What you will need to sew ribbons to pointe shoes

What you will need: 2-21/2 yards of 7/8″ wide ribbon, 3/4″ wide elastic, scissors, pencil, lighter, strong sewing needle, and waxed dental floss or reinforced thread.

how to sew ribbons to pointe shoes

Lets get started!
While wearing your pointe shoe, look for the highest point of your arch.

Mark where you will sew your ribbons

Mark this with a pencil or pen on the inner part of the shoe.

how to sew ribbons to pointe shoes

Next, take your ribbon and cut into four even pieces. The easiest way I found to do this is to fold the ribbon in half and cut then fold in half again and cut once more. After this is done you will want to take the lighter and melt the fraying ends of the ribbon. Younger dancers should always have adult supervision when using a lighter.

how to sew ribbons to pointe shoes

Prepare your needle and thread to sew the ribbon. Line up the ribbon with the mark you put on the inside of the shoe. Fold the end of the ribbon about a half inch. Position the end of the ribbon inside the shoe.

Sew your ribbons

Now it is time to sew! Start at on side of the ribbon and go in through the canvas lining of the shoe and out through the ribbon. I make a box around the ribbon so that the ribbon is secure. Be careful not to sew through the satin exterior or the drawstring.

Ribbons on the inside of a pointe shoe

Here is what the inside will look like when it is done.

Outside of the pointe shoe

Here is what it looks like on the outside of the pointe shoe.

how to sew ribbons to pointe shoes

Now, to sew the elastic you are going to put the shoe back on to measure the amount of elastic you need. Starting from the back seam of the shoe, take the elastic and place it on one side of the seam. The best way to mark the elastic is to go on an angle. This is so that the elastic doesn’t dig into your foot then you are standing. You will need to take your pen or pencil to mark on the elastic where it meets the shoe. Then go around and mark the other side the same way.

Cut the elastic

Cut the elastic so that there is about a half inch room below the mark. This is so you have enough material to sew around to hold the elastic.

Flip the heel inside out

Now take the shoe off and flip the back end of the shoe inside out (this gives you more room to work on the shoe).

how to sew ribbons to pointe shoes

Begin to sew the elastic the same way you just did the ribbons. In through the canvas lining of the shoe, out through the elastic. Make a box around the elastic.


Repeat on both sides and then you are done!!

Related links and references:

Am I Ready for Pointe Shoes? by April C. Lewis

How to Sew Ribbons and Elastic to Pointe Shoes by April C. Lewis

Pointe shoes and accessories at Chicago Dance Supply

Model:  Annemarie Lantz.  Photos:  Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth

Annemarie Lantz

Annemarie Lantz