How to Sew Ribbon and Elastic on Pointe Shoes

The process of sewing ribbon and elastic on pointe shoes can be an intimidating task for many dancers, but with some practice and guidance, it becomes easier. This blog post will provide step-by-step instructions on how to sew both ribbon and elastic onto pointe shoes properly.

How to Sew Ribbon and Elastic on Pointe Shoes

Sew Ribbon and Elastic on Pointe Shoes

This might be a little complicated, but with proper practice, you will get it right. Make sure you follow the steps listed below carefully.

Step 1: Determine the length and angle of the elastic

To ensure a secure and comfortable fit, determining the length and angle of the elastic is an essential step in sewing ribbon and elastic onto pointe shoes.

To do this, the dancer should put on their pointe shoes and stand with their foot and leg at a 90-degree angle. They can then loop the elastic around their ankle, with both ends sitting on either side of the heel.

They can determine the necessary length by stretching the elastic across the instep, leaving %” on each side to sew onto the shoe.

By getting the length and angle just right, the dancer can have a seamless and comfortable experience when dancing in their pointe shoes.

Step 2: Fold Over a Half Inch Square from The End

To continue in sewing ribbons and elastics on pointe shoes, the second step is to fold over a half-inch square from the end of the elastic. This fold will provide a reinforced area where the elastic will be attached to the shoe, helping to prevent tearing or fraying.

After folding, the next step is to determine the correct angle and length for the elastic, which will be sewn onto the shoe in a square pattern.

It is important to take the time to properly prepare the ribbons and elastics before sewing them onto the shoe. Proper preparation and placement will ensure that the pointe shoe fits securely and comfortably on the dancer’s foot.

Step 3: Pin the Elastic

In Step 3 of how to sew ribbon and elastic on pointe shoes, the dancer should pin one end of the elastic in place. To determine the position of the elastic, the folded heel of the shoe should be examined to ensure that the elastic section of the ribbon wraps around the Achilles tendon.

It is recommended to sew the elastic about a centimetre away from the back seam and angled slightly away from the seam. Sewing one side first can be helpful.

Pinning the elastic in place is important to keep it secure and in the correct position during the sewing process. With this step complete, the dancer is ready to move on to sewing the elastic in place.

Step 4: Sew the Elastic

Now that the elastic has been pinned in place, it’s time to sew it onto the pointe shoe. Using a strong sewing needle and dental floss, start by securing the elastic with a whipstitch or blanket stitch.

Begin at the outside edge of the shoe and work your way back towards the heel, making sure the elastic is flush against the shoe at all times. When you reach the other side, tie off the thread and cut any excess.

Repeat the process on the other shoe, and then move on to attaching the ribbons. Remember to sew on the inside or outside of the shoe as instructed by your teacher.

Step 5: Attach the Ribbons

Now that the dancer has securely attached the elastics, it’s time to move on to step 5 by attaching the ribbons. It’s important to angle the ribbon towards the heel for comfort and support, and to ensure that the elastic section wraps around the Achilles tendon.

The ribbon should be placed deep into the shoe, with at least one inch below the arch. Once this is done, the ribbon can be crossed over the back of the ankle and tied tightly.

The tension of both the elastic and the ribbon should be adjusted to the dancer’s preference. Lastly, for shoes with detached linings, the ribbons should be sewn onto the lining itself.

Step 6: Cross the Ribbons Over the Back of The Ankle

Ribbons Over the Back of The Ankle

Now that the elastics have been secured, it’s time to attach the ribbons. Step 6 of sewing ribbon and elastic on pointe shoes involves crossing the ribbons over the back of the ankle. Carefully wrap the ribbon around the achilles tendon at the back of the dancer’s heel to ensure the ribbon provides the necessary support to the shoe and the ankle.

It’s important to test the placement of the ribbon before sewing, as the ribbon should be angled slightly forward for comfort and support as the ankle flexes.

Pinning the ribbon in place while sewing can be helpful. With strong thread or dental floss, use whip stitches and running stitches in a square pattern to securely attach the ribbons to the shoe without sewing through the binding, so the drawstring can still be adjusted, and the ribbon won’t pull away from the satin.

The dancer can then use a whip stitch around the sides and across the top to sew the ribbon to the inside of each shoe. Following these steps will ensure the ribbons are properly attached to the pointe shoes.

Step 7: Tie the Ribbons

In Step 7 of tying pointe shoes, you should tie the ribbons securely and finish with a double knot. Once the ribbons are crossed over the back of the ankle, make sure to tie them in a way that feels comfortable and secure.

Step 8: Adjust the Tension of The Ribbons and Elastics

After tying the ribbons, the dancer needs to ensure that the tension of both the ribbon and elastic is comfortable and secure.

They can adjust the tension by pulling or loosening the ribbon and elastic until they feel comfortable to dance in. It’s important to take the time to adjust the tension for each individual dancer as it greatly affects the fit of the pointe shoes.

Once the dancer has achieved the perfect tension, they can now confidently dance and perform without the worry of their pointe shoes slipping or causing discomfort.

This step complements the previous sections, which guide the dancer through the entire process of sewing ribbon and elastic onto their pointe shoes, resulting in a personalized and comfortable fit for all dancers.

Step 9: Final Touches and Tips

After attaching the ribbons and elastics, it’s time to make final adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit. The dancer should stand in first position and check the tension of the ribbons and elastics. If necessary, adjust the length of the ribbons or elastics for an optimal fit.

Moreover, it’s advisable to sew the ribbons on the detached lining to prevent rubbing on the heels. Lastly, play around with different tying styles, like the classic knot or the bow, to add a touch of personal style to the shoes. With these final touches and tips, the pointe shoes are ready for the stage.


Sewing ribbons and elastics onto pointe shoes may seem daunting at first, but with the right technique and a little practice, it can become a simple and rewarding task.

Remember to take your time and ensure that the elastics and ribbons are cut and sewn to the correct length and angle for optimal support and comfort.

With these tips in mind, your pointe shoes will be ready to go and provide the necessary support for your performances and practice sessions.

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