A casing is a hollow channel that holds elastic. It's a quick way to cinch in and finish a skirt, shorts, or pant top without making a separate waistband.

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Fold over fabric top 1/4" and press. Omit this step with knits-they don't ravel!

Fold over again 1-3/4" (or as specified in your project) and press.

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Edgestitch as close as possible to edge of bottom fold, leaving a 1-5/8" area unstitched (or as specified in your project).

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Cut 1-1/2"-wide elastic (or width specified in your project) to desired length. Secure large safety pin to one end of elastic. Thread safety pin through one side of casing opening.

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Keeping elastic flat (no twists allowed), push safety pin leader through casing until pinned end of elastic comes out at opposite side of opening.

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Pull both ends of elastic strip out and away from casing.

Fold a fabric scrap in half. (1-1/2"-wide elastic requires a 1-1/2x3" scrap; 2"-wide elastic, a 2x4" scrap.) Butt ends of elastic and pin to square.

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Sew elastic to square, first in a rectangle, and then in an X.

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Work elastic back into casing.

Stitch opening closed.

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