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Basic Construction--Making Casings

A closed tunnel of fabric that holds a piece of elastic or a drawstring inside is called a casing. Casings are used at sleeve edges, necklines, waistlines, and hemlines to help control fullness. The elastic or drawstring makes the garment adjustable. A casing is much easier to construct than a waistband or a cuff and thus is used in many easy-to-sew patterns.

Casings can be sewn with headings. A heading is a width of fabric between the casing and the edge of the garment. A narrow heading has a more tailored appearance. A wider heading creates a ruffled edge. See Ill. 1.

The two basic types of casing are self-casing and applied casing.


Similar to a hem, a self-casing is formed by folding over the edge of the garment and stitching in place. Use the following steps:

1. Turn the raw edge under 1/4" (6 mm) and press. See Ill. 2.

2. Turn the casing to the inside of the garment along the fold line and pin in place. Press the outer edge of the casing.

3. Stitch close to the inner, pinned edge of the casing. Leave a 2-inch (5-cm) opening at the side seam or center back to insert the elastic. See Ill. 3. If the casing has a header, stitch around the heading line. Heading 1

Folded Edge on Casing 2; Opening on Casing 3


An applied casing can be sewn to the edge of a garment or inside a garment. An example of the latter is the waistline casing in a jumpsuit.

Make applied casing by sewing single-fold bias tape or a separate strip of fabric to the garment.

The length of the tape or fabric strip should be 1/2” (1.3 cm) longer than the finished casing. The width of the strip should be 1” (2.5 cm) wider than the width of the elastic. The pattern guide sheet may include cutting instructions or a separate pattern piece for the casing. Fold in the long edges of the fabric strip ¼” (6 mm) and press before you begin.

Applying to Garment Edge

To sew casing to the garment edge, use the following steps:

1. Pin one edge of the casing to the garment, with right sides together. Fold back the ends. See Ill. 4. Pinning and Stitching Casing 4

2. Stitch a 1/4-inch (6-mm) seam. Trim. See Ill. 5.

3. Turn the casing to the inside of the garment and press.

4. Edgestitch the other casing edge to the garment. See Ill. 6.

Applying within Garment

To sew casing within the garment, follow these steps. See Ill. 7.

1. Pin the casing to the garment, using the placement markings on the pattern.

Turn the casing ends under so the folds meet without over-lapping.

2. Edgestitch along both long edges of the casing.

Trimming Casing Seam 5; Edgestitching Casing 6; Casing within Garment 7


Elastics are varied, including special types for swimwear and lingerie. The pattern recommends the proper elastic width to use. Elastic should be about 1/8” (3 mm) narrower than the finished casing so it can be pulled through easily. If the casing is too wide, the elastic may twist and roll inside the casing when the garment is worn.

The guide sheet should give directions for cut ting the right length of elastic. If not, measure your body at the casing position and add 1” (2.5 cm) for overlapping the elastic ends.

To insert the elastic, follow these steps:

1. Pull the elastic through the casing with a safety pin, being careful not to twist it. See Ill. 8. Let the ends extend several inches at the opening.

2. Overlap the ends 1/2” (1.3 cm) and pin together. Try the garment on to check fit and adjust the elastic if necessary.

3. Stitch the overlapped ends securely by machine. See Ill. 9.

4. Finish the opening of the self-casing by completing the edgestitching, stretching the elastic as you stitch. Finish the opening of the applied casing by slip-stitching along the folded ends. See Ill. 10.

Pulling Elastic through Casing 8; Stitching Elastic Ends 9; Finishing Casing 10

== Wiki Sewing ==


A backstitch is a strong durable stitch that can replace machine stitching. It can be used for mending or construction.

1. Sew an anchor stitch in the seam allowance or an unseen area on the wrong side of the fabric.

2. Insert the needle up through the fabric on the seam line.

3. Push the needle down through the fabric behind the first stitch, and bring the needle up in front of the first stitch.

4. Insert the needle down behind where the needle came up, butting up to the end of the previous stitch. Repeat until you have sewn the desired area.

TIP --- Needle Size:

The size of the needle you choose to do hand sewing is chosen for fineness of a stitch and the weight of the fabric you're sewing-not because the needle has a large eye and is easy to thread.

<<== Wiki Sewing cont. ==>>


Drawstrings can be made from cord, tubing, braid, and ribbon. You'll need an opening in the garment to pull the drawstring through to the outside or inside. See Ill. 11. The opening can be two button-holes or a slit in a seam and should be reinforced with a small piece of fabric or fusible interfacing.

Make buttonhole openings in the outer fabric before the casing is stitched. See Ill. 12.A seam opening is made as you stitch the seam. Leave the seam open between markings, and rein force the opening with backstitching.

Use a safety pin to pull the drawstring through the casing.

The ends of the drawstring can be knotted to prevent it from pulling out of the casing when washing and wearing.

SEWING TIP: Drawstrings. To prevent a drawstring from pulling out of the casing, stitch the drawstring to the casing at the center back.

Opening for Drawstring 11; Buttonhole Openings for Drawstring 12

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Serging Techniques

Applying Elastic to Lingerie:

1. Leave one garment seam open.

2. Divide and mark the garment edge into quarters or eighths. Divide and mark special lingerie elastic into quarters or eighths.

3. Pin the elastic to the right side of the fabric, with the straight edge of the elastic along the fold line.

4. Position the straight edge of the elastic next to the knife. Serge a couple of stitches to anchor the elastic. Be careful not to cut the elastic.

5. Continue serging, using the flatlock stitch. Hold the elastic up against the presser-foot toe, slightly off the fabric.

As you stitch, stretch the elastic to fit between the pins.

Remove the pins as you come to them.

6. Pull on the elastic until the decorative edge is turned up and the seam is flat.

7. To finish, serge the remaining seam with a serger stitch.

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Wednesday, 2012-04-11 3:40