Sewing Pointe Shoe Ribbons

How to sew pointe shoes

How should I sew on pointe shoe ribbons?

These diagrams show the most basic method of sewing ribbons. As the dancer becomes more advanced, she may develop her own preferences, such as moving the ribbon placement slightly forward or back.

When you place the ribbons, follow the slant of your pencil mark. This will ensure the correct angle for the ribbon as it passes across the foot when the shoe is tied on.

To attach the ribbons, fold the bottom of each ribbon for extra strength. Then, lay the folded end along the pencil mark you have made, so that the back edge of the ribbon is along the line. Choose thread that is strong but not coarse enough to fray the satin – many dancers prefer dental floss!

When you sew, you may pass the needle through only the lining of the pointe shoe, or sew straight through the satin to the outside of the shoe. (Ask your teacher if he or she has a preference.) Some dancers sew in one or more straight lines across the ribbon, while others sew in a “box” – around the square shape that they made when folding the bottom of the ribbon. Many dancers think that the “box” method provides the most security. Whichever method you choose, make sure not to sew through the binding that holds the drawstring (if your shoe has a drawstring).

After sewing is complete, you might want to trim the ends of the ribbons. Make sure to tie the ribbons, with the shoe on the foot, before trimming. Leave plenty of extra ribbon for tying the knot and tucking in the ends. Remember that the “inside the ankle” and “outside the ankle” ribbons on each shoe have different distances to go as they wrap around the ankles.

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