Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

3 Bodkins Explored | Video

This video shows how and when to use three types of bodkins and a DIY bodkin you can use in a pinch.

The correct notion for the job makes sewing faster and easier. This video features details about bodkins—what they are and how to use them.

Bodkins pull cord, elastic, ribbon or other materials through narrow channels or casings, such as a waistband or the edge of a hood.

“Bodkin” may be related to the Gaelic word for “dagger,” which makes sense since most bodkins are tapered at one end. At the other end, there’s a hole or other means of attaching elastic or cord.

This video shows how and when to use three types of bodkins, as well as a bonus do-it-yourself bodkin you can use in a pinch.

  • The flexible-needle bodkin is bendable, like a circular knitting needle. It is a good option for when you work with a circular casing, such as a drawstring waistband or a hood opening.
  • Pincher-style bodkins have teeth that grab hold of trim or elastic and don’t let go until you release the slider.
  • A ball-point bodkin is great for inserting thick thread or ribbon through straight casings.

Watch the video for the DIY bodkin.

Beginners can learn more about sewing casings, in the video “How to Sew Casings for Elastic and Drawstrings.”

Then discover some designer waistline treatments in the article “The Great Elastic Waistband” by Linda Lee, originally published in Threads #83, June/July 1999.


Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in


  1. Ottarsdottir | | #1

    I once got a drawstring through a pair of pajamas using an unscrewed ball-point pen. Thread the string through the barrel, tie a knot bigger than the hole, and you're all set!

  2. laswa3 | | #2

    One I used the other day for a very narrow drawstring casing was a blunt nosed tapestry needle that I usually use with knitting.

  3. Marinass | | #3


  4. User avater
    RicardoWelch | | #4

    Nice post about these three bodkins. Really great work.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All