How to Stitch ribbons or elastics on ballet shoes

Posted by Lorraine | Feb 20th, 2019 | how-to | estimated read time: 2min


Ballet shoes do not have a right and left shoe, so in order to get the most wear out of them I recommend they be worn on alternate feet for each ballet class. Junior and Grade students wear elastics on their shoes. Ballet ribbons are necessary for Grade 5 and above.

Put the shoe on and draw an imaginary line vertically down from the ankle-bone and mark the inside of the shoe at this line. Fold the end of the elastic over once, 1cm should be enough to stop the elastic ‘running’, and stitch on this mark. Stitch only to the inside lining of the shoe, the stitching should not show through to the outside. Measure the elastic on your child’s foot so it fits snugly over the arch and cut, leaving enough elastic to fold over as before. Stitch the other side the same way.

Ribbons are stitched the same way, however fold the ribbon over twice before sewing to stop runs. Start by cutting the ribbon into four even lengths.

We have many shoe tying lessons in class, every teacher has their own special way of tying shoes, but a basic example is as follows: Bring ribbons forward to the front of the ankle, crossing them over into an X, then continue to wrap them around the back. Repeat the cross at the front but overlap the ribbons one on top of the other. Tie ribbons in a knot, on the inside of the ankle. Excess ribbon can be cut off, but remember to leave enough ribbon to reach the other side if shoes are alternated.


  • How To (2)
    Various ballet tutorials, hints and tips.