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How To Sew Your Pointe Shoes

Sewing your pointe shoes, in the beginning, might feel like an intimidating task. Once you learn how to do it, it’ll start to get easier every time. There are different ways to sew your ribbon and elastic, so we recommend talking to your teacher first. That way, you’re able to get the best fit for your foot. 

Typically, when you receive your ribbon and elastic, it’s going to come in one long strand. 


How To Cut Your Ribbon

  1. Take the long strand of ribbon and fold it in half. 
  2. Cut at the crease so that it’s even
  3. Take both those pieces and fold them in half. Repeating the same steps on both of them

You should have four even strands of ribbon. You will end up with two for each pointe shoe. If you notice your ribbon getting frayed while you’re cutting them, take a lighter and lightly graze the ribbon until it becomes hard. If you're a young dancer, ask an adult to do it for you. That way, it stops it from fraying.

How To Cut Your Elastic

The cut of your elastic depends on how snug you want the elastic to be around your foot. Keep in mind, the elastic needs to be tight to keep the pointe shoe from falling off the foot. This is extremely important for new pointe shoes as the shank is not broken yet and will be very stiff.

  1. Use a pen or pencil to mark where you want to cut it.
  2. Then make that snip. Make sure to angle your cut; so it aligns with the shape of the ankle.
    1. The elastic will not pull as much.


Alyssa’s Guidelines To Sewing A Pointe Shoes

The side and back seam of your pointe shoes are going to be your guideline. Be sure to sew inside the shoe below where the elastic drawstring is. That way, it doesn’t restrict your ability to tighten it or loosen it.


Single Loop Elastic:

  1. About ½ inch from the back seam, you’ll want to sew your elastic. 
  2. Sew the other side of the elastic on the other side of the same seam

      Tip: Make sure to sew at that cut angle that does with the ankle/shape of the foot. 


Criss-Cross Elastic:

  1. Sew ½ inch from the back seam of your pointe shoe. 
  2. Take the other end and sew it diagonally across to the side seam. Depending on your preference, you can either sew it behind the seam or before it, ½ inch away. 



Wherever you sew your elastic on a criss-cross, sew it on the other side of the seam. For example, if you sew the elastic in the front, sew the ribbon in the back, vice versa. This allows the pointe shoe to be securely pulled up on the sides while you’re breaking them in.

Sewing Tips and Tricks:

  • Ribbon feels like it’s pulling or coming loose? Take the end of the ribbon and do a double fold before sewing it in.
  • Get a sewing kit to securely sew in the ribbon and elastic.
  • For extra security, I would sew a box around the ribbon and do an “x” in the middle, so it looks like a box with an “x” in the middle. This makes the ribbon more secure, so it doesn’t go anywhere.
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