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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.

May 03, 2018

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.

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  1. laswa3 May 8th

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

  2. Ottarsdottir May 8th

    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!

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