together with the "right" sides together (the sole should be on the inside at this point).

Step 11

Sew these pieces together, removing the pins as you go along. Trim any excess threads or seam fabric.

Step 12

Turn the shoe right side out. If desired, add embellishments such as buttons or bows.

Step 13

Repeat all of these steps for the other foot so that you have a pair.