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How to Sew Ribbons on Pointe Shoes Full Guide of 2023

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One of the most cherished and most tedious rituals of ballet is sewing your ribbons.

Some schools require ribbons on engineering shoes for exams, and some require students to wear shaftless or pre-pointe shoes.

Most They made pointed ribbons of nylon or polyester satin, and they come in a glossy or matte finish.

how to sew pointe shoe ribbons

They should be seven-eighths to one inch wide and about twenty-two inches long. To prevent the ends from fraying, some dancers sear the ends..

Their location and angle determine how effective they are at securing the shoe to your foot, not to mention how attractive it looks while it works.

Every foot is different, so each dancer has to decide which position is right for him or her, and once they learn how to do it, most dancers insist on it to sew their own ribbons.

Soon you notice you are even making a personal lucky number of stitches per side. Although you can fine-tune it the more you do it, here’s how to get started.

Sewing ribbons on Pointe shoes

First let’s determine where the ribbons should go.

Fold the heel down towards the toe and draw a line with a pencil inside of the shoe along the fold. This line is the trailing edge of the ribbon and will make sure the ribbon .

Now that you have your guidance line, it’s time to get to work. Remember that we attach ribbons to secure the entire heel of the shoe to the foot, not just the sides of the shoe.

This requires the ribbons to be stitched from the bottom of the shoe, at least an inch, and attached only to the liner.

Be careful not to sew through the satin or grab the drawstring. If your lining to the outer satin and you cannot sew through it separately, sew all the way through and baste all over.

sewing ribbons on pointe shoes

Use a strong needle and a strong color matching thread (some dancers even use dental floss!), sew the ribbon securely to the shoe using whip and basting stitches in a square pattern. This is the same technique you used to sew elastic.

It is helpful to pin the ribbon in place as you sew, and if you have a stronger and neater To finish, fold the bottom end of the ribbon under the raw edge so it isn’t visible, and sew through this new double thickness of ribbon.

When you’re done, the entire ribbon should forward slightly diagonally for comfort and support as the ankle flexes.

Once you get more experienced in sewing ribbons, adjust how the ribbons sit to provide the best fit to your foot.

Sewing elastics on pointe shoes

Although many teachers prefer beginners do not sew elastics on the heel of their shoes until they determine it is necessary, you may need it to prevent your shoe from slipping.

If the elastic too tight, you will tear the soft tissue around your ankle sore, so take care.

If you need elastic, choose one about three-quarters of an inch wide.

Some dancers sew elastics to the inside of their shoes near the ribbon to hide them once the ribbons are attached, but others sew them to the outside of the heel to prevent chafing of the Achilles tendon.

They should about an inch away from the back seams and tilted slightly away from the seam. It may be best to sew these on under your teacher’s supervision.

Here is a video showing another example of how to sew ribbons and elastics onto pointe shoes.

Knotting the ribbons

The tied ribbons add support, but should never be so tight that you hurt your Achilles tendon or restricts the movement of your ankle.

Although there are many techniques for tying ribbons, the basics are as follows:

Place your foot flat on the floor, grab the ribbon inside and wrap it over your foot and around the back of your ankle.

Keep wrapping the ribbon around the front of your ankle, then back again and tuck on the inside of your ankle.

Then wrap it around the outside ribbon over your foot and around the back of your ankle, bringing it forward to meet the first ribbon on the inside of the ankle. They should meet exactly between the bone and the Achilles tendon.

This is where you will tie the knot, but be careful not to hit the tendon directly. Tie the ribbons in a tight double knot, not a bow, and tuck the knot and the loose ends.

The knot should not be visible – if it bulges when you tuck it in, cut the ribbons down.

sewing pointe shoe ribbons


With a little practice, you’ll never have to struggle with sewing ribbons on ballet shoes.

Remember to consult your teacher if you have questions, and if you find yourself in discomfort or pain, see if it can with a few adjustments.

Have you already tried sewing ribbons for pointe shoes?

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.