How to Sew Elastic on Pointe Shoes?

How to Sew Elastic on Pointe Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Pointe shoes are an essential tool for ballet dancers, allowing them to achieve a graceful and ethereal presence on stage. To ensure proper fit and support, it is crucial to sew elastic onto pointe shoes correctly. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to sew elastic on pointe shoes, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

Step 1: Gather the necessary materials
Before starting the sewing process, gather all the materials you will need. This includes pointe shoes, elastic (usually 1/2-inch wide), a needle, strong thread, scissors, and a pin.

Step 2: Determine the placement of elastic
To determine the ideal placement for elastic, try on your pointe shoes and stand in relevé (on your toes). Mark the area where the elastic should be attached, ensuring it provides support and prevents the shoes from slipping off during movements.

Step 3: Cut the elastic
Cut two equal lengths of elastic, measuring the distance between the marked points on each shoe. It is recommended to cut them slightly shorter than the marked distance to ensure a snug fit.

Step 4: Secure the elastic with a pin
Take one piece of elastic and secure it to the inside of the shoe with a pin. Make sure the pin is placed horizontally, as this will allow for easier sewing.

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Step 5: Begin sewing
Start sewing the elastic to the shoe by making small stitches along the edge of the elastic, going through both the elastic and the fabric of the shoe. Maintain a consistent tension to ensure a secure attachment.

Step 6: Reinforce the stitches
After sewing along the entire length of the elastic, sew back over the stitches, creating a double row of stitches for added strength. This reinforcement will prevent the elastic from coming loose during intense movements.

Step 7: Repeat on the other side
Repeat steps 4 to 6 on the other side of the shoe, ensuring the elastic is positioned at the same height and tension as the first side.

Step 8: Test the fit
After sewing both pieces of elastic, try on the pointe shoes again to ensure they fit securely and comfortably. Make any necessary adjustments before moving on.

Step 9: Trim excess elastic
Once you are satisfied with the fit, trim any excess elastic, leaving a small tail to prevent unraveling.


1. How tight should the elastic be on pointe shoes?
The elastic should be snug enough to hold the shoes securely in place without causing discomfort or restricting blood flow. It should provide support but not be overly tight.

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2. Can I reuse the elastic on new pointe shoes?
It is generally recommended to use new elastic when attaching it to a new pair of pointe shoes. Elastic may lose its elasticity over time, so it is best to ensure optimal support with fresh elastic.

3. Can I sew elastic on my pointe shoes by hand?
Yes, sewing elastic onto pointe shoes can be done by hand. However, using a sewing machine can provide a more secure and even stitch.

4. Should I use a specific type of thread for sewing elastic?
Using a strong, durable thread is essential to ensure the elastic stays securely attached. Nylon or polyester thread is recommended.

5. Can I sew elastic on pointe shoes without a pin?
While using a pin is the most common method for securing the elastic in place, you can also use fabric clips or small binder clips to hold it in place while sewing.

6. How often should I check and replace the elastic on my pointe shoes?
It is a good practice to check the elastic on your pointe shoes regularly, especially before important performances or intense training sessions. If the elastic starts to fray or loses its elasticity, it should be replaced immediately.

7. Should I sew the elastic on before or after breaking in my pointe shoes?
It is generally recommended to sew the elastic on before breaking in your pointe shoes. This ensures that the shoes will mold to your feet with the elastic in place, providing the necessary support from the start.

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In conclusion, sewing elastic onto pointe shoes is a crucial step to ensure proper fit and support for ballet dancers. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you will be able to sew elastic onto your pointe shoes with confidence. Remember to check the elastic regularly and replace it when necessary to maintain optimal performance and safety.

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