How To: Sew Your Pointe Shoes!

How To: Sew Your Pointe Shoes!

The beginning of a new school year means that some dancers just got their first pairs of pointe shoes! I remember learning to prepare my shoes in pre- pointe classes, but it took a few years of trying different shoes and methods to get it just right. I picked up a lot of advice from teachers and classmates, and occasionally from instructional articles in Pointe Magazine. More recently, ABT principals Skylar Brandt and Isabella Boylston took to Instagram to show how they prepare their shoes, but it was mostly just about how they break them in. I thought it might be helpful to also share one method of how to sew your shoes! I’ve been sewing my shoes this way for my whole professional career, I think I got it down during my time at Boston Ballet School, and it hasn’t failed me yet.


Step 1:


Cut 4 pieces of elastic from Freed Elastic Wheel. I normally just eyeball what length will go from the back of my heel to just behind my arch, and cut the elastic at a 45 degree angle as opposed to a flat edge.


Step 2:


Start by attaching one end of the first elastic to the back left side of the heel of the shoe. I usually align the edge of the elastic with the back seam of the shoe.


Step 3:


Attach other end of first elastic at the arch area, creating a diagonal arch of elastic. I’ve worked a lot on getting this position right on my foot, the elastic shouldn’t cover the arch of your foot or break your line, so by attaching the second end of the elastic behind the arch, the completed X of elastic should be above the arch area and somewhat under your ribbons.


Step 4:


Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the next piece of elastic, now going from back right to left side of the arch. The second elastic will pass over the first, and although it makes no difference, I usually prefer to have the bottom elastic match which foot I am wearing the shoe on- for example, this shoe, since I started sewing my elastic on the left side, I would wear on my left foot. The result is an X of elastic.


Step 5:


Repeat steps 2-4 on the second (right) shoe. I would mirror and start with the back right heel.


Step 6:


Cut 2 long ribbons from Freed Ribbon Wheel. Make sure they are long enough for you to tie around your ankle!


Step 7:


Sew first side of ribbon in between the elastic and the side seam.


Step 8:


Pass ribbon under arch area and attach the other side. Some people cut their ribbons and attach each side individually, but let me tell you how many times I’ve seen someone’s ribbon come unsewn from the side… a lot. This way, even if the ribbon somehow comes unsewn, it will still be under your arch instead of flying in the wind. Also, to me, this feels more supportive.

That’s it! I hope you all found this helpful! I would love to continue this “How To” series, so if you have anything you’re looking to learn or improve, whether it’s a hairstyle or a certain step, let me know! Comment here or send a message to me via Instagram @beamandbarre or @lswarting



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