Follow BLOCH's simple guide to sewing your ribbons and elastics to 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.
Get fitted first, then sew 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. Sewing your own pair 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 year.
Luckily, the technique required to stitch them properly is easy to learn. Sewing the ribbons yourself by hand, compared to with a sewing machine, is also much less likely to damage the shoe.
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. Cut the ribbon into four equal pieces and divide the elastic into two equal pieces.
Step by step: The placement of ribbons
- 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: The placement of elastic
- Place the elastic about one-half or one inch from 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 BLOCH pointe shoes are now secure and ready to go.