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How to Use Elastic in a Casing – video

How to Use Elastic in a Casing - video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

This one’s on the longish side, but I show you pretty much everything you need to know about using elastic in a casing.

We start with what kind of elastic to use (did you know there were different kinds?), some tips on pre-stretching and measuring, how to measure for and sew the casing, how to thread the elastic through the casing and sew it up. I even show you a little trick I use to help kids put on handmade clothes (with no tags) the right way!

Update – after making this video I discovered a new tool for threading elastic through a casing. It’s called an elastic bodkin and it’s pretty much the best thing ever. This is the one I use. They’re super cheap and they make that step of the process a million times easier. I wish I had known about this tool twenty years ago!

Want to practice your new elastic skills? Try this free simple skirt pattern. It has instructions for sizes to fit everyone from dolls to grown-ups.

I also use elastic in a lot of the dress patterns for Dress Up Bunch dolls. Look for the ones with gathers around the neck like this one.

Lizzie in her new Cat's Meow outfit

That’s the Cat’s Meow pattern, but there are several others with a similar neck finish. Those gathers means there’s elastic in a casing around the neck – which means no fasteners for little hands to wrestle with!

Happy stitching!


  1. I’ve struggled with elastic for some time now! Thanks for creating such a great tutorial video. Armed with this info, I’m going to attempt to sew things with elastic again! 🙂

  2. Kathryn SAYS...

    Aloha, dear Wendi,

    Do I need to use elastic thread too? If not, what thread is best.

    I am attempting to make my own pants for the first time. I am very much a beginner.


    • wendigratz SAYS...

      Just use regular all-purpose thread. Nothing fancy. 🙂

  3. Patricia SAYS...

    Great tutorial, thank you. I have been sewing scrub caps for my daughter and the pattern uses a 5 inch piece of 1/4 inch elastic in the back of the cap. But it’s unclear if we are supposed to sew through the elastic when closing up the casing because the dimensions for the casing are not wide enough. Now after watching your tutorial I am going to adjust the measurements of the casing and make it a little bit wider. The ends of the elastic are sewn into the cap so I don’t think I need to sew through the elastic when closing the casing. What do you think???