Stitch ribbons or elastic onto ballet shoes


Ballet shoes do not have a right and left shoe, so to get the most wear out of them they should be worn on alternate feet with each ballet class. Ballet ribbons are suitable for Grade 3 and above. It is recommended that younger students wear elastics. These are sewn on as per ribbons, however the elastic should fit snugly over the arch.

Ribbons should be cut into four even lengths. 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 ribbon over twice and stitch on this mark, on the inside lining of the shoes, so the stitching does not show through to the outside. Do so with the other three ribbons.

To tie the shoes, first bring them 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.

Photography by Beth Jennings