Determining Ribbon Placement
To begin, check the exact positioning of your ribbon by folding the heel down towards the toe. Draw a line with a pencil to mark the angle you have created from the back seam toward your thumb. This line is the angle to which you will sew and where the back edge for the ribbon will lie.
Sewing the Ribbon
It’s important to remember that ribbons are attached to secure the whole heel of the shoe against the foot and not just the sides of the shoe. This means ribbons should be stitched from low down inside the shoe, taking care to attach them to the lining only – don’t sew through the satin, and avoid catching the drawstring! Pinning the ribbon in place while you sew is helpful. The whole ribbon should now be angled slightly forward for comfort and support as the ankle flexes. As you get more experienced with sewing ribbons, you may want to adjust the position slightly depending on how your arch breaks.
Sewing the Elastics
Most teachers prefer that beginners do not sew elastics on the heel of their shoes until they determine if it is really necessary. If the elastic is sewn on too tight, there is a chance the soft tissue around the ankle could be harmed.
If you do need elastics, it’s better to choose one that is about ¾” wide. The elastic can be sewn on either the inside or outside of the shoe depending on comfort or your teacher’s preference. Elastics should be sewn about a centimetre away from the back-seam and should be angled slightly away from the seam. It’s helpful to sew one side first and carefully measure the length of elastics required to hold the heel of the shoe firmly to the foot without too much tension.
Once you’ve completed these steps on both shoes, it’s time to head to class and start pointe work!
Pointe shoes cannot be returned if ribbon and elastics have been sewn on. Checkout our return policy for a full description of what an acceptable return looks like.