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Can someone tell me the best way to sew on ribbons?


Confuddled
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I have to sew ribbons (and criss cross elastics) on to a pair of shoes for dd, but I’ve never done ribbons before. I’m OK on the elastics, but I’m not sure where to sew the ribbons, how long to make them, what do to about fraying ends etc. Is there a good YouTube video someone could recommend? I don’t trust my own random googling to find one that’s actually right - I’ve seen some ballet bun YouTube tutorials that were definitely not what our dance school expects.

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Is it for flat shoes or pointe shoes?

 

With flat shoes if you fold the back down then you sew the ribbons on just next to where the back of the shoe stops. Not sure I’ve described that very well!

 

I usually use a lighter to singe the ends of the ribbons so they don’t fray. Leave the ribbons quite long and cut them once they’re sewn on so you can see how long you want them. You’ll need to leave enough ribbon at the end to tuck them in once you’ve knotted them on the inside of the ankle.

 

Hope this helps!

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Hiya

it depends on whether it’s Ballet shoe ribbons or pointe shoe ribbons!!! I’m assuming you mean Ballet shoe otherwise you would of said Pointe!

If Ballet - I cut the ribbon into 4 equal lengths and then sew on. Put on shoe, tie it correctly, trim ribbon to length and then use a lighter to burn ends to stop fraying. 

Ive just googled ‘how to see on ribbons on ballet shoes’ and a thread came up! Have a look. 

If pointe shoes there’s different ways of doing it so maybe ask her teacher for which way she prefers (plus you should check with the teacher first on fit of shoe before sewing anything on the shoe incase the teacher isn’t happy with the shoes!)

Hope that helps. Happy seeing xx

Edited by Dancing unicorn
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Thank you all! Yes, it is ballet shoes, not pointe. I had done a search on here but I obviously didn’t do it very well! I will have a look a that video. And buy a lighter (or would a match do as well?).

 

I was hoping for one that showed both elastics and ribbon, as I’m not sure how to do the two together - presumably you do ribbon and the back bit of the elastics in the same place, with the ribbon sewn on first?

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You don’t normally need both ribbon and elastic at the same time on flat Ballet shoes! I personally hate ribbons on ballet shoes! But some teachers like ribbons for shows exams etc. 

I tell my girls it’s elastic for flat shoes and then when they get their demi-Pointe or Pointe shoes they then feel more special because they are then allowed ribbons on them! But then that’s just me!

 

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51 minutes ago, Confuddled said:

Thank you all! Yes, it is ballet shoes, not pointe. I had done a search on here but I obviously didn’t do it very well! I will have a look a that video. And buy a lighter (or would a match do as well?).

 

I was hoping for one that showed both elastics and ribbon, as I’m not sure how to do the two together - presumably you do ribbon and the back bit of the elastics in the same place, with the ribbon sewn on first?

 

I agree that you don't need both elastics and ribbons on ballet flats.  Is it for a show or exam, Confuddled? 

 

And yes, a match will be fine.  Hold the ends of the ribbon above the flame so that the gentle heat just seals the ends of the ribbon - it only takes a few seconds.  DON'T let the flame touch the ribbon!!

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Oh no!! Have now driven myself mad & got more confused than ever by watching just a few of the hundreds of 'how to' videos :huh:

Got DD's shoes but no DD here & am expected (!!) to sew on ribbons/elastics & then post shoes to her...am now wondering if ought to wait until I see her to determine which shoe is for which foot or do you think it's ok to just go ahead & hope it's good enough! Liking the look of that Grishko technique....are Bloch ribbons provided generally long enough to try this one out does anyone know? In danger of her growing out of yet another never to be worn pair as Mum let her down not getting round to sewing quickly enough - aghh!

One last thought...most videos suggest getting what you need together before you begin....they all seem to miss off one vital thing for the DM....wine!!! ;) 

 

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Neither did I, Hoglett. I watched  in fascination as my dds’ ballet teacher did it but I know perfectly well that if I’d done it, the ribbons and shoes would have vanished in a blaze of flames. 

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11 hours ago, Anna C said:

 

I agree that you don't need both elastics and ribbons on ballet flats.  Is it for a show or exam, Confuddled? 

 

And yes, a match will be fine.  Hold the ends of the ribbon above the flame so that the gentle heat just seals the ends of the ribbon - it only takes a few seconds.  DON'T let the flame touch the ribbon!!

For a show - but I may have misunderstood. I’ll check when I next see her teacher.  And thanks for the tip about the flame - I would so have let it touch the ribbon...

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2 hours ago, Confuddled said:

For a show - but I may have misunderstood. I’ll check when I next see her teacher.  And thanks for the tip about the flame - I would so have let it touch the ribbon...

 

No problem at all. :) Yes, best check because ribbons AND elastics on ballet flats is definitely overkill! 

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15 hours ago, Dancing unicorn said:

You don’t normally need both ribbon and elastic at the same time on flat Ballet shoes! I personally hate ribbons on ballet shoes! But some teachers like ribbons for shows exams etc. 

