How to Sew Pointe Shoes
Follow BLOCH's simple guide to sewing ribbons and elastics on pointe shoes, and make sure your new pair of pointe shoes are secure and ready to go!
That moment you've been long waiting for has finally arrived: you're ready to start your training en pointe. But before you embark on the next step of your ballet journey, it's paramount to prepare your pointe shoes first in order for them to provide full support when (and where) you need it most. Here is everything you need to know about how to sew ballet ribbons on pointe shoes.
Get fitted for pointe shoes first, then sew ribbons by hand
After being professionally fitted at our store and purchasing your new BLOCH pointe shoes, it’s time to attach the ribbons and elastic to your shoes. Sewing your own pair of pointe shoes is a ritual prized by dancers for decades, and is even the preferred way for professionals too, who go through new pointe shoes weekly. Beginners, however, might wear the same pair for up to a year.
Luckily, the technique required to stitch them properly is easy to learn. Sewing the ribbons and elastic yourself by hand, compared to with a sewing machine, is also much less likely to damage the shoe. If you’re sewing for the first time, our step-by-step guide offers clear instructions for sewing ribbons and elastic onto ballet pointe shoes.
The first step is to pick up the BLOCH Stretch Kit, filled with all the pointe shoe essentials you'll need, including stretch ribbon, elastic, needle and thread. The pointe ribbons are sold in a two-yard length, so you'll need to cut the ribbon into four equal pieces for each side of the shoes, and divide the elastic into two equal pieces.
Step by step: How to sew ribbons on pointe shoes
- Fold over a half inch square from the end, about the same size as your thumb — this will prevent the ribbons from fraying and make for a more secure attachment
- Place roughly in the middle of the shoe, so there isn’t any extra or baggy material. Placement will be different from person to person, and you’ll want to find out what works and feels best on your foot. (Tip: If you're unsure, consult a BLOCH pointe shoe fitter or your teacher for guidance)
- Using a whipstitch, sew around the perimeter of the square, only going through the inner lining of the shoe. This will keep a clean-looking line on the outside of the shoe
- Secure with a knot (maybe two) by creating a loop and pulling the thread through
- Cut the end of the thread with a pair of scissors
- Repeat with the three remaining ribbons
Step by step: How to sew elastic on pointe shoes
- Place the elastic about one-half or one inch from the heel seam. You’ll want the band to feel snug, but not too tight. Again, this positioning will be unique to every foot so ask your teacher if you’re unsure
- Using the same whipstitch technique as above, sew a box around the perimeter securing the elastic to the inner lining of the shoe
- Repeat on the other shoe so you have a matching pair
- Once you've completed all of the above steps, voila! Your elastic and ribbons are attached and your BLOCH pointe shoes are now secure and ready to go.
How to sew ribbons on pointe shoes: Video
If you're looking for more guidance on how to sew ribbons on pointe shoes, check out our video below.