How to Replace Elastic in a Casing

by Hannah on March 26, 2013 in Creativity, Industry, Sewing

IMG_7066 Learning how to replace elastic waistbands set in a casing is a useful skill in homemaking.  I picked up this vintage skirt for love of color and pattern, knowing that the stretched out elastic is simple to fix.  We’ve also re-sized garments before for my oldest daughter using this method.

First, find a seam at the waistband and unpick it using a seam ripper or pair of small pointed scissors.


Once you’ve gotten your seam undone, you should be able to see the elastic inside.


Pull it out and cut it, making sure you hold one tightly to one side.


At this point, if you needed a smaller waisted skirt and your elastic was in good condition, you could simply cut out excess elastic and sew the two ends back together.

If you’re replacing the elastic altogether, it is recommended to use the same width elastic as you took out.  Wrap your new elastic around the waist of the person who will wear the garment and pull it until if feels comfortably tight.  Add a half inch to this measurement for seam allowance (the over-lapping where you’ll sew the new ends together) and cut.

Attach a small safety pin securely to one end of the elastic and begin threading it through the casing, taking care not to let it twist.  The safety pin gives your fingers something solid to grip as you slide it through.


Once through, overlap the ends as shown below.  Check again to make certain the elastic is not twisted in the casing.
You can then machine or hand sew the ends together.

Arrange the seam opening back into place and hand sew closed using tiny stitches and matching thread.

The end!


Hannah is an ordinary woman, saved by an extraordinary grace. Married for fourteen years, she and her husband have a house of joyful mayhem with three sons and three daughters. Hannah loves lattes, re-arranging furniture, thrifting, handcrafts, and writing and counts falling into bed exhausted as a sign of a really good day. She blogs at Cultivating Home.

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