I tell my girls it’s elastic for flat shoes and then when they get their demi-Pointe or Pointe shoes they then feel more special because they are then allowed ribbons on them! But then that’s just me!

 

 

I feel exactly the same.  I think ribbons on flats just looks......odd.

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11 hours ago, Peanut68 said:

Oh no!! Have now driven myself mad & got more confused than ever by watching just a few of the hundreds of 'how to' videos :huh:

Got DD's shoes but no DD here & am expected (!!) to sew on ribbons/elastics & then post shoes to her...am now wondering if ought to wait until I see her to determine which shoe is for which foot or do you think it's ok to just go ahead & hope it's good enough! Liking the look of that Grishko technique....are Bloch ribbons provided generally long enough to try this one out does anyone know? In danger of her growing out of yet another never to be worn pair as Mum let her down not getting round to sewing quickly enough - aghh!

One last thought...most videos suggest getting what you need together before you begin....they all seem to miss off one vital thing for the DM....wine!!! ;) 

 

 

I wouldn't like to attempt sewing ribbons on any ballet show without the dancer trying the shoe on to determine where best to place the ribbon. 

 

I've never ever sewn ribbons on flats but in the early days od dd being on pointe I did a couple of pairs for her.

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2 hours ago, Picturesinthefirelight said:

 

I feel exactly the same.  I think ribbons on flats just looks......odd.

 

My dd's old dance school used to have ribbons on flats for exams, as EYB used to for performances. It can look pretty, especially on satin flats, but it would definitely look odd to have ribbons AND elastics.  

 

I agree; I wouldn't like to attach ribbons without pinning them first for the wearer to try.  It can be tricky to get the angle right so you don't end up with baggy bits.  

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When our DD attended the ISTD Senior Ballet Awards, all the competitors had to wear flat satin shoes with ribbons.  DD was already used to wearing them for exams and in our local dance festivals.  However, the satin shoes provided were very low on the heel and had a tendency to fall off the foot during exercises.

 

The teacher suggested sewing one piece of elastic on each shoe, roughly where the elastics are usually sewn on.  We did this and the problem was solved - no more worrying about shoes falling off during the competition.

 

This evening I've been looking closely at the photos taken during the competition (I know I need to get out more …..) and can honestly say you cannot see the elastic on the shoes.  Our DD was definitely not the only one wearing shoes with both elastic and ribbons sewn on, as we know several others who also did the same as us.  After this competition, I would always sew a piece of elastic on to any flat satin shoes that were to be used with ribbons.

 

I really don't see any problem with this approach - after all DD's pointe shoes have both elastic and ribbons sewn on to ensure they fit her properly.  I know the elastic used is the 'invisible' sort, but I believe many dancers use it on their shoes.

 

Finally, on the few occasions I have sewn ribbons on pointe shoes for DD since she has been studying away, I do not cut the ribbon into 2 pieces before sewing it on each shoe.  I leave it in one long piece - she can cut it exactly where she needs to when she tries them on.  Some dancers prefer to leave one side shorter than the other, so I'd rather leave it entirely to them to work out how they prefer to deal with it.

 

 

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On ‎05‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 14:32, Picturesinthefirelight said:

in the early days od dd being on pointe I did a couple of pairs for her.

Any golden tips on how to get DD to do it herself? !! I just feel so pressured that am bound to get it all wrong & be evil mother extrordinaire :o

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Like Hull, I've put both elastic and ribbons on flat shoes before now. DD has a very high instep and depending on the particular shoe type her feet would sometimes tend to pop out of shoes secured only with ribbon. I wouldn't do cross cross elastics though - just a single piece which if positioned carefully barely shows. I do the same with pointe shoes, using the "invisible" elastic.

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On ‎05‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 09:41, Fiz said:

Neither did I, Hoglett. I watched  in fascination as my dds’ ballet teacher did it but I know perfectly well that if I’d done it, the ribbons and shoes would have vanished in a blaze of flames. 

 

I have always used a candle in a candle stick. That gives you both hands free to carefully wave the ribbon just above the edge of the flame. Candlelight also sets the mood nicely if you want to finish with wine, as Peanut68 suggested :D

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1 hour ago, Mnemo said:

 

I have always used a candle in a candle stick. That gives you both hands free to carefully wave the ribbon just above the edge of the flame. Candlelight also sets the mood nicely if you want to finish with wine, as Peanut68 suggested :D

Just don’t sew them to your pyjamas like I did when sewing with wine. She does do her own now though. 

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5 hours ago, Peanut68 said:

Any golden tips on how to get DD to do it herself? !! I just feel so pressured that am bound to get it all wrong & be evil mother extrordinaire :o

 

Be rubbish at it. Sewing was never my forte. 

 

Im also never around as I’m usually ferrying Ds round to his activities whereas dd is dh’s responsibility. 

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