What Is Casing In Sewing: Everything To Know

Last Updated on 9 months by Susan Mayrich

You can learn what is casing in sewing by treating it as an enclosure. You use it on elastics, ribbons, and drawstrings. We’ll discuss the types of casing and how you sew one to understand it further.

what is casing in sewing

Are you relatively new to sewing as well? Then you can browse our blog to learn different tutorials and terminologies for sewing. We also recommend reading how to topstitch with a sewing machine since it can stabilize the elastic when putting it in the casing. 


What Is The Use Of Casing In Sewing?

A casing is essentially a fabric that is folded over like a case. It can also be attached separately but is still meant to enclose a part of the garment. Therefore, it’s found not just in the waist, but also in the wrist and ankle of clothing to keep the elastic from touching the wearer.

Bags can also have a casing, especially those that use drawstrings to enclose their openings.


What Are The Two Types Of Casing In Sewing?


How to make edge casing

An edge casing, also known as the fold-down casing, is the most common casing used in garments. You turn the fabric edge and stitch to enclose the elastic from the name itself. It’s a quick way to run an elastic or string around the edge of any project. 

  1. Press the raw edges of the fabric under twice, but leave enough room for the elastic
  2. Pin the folded edges and sew accordingly
  3. Thread in the elastic and sew both ends
  4. You can topstitch to keep the elastic from moving around, especially in waistbands


How to make applied casing

You can also make the casing separately, and it is called the applied casing. You’ll prepare a separate fabric strip and sew it to the area that you’ll draw. It’s also a fantastic way to add decorative interest to your project if you’re sewing the applied casing outside the material since you can use a contrasting trim or bias tape.  

  1. Cut a fabric strip
  2. Fold the strip’s raw edges under and pin it to the area of the project where you want it
  3. Edgestitch the casing in place, leaving enough space between the stitches for the elastic or ribbon that you’ll insert 
  4. Cut the casing for an opening and fold the raw ends
  5. Pin the tucked ends so they’ll meet and sew to finish the opening for your elastic


How Do You Sew Elastic Into Casing?

  1. Fold the fabric edge half an inch to the wrong side to make the fold-down or edge casing 
  2. Fold the fabric again so that the casing is about ¼ inch wider than the elastic you’re inserting
  3. Edgestitch the casing close to the top and bottom fold to leave 2 inches of opening on one side of the seam
  4. Put a safety pin on the elastic end and insert it through the casing
  5. Use the safety pin to maneuver the elastic through the casing
  6. Once the elastic is evenly distributed throughout the casing, feel and flatten it to remove any twists
  7. Overlap the elastic ends with a zigzag stitch and stretch the elastic to hide the ends inside the elastic
  8. Sew the opening with edgestitch


How to topstitch an elastic inside a casing

Casings that enclose the elastic on waistbands are prone to twisting, especially with consistent use. You can prevent this issue by topstitching the elastic:

  1. Stretch the waistband to distribute the casing’s fabric so it’s even
  2. Pin several spots around the waistband to hold the material in place
  3. Use your hands to pull the fabric flat when sewing with a straight stitch
  4. Sew in sections or the areas between pins 

You can read about how to tack in sewing as these temporary stitches help hold materials for those who don’t want to pin the fabric.


How Wide Should Elastic Casing Be?

According to Oregon State University, the casing for the elastic should be ¼ inch wider than it. This way, the elastic, drawstring, or ribbon can move smoothly within the enclosure. When making a fold-down casing, you can also sew ¼ inch from the raw edge so you’ll have a guide for turning and pressing.

What about applied casing? Besides allocating ¼ inch of width for the elastic casing, you must add another half an inch of width with applied casing. This way, you’ll have enough seam allowance on both edges of the casing.


How Do You Sew On Elastic Without A Casing?

The trick on sewing elastic without a casing is to sew it directly to the fabric beforehand. The elastic will be exposed, so you save on material and effort. However, it will be difficult to remove the elastic, and it can lose its stretch quickly. 



Was this article helpful? We just learned what is casing in sewing, which is an enclosure made by folding the fabric or sewing it separately so the elastic, ribbon, or drawstring will be within it. It’s relatively easy to do, but remember that the casing should be ¼ inch wider than what you’ll put through it. 

For more sewing tutorials, please browse our blog or leave us a question if you have any. 

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