One of the very first things I made when I taught myself how to sew and started this blog a year ago was this fitted sheet for Miss P’s cot bed. I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t even know how to sew in a straight line back then. I just measured the mattress and winged it. It worked out so well that I’ve been wanting to make another one for ages. Done and done! Here’s how I made it.
What you’ll need:
- 2 metres/yards cotton fabric – polycotton is a standard for store-bought bed linen but I prefer using 100% cotton fabrics as they ‘breathe’ better and are crisp and cool in summer; flannel is also great for winter, nice and warm!
- 6mm (1/4″) wide elastic
- Matching thread
When I was pregnant with Miss P and looking at the different cots available, I noticed that no two mattresses seemed to be the same size. They were all slightly different the one from the other so instead of giving you set measurements I’ll show you how to calculate exactly how much fabric you need for a perfect custom fit.
Start by measuring your mattress: Length (the longer side); Width (the shorter side); Depth.
- Meas. A = L + (D x 2) + 14cm* (5.5″)
- Meas. B = W + (D x 2) + 14cm* (5.5″)
- Meas. C (corners) = (Meas. A – L) / 2 ; subtract 1cm (3/8″) to the number obtained (to allow for the seam).
*The extra 14cm / 5.5″ will allow for the hems and about 5cm / 2″ extra fabric to tuck under the mattress.
Cut your fabric as follows: A x B
Fold it in half lengthwise, then fold it in half widthwise, so as to end up with all 4 corners stacked up on top of each other. Mark your corner using meas. C and cut through all 4 layers of fabric to cut all 4 corners at the same time (see diagram below).
Unfold your fabric. Fold the raw edges (on the length and width) 7mm (1/4′) towards the wrong side of the fabric and press well. Fold another 1cm (3/8″) and press again. Do NOT stitch in place at this stage, this step is just to mark the creases you’ll need later on (after sewing the corners).
Now you need to sew the corners. Fold the fabric at the corners, RST (right sides together) and pin in place. You’ll need to unfold the fabric at the bottom – see photo below. Sew the corner using a 1cm (3/8″) seam allowance. Finish the seam allowance with a zigzag stitch or overlock. Repeat for the remaining 3 corners. Press the seams to one side and refold the fabric at the bottom. Try the fitted sheet on your mattress to make sure the size is right.
Cut 4 pieces of elastic, each 30cm (12″) long. Find the halfway point of each elastic and mark. At each corners of your fitted sheet, make a mark 25cm (10″) on each side of the seam. Place your elastic between the 2 crease lines that you made before, placing one end at the mark you just made. Fold the edge of the fabric back on top of the elastic (see photo below) and pin in place. Repeat on the other side.
Match the halfway mark on your elastic to the corner seam and pin in place. Starting at one end of the elastic, make a few zigzag stitches to hold it in place. Back-stitch a couple of times to secure it. Then pull on your elastic so it lays flat against the fabric (see photo: my elastic is sticking out the side a little so you can see it better, but make sure it is covered by the fabric as much as possible). Stitch in place with a zigzag stitch. Back-stitch a couple of times at the end to secure it in place. Repeat for the other 3 corners with the 3 remaining pieces of elastic.
Refold the edges of your fabric along the creases you had made before and stitch in place.
When you get to the corners and the elastic sections, pull on the fabric and elastic so it is nice and flat and keep stitching. Back-stitch at the beginning and end. And you’re done!
If you chose your fabric carefully you can make these very cheaply. You can also use funky prints to make it fun and colourful.