Sewing & Pattern making Terms


In the realm of sewing and pattern making, the term “casingrefers to a folded-over edge found on garments, typically positioned at the waist or other areas that require adjustable fit options. Casings serve the dual purpose of enclosing a mechanism, such as a drawstring or elastic, while also providing a neat and finished appearance. In this article, we will explore the significance of casings, their applications in garment construction, and how they enable fit adjustments with ease and style.

What are Casings?

Casings are folded-over edges that create a tunnel-like structure along a garment’s edge. This tunnel is designed to enclose and house adjustable elements, such as drawstrings, elastic bands, or ribbons. The casing not only secures these elements but also gives a clean and professional finish to the garment.

Purpose and Benefits of Casings

Casings offer several benefits in garment construction. Let’s delve into the key purposes and advantages of using casings:

  • Fit Adjustability: By incorporating a casing, garments gain the flexibility of adjustable fit options. Drawstrings, elastic, or ribbons threaded through the casing allow wearers to customize the garment’s waist or other areas to achieve a desired fit.
  • Enclosure and Protection: Casings create a protective enclosure for adjustable elements, keeping them hidden and secure within the garment. This prevents the elements from snagging, tangling, or becoming tangled with other components.
  • Neat and Finished Look: Casings give a polished and refined appearance to garments, concealing the raw edges and providing a professional touch. The folded-over edge of the casing adds structural integrity and enhances the overall aesthetic appeal.

Applications of Casings

Casings find their applications in various garments and accessories. Here are a few common examples:

  • Waistbands: The most prevalent use of casings is in waistbands, where they allow for comfortable and adjustable waist fit. By incorporating a drawstring or elastic within the casing, wearers can tighten or loosen the waistband according to their preference.
  • Cuffs and Hems: Casings can be employed in cuffs or hems to create gathered or adjustable features. By threading elastic or a decorative ribbon through the casing, a tailored and stylish appearance is achieved while ensuring a snug and secure fit.
  • Necklines and Collars: Casings can also be utilized in necklines or collars to provide adjustable gathers or ruching effects. By inserting elastic or drawstrings through the casing, the neckline or collar can be modified to achieve different styles or fit preferences.

How To Create Casings

Creating casings involves a few simple steps. Here’s a general approach:

  1. Determine Casing Width: Decide on the desired width of the casing based on the adjustable element being used and the desired aesthetic. The width can vary depending on the project and personal preference.
  2. Fold and Press: Fold the fabric over the desired width, wrong sides together, and press along the fold to create a crisp edge. This folded edge will become the casing.
  3. Stitching: Stitch along the upper and lower edges of the casing, leaving an opening at one end to insert the adjustable element. The stitching secures the casing and prevents it from unfolding during wear.
  4. Thread the Adjustable Element: Insert the drawstring, elastic, or ribbon through the casing using a safety pin or a bodkin. Ensure that the adjustable element is evenly distributed within the casing.
  5. Secure and Finish: Once the adjustable element is inserted, secure the ends to prevent them from slipping back into the casing. Knot or sew the ends together, or add cord stops or toggles for a polished finish.


Casings play a pivotal role in garment construction, providing adjustable fit options and a refined appearance. Whether used in waistbands, cuffs, hems, or collars, casings enable wearers to customize their garments while maintaining a neat and professional finish. Master the art of creating casings, select the appropriate adjustable elements, and elevate your sewing projects with the versatility and style that casings offer. With casings, achieving the perfect fit becomes a breeze, allowing you to create garments that not only look good but also feel comfortable and customizable.

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Melissa Villegas
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