It's not unusual to buy ballet slippers or pointe shoes without the elastic / ribbon attached - this is because everyone's feet are different and the elastic needs to be customised to fit properly. Sewing it on yourself is not hard as long as you follow these simple steps. Make sure your child is close at hand while you do this because you'll want to be sure to measure to get it fitting correctly.
- First decide if you're going to do a single piece of elastic symmetrically over the top of the foot, or a criss-cross design. The criss-cross pattern is a little more secure, but most children will be fine with the single straight strip.
- Fold the heel up flat against the sole so it forms a small triangle on each side - these are the anchor points where you should aim to connect the elastic.
- Measure and cut your elastic of ballet slippers so it is snug against your child's foot, and make sure you allow enough length so you're not sewing it right at the end where it's weaker and may fray (ie allow a little overlap with each side of the shoe).
- Align the elastic at a slight angle towards the front of the shoe so it will pull evenly across its length and lie flat across the top of the foot.
- There are different ways of sewing it either by hand or machine - a common way is to loop the thread around the drawstring seam so it's firmly attached to the shoes' structure. Just take care not to sew through the drawstring or your child will not be able to pull the opening of the shoes tight around their feet.
- Sewing ballet slippers from the inside will result in a more aesthetic finish, at the cost of a little bit of comfort for the wearer.