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Learn How to Make a Fitted Sheet
A fitted sheet, or "bottom sheet" as it's often called, may be incredibly difficult to fold, but they're easy to sew. This simple tutorial for making your own fitted sheets provides you with lots of bedding options.
When you sew your own fitted sheets, you can repurpose flat sheets or duvet covers in a larger size, or buy fabric to customize bedding to match your decor. And since mattresses come in different depths, making your own gives you control over the fit. The process is as simple as sewing a few corner darts and then adding elastic to hold the sheets in place.
Because you need a large amount of fabric to make a fitted sheet, you have a few options:
- Extra-wide fabric designed for quilt backs
- Standard-width fabric joined together (add the fabric to each side to avoid having seams under someone while they sleep)
- Flat sheets (use a larger size than the sheet you're making)
- Fitted sheets that are too large for the mattress
- Duvet covers
In addition to fabric, you also need four to eight yards of quarter-inch wide elastic, a rotary cutter, ruler, cutting mat, pins, and sewing machine.
Updated by Mollie JohansonContinue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
Measure the Mattress
For the best fit possible, measure your mattress before you start. Mattress sizes may have standard guidelines, but they do vary, especially when it comes to depth. Fitted sheets often come extra-deep to accommodate different mattress depths. You can do the same thing when making your sheets if you like, which is helpful if you plan on using them for different beds.
Measure the width, length, and depth of the mattress.
Multiply the depth by two, add the width, and then add six inches, which allows three inches to tuck under the mattress on each side.
Multiply the depth by two, add the length, and then add six inches for wrapping under.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
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Cut Out the Corners
Cut the fabric to the dimensions you need for your sheet. Use a rotary cutter, ruler, and mat for accurate cutting.
Add the depth of the mattress to the three inches for wrapping. Use this measurement to cut a square from each corner of the fabric.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
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Sew the Sheet Corners
With right sides together, pin and sew the two edges together at the corners.
Finish the seam with a zig-zag stitch or a serger. Alternately, you can sew a french seam for a beautiful finish.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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Press the Edges
Prepare to hem the edges of the sheet by turning and pressing under one-quarter-inch and one-quarter-inch again.
You can stitch this in place if you want to add elastic only at the corners. However, when you sew elastic all the way around the sheet, it isn't necessary to pre-sew the hem.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
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Sew the Elastic to the Sheet
Use a zig-zag stitch to attach the elastic to the edge of the sheet, overlapping the inside fold of the hem. Be sure to use backstitch at the beginning to secure the end, then stretch the elastic as you sew.
Make your way around the entire sheet. When you reach the start, overlap the end and backstitch again. Trim the excess elastic.
If you prefer to only have elastic at the corners of the sheet, cut four 10-inch pieces of elastic.
Center each piece of elastic at the bottom of each dart on the wrong side of the sheet. Stretch each end of elastic as far as it will go along the edge of the sheet. Use a zig-zag stitch to attach the elastic to the corners of the sheet, keeping the elastic stretched so that it will pull in the sides. Repeat on all four corners.
Tip: Pulling the elastic can put stress on the needle and thread. If you find that the thread is breaking, make sure you have a large enough needle without any spurs and that you're using good quality thread.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
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Finish Your Fitted Sheet
When the elastic is attached to the edge of the sheet and it's no longer stretched, it should have a gather to it like you see here. Having this all around the sheet helps hold things in place nicely.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
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Cover Your Mattress With Your New Fitted Sheet
Now that your sheet is finished, make your bed with your new homemade fitted sheet.
Need a flat sheet to match? Cut your fabric to the same size as the flat sheet and then hem the edges.