Getting ready for a baby can be expensive. Between all of the outfits, diapers, safety doodads and furniture, you can end up spending thousands of dollars just for one child! Add in extra expenses if you want a certain style of crib bedding with matching sheets to go with it… until now! I’m in the process of making a bedding set for my sister- she is expecting her first little one this fall, and she decided that she wanted pooh as her theme. I already purchased a panel and sewed a baby quilt- but what about sheets for the crib to match? It turns out, you DON’T have to settle for the sheets that you purchase in the store-you can make your own custom crib sheets! The tutorial I based my crib sheet off of is from this awesome site http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-crib-and-toddler-bed-sheets.html
First, gather your supplies:
2 yards of 45″ wide fabric (pre wash and dry all fabrics before sewing- most cotton fabrics will shrink after the first wash and dry)
80″ of 1/4 wide elastic
Tape measure, Scissors
Next, you’ll need to do a little bit of math ( I know- math is horrible, but I promise, this math is painless!) I knew that the crib mattress would be approximately 27 inches wide, 52 inches long and 5 inches thick (tall). My fabric shrunk a few inches in the wash, so now instead of 45″ wide fabric, I now had 42″ wide fabric. No problem though- I just made the cut outs for the corner a little bit smaller. Basically, you want to take the size of the square you will cut out of the corner and double that (for instance 7.5 + 7.5) Then, subtract that from your overall length of your fabric cut (mine was 67″ long). So 67″ long fabric cut, minus 15 is equal to 52″- exactly the length of the mattress. Do the same math for the width just to make sure that your fabric is wide enough for the mattress.
Lay your fabric out flat (I like to use a cardboard cutting board as reference- it has inch increments on it which helps with cutting the squares out of the corner).
Remove your cat, who decides that he wants to help, from said fabric
Cut out your squares from each of the four corners of fabric
Now its time to do some sewing! For the crib sheet, I prefer to use my Serger on the corners and around the whole bottom of the sheet. We all know how often kids have accidents and how often those crib sheets get washed!
You will fold the two corners of the square cut out together and sew down the side. I use about a 1/4 inch seam (preset with my Serger)
Complete that same stitch on the remaining three corners, then serge around the whole bottom of the sheet.
Now we need to make our casing for the elastic. For 1/4 inch elastic I like to use a casing of 1/2 and inch. Fold over the edge 1/2 inch and press. I use this nifty little tool from fabric.com to make sure that I’m folding over an equal size for casing. They are about .50 cents and are worth every penny!
Sew your seam all the way around the sheet- leaving open about a 1 inch area between the start and end of your stitching (this is where you will insert your elastic.)
Now it’s time for us to insert our elastic in the casing. I like to put a safety pin on BOTH ends of the elastic- just in case you pull too hard and both ends slip into the casing.
If you have a crib mattress to try the sheet on, I like to pin the elastic and then try the sheet on. That way, you can adjust the elastic to be a perfect fit for the mattress. For this crib sheet, I ended up cutting off about 15 inches of elastic to have a nice snug fit on the crib mattress. It is very important to have a nice snug fit for baby crib sheets- that way there is no risk of SIDS.
Once you have the sheet elastic the size that you want, cut and overlap the elastic by about an inch. I like to zig zag stitch my elastic – that way it lies flat in the casing. I also sew it at 3 different points of the over lap- again to make sure that the elastic holds up to those multiple washings!
Final Step- Try on the crib sheet, step back, and pat yourself of the back for a job well done!