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Thread: Making twin fitted sheets from twin flat with SHEET ELASTIC

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    First of all, I keep calling this "sheet elastic" but I've since learned it's called fold over elastic or elastic binding. So when I do a google search it's easier to find. I've been asked by a few of you to do a tutorial on the famous and extremely elusive "sheet elastic" and how do I make smaller fitted sheets from larger ones. Following is the reason why I even know about this trick!

    Okay, here's the story. While I was in Australia a couple of years ago with YWAM, I took some donated, flat, motel sheets and made them into fitted sheets for the many twin beds at the base. I went to a local fabric/notions store and bought "sheet elastic". It is FABULOUS stuff, has a rib down the center and elastic on both sides, probably about 5/8 to 3/4 wide and when you stitch it on the raw edge of the sheet fabric, it completly encloses the edge. The "rib" wraps around the edge, the two sides get stitched together automatically with one stitching and you can go all the way around the entire sheet with elastic, not just at the corners. When I was done with each sheet, they looked "professional" like it was factory done, the sheets were gorgeous!!

    I have searched the net and with the help of several people here on this blog I think I've found a place to order the right elastic. Meanwhile, let me see if I can walk/talk/type you through this process.

    I will explain it from the standpoint of cutting down a standard twin top sheet and making it into a standard twin fitted sheet.

    First though, I want to show you a picture of the elastic that I do have, just don't have enough to do several sheets. Also the rough pencil diagram of how to cut the sheet.

    3/4 inch fold over elastic opened wide
    Name:  Attachment-220105.jpe
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Size:  60.8 KB

    3/4 inch fold over elastic folded
    Name:  Attachment-220106.jpe
Views: 4387
Size:  49.0 KB

    Basic cutting lines for twin sheet
    Name:  Attachment-220107.jpe
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Size:  36.5 KB

  2. #2
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    So, based on those dimensions, you have a standard fitted sheet cut with approx a 7 inch mattress depth, 3 inch tuck under and 1/2 inch seam allowance. (Give or take)!!

    Best to do a "french seam" when you sew those corners together, then it won't ravel when you wash the sheets. Start with your elastic on one side, and pull and stitch the elastic all the way around the sheet (not just on the corners) and when finished you will have a gorgeous sheet with all the edges covered and finished looking. Also they stay on the bed better and tuck under the mattress better.

    Needless to say, if you are working with a full size sheet and making it into a twin, you would be able to have more coverage (mattress depth) on the sides and more to tuck way under the mattress.

    A couple of years ago I googled and found a wonderful diagram and description of how to do this when I was in Australia. However, try as I might I can't find it right now. There are several but seem pretty confusing to me.

    Obviously, the bigger the top sheet that you are cutting down, the more you will have for depth of your mattress and tuck under. Some of the newer beds have a depth of 9 to 11 inches and then need at least 5-6 inches to tuck under. With that in mind, you would need to cut out squares in the corners of 14 to 17 inches give or take in order to have full coverage and a generous tuck under.

    This is my FIRST tute, I hope it made sense. Let me know if you have any more questions. Sorry it's not very spiffy!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member quilting.addict's Avatar
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    Having made my own fitted sheets, I thought you did a fabulous job with explanations! Many people will appreciate your work!

  4. #4
    Junior Member pippa's Avatar
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    Serendipity. DD just yesterday asked me to cut down the undersheet she is using as it ruckles up. Have to go hunt for "sheet elastic"
    Many thanks
    Pippa

  5. #5
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    My DH doesn't like a top sheet, saying they get wrapped around his legs.That means I have an unused sheet in every set.Will keep an eye on this thread.... for info on changing a K size flat sheet.

  6. #6
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    I have done this with crib sheets.

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    that is a great tut. i've never seen that type of elastic before. thanks for sharing.

  8. #8

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    Have you considered making the bottom corners of the top sheet into fitted corners so that they do not ride up and wrap around his legs. I have done this because of the same reason and it makes it easier to makeup the bed.

  9. #9
    Member SewSydney's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tutorial, do you stretch the elastic as you sew?

    I have a couple of sheets that need the elastic replaced, have bought the elastic but not sure how much to stretch!!!

  10. #10
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    I have had top sheets that were fitted only on the bottom.....but DH is so tall, the 1st thing he does anywhere,is to pull the bottom sheet loose. Thanks for the suggestion.Think I'll just put elastic on corners & use as fitted sheets.


    Quote Originally Posted by gammieju
    Have you considered making the bottom corners of the top sheet into fitted corners so that they do not ride up and wrap around his legs. I have done this because of the same reason and it makes it easier to makeup the bed.

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