Sunday, September 16, 2012

Toddler Bedding - Fitted Sheet

I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is a tutorial. My sewing skills simply are not to the level where I should be instructing anyone on how to sew something. Instead I would call this a guide - or perhaps an idea, a jumping off point. This is something that I did that maybe you can try out on your own and improve upon (trust me there is tons of room for improvement!)

Little Lucy is quickly growing up and while I would like to keep her in a crib forever - the reality is that Baby Boy is soon to arrive and the crib will need to be needed in the nursery. My friend up the road offered to give us a toddler bed (and a lot more - little man will be mostly outfitted by her son's hand-me-downs) and I set about to find just the right bedding. This proved to be a difficult task. I have come to find that there are not many bedding sets that I like. Most of them are pastel pink or purple, and usually feature Dora the Explorer or Disney Princesses. I also had the option of ordering online from the states - but all the sets that I really liked were going to cost me over hundred dollars plus shipping and duty on top. Don't get me wrong, I love my little girl, but she is only going to be in this bed for a year or two and her bedding should not cost more than my own! So having come to the conclusion that I wasn't going to be able to find the perfect bedding set, I decided to make it! Yep, 30+ weeks pregnant and caring for a toddler and I was going to make toddler bedding. Isn't it funny what nesting