Monday, June 20, 2016

Sewing my Own Crib Sheets

It was really easy to find under the sea themed fabrics, accessories and bedding.  Whales and other ocean creatures are common nursery decor themes so many of the big stores sell things that work on this theme.  It was much harder for me to find Dinosaur themed crib sheets.  When shopping Keith and Lucky found some fun dinosaur fabric and pointed it out to me, and suddenly I had the crazy idea to make some of my own crib sheets.

Since I didn't know what else I might want to do with the fabric, I purchased 3 yards of one pattern and 2.5 yards of the other.  (These were purchased on separate days and at the time I didn't realize that they were part of a coordinated line.)

There are many tutorials on how to make your own crib sheet on the internet.  My favorites include "How to Make a Crib Sheet" and "Crib Sheet Pattern" and "Easy DIY crib sheets."   I decided to measure my fabric against the mattress because the first mattress we had for Lucky was recalled and the new one is pretty deep.  The other sheets we own FIT, but it is a tight fit and it can be a bit of a struggle to get them on.  I wanted to use fold over elastic instead of making a casing for the elastic so I purchased 6 yards of 5/8" fold over elastic which was plenty for both sets of sheets.

Oh no!  I noticed some light blue stains on the dinosaur fabric of the sheets.  I have no idea where these came from but they are pretty hard to notice.  I was going to try to miss them entirely but the spots are spread out enough that there will be at least a few on the sheet.  I'm going to proceed and trust that stains will happen on sheets and it will be fine.  (I know that this either happened in the wash or were already present on the fabric when I bought it.  Thankfully these stains have not turned up on any of my other laundry items so it seems like a one-off error.)  

I pressed the fabric before I got started.  Since I"m concerned about having enough fabric to fit well on the bottom of the mattress, I want to make sure I have all the width I can before I get started.  I don't plan to iron the baby's sheets between each washing, but I may as well start out with things pressed the first time to make the sheet.

The boys' mattresses are 27.5"Wx52"Dx6"H.  39.5" for the width around doesn't give a lot of overhang for the sheet on the bottom side.

I drew an 8x8" square in each corner, folded the right sides together and stitched along the line that I drew.  I then tried the sheet back on the mattress

One edge is about an inch too long.  I'm going to leave this as some wiggle room for when I secure the btoom, but next time I'll make sure to draw the squares closer to where the mattress lies.  (The other edge looks prefect)

After I decided to not modify the placement of my corners, I reinforced the corners as directed in the imperfect homemaker directions and then clipped the corners.  

After (left) and before (right) clipping the corners

Note that I left the selvage on the fabric because I needed every inch that I could get. I'm now ready to add the elastic.

I started out with 6 yards of chevron fold over elastic.  I placed a pin at the midway point so I would know if I used more than the 3 yards I'm estimating for the elastic.  I started on a long edge near a corner and using a straight stitch stitched around the length of my sheet.

I didn't stretch the elastic enough on the first side of the sheet, but I still used under 3 yards of elastic (maybe a foot or so to spare.)  6 yards is PLENTY for 2 sheets.

It isn't the tightest sheet that I've ever seen, but because the mattress is so tight in the crib I'm not worried about it coming loose from my kid wiggling around or anything like that.  I did learn that you want to pull the elastic as MUCH as you can as you stitch it to the edge of the sheet so that it will grip as tightly as possible.

I easily completed one sheet during Lucky's afternoon nap.  The cost of fabric might make this not worth it but if you're sewing other things then you can end up with coordinated sheets.  Of course, if you can't find sheets that match your desired theme than sewing them yourself is the way to go!  We'll see how well it holds up in the laundry after many washings.

For the second sheet I pulled the elastic as tight as it could go the whole way around.  Still not as perfect as some of the other tutorials show, but it will work!  I think it looks cute and I'm proud that I was able to do this all by myself.

First sheet started and finished 12.11.2015.  Second sheet started and completed 12.12.2015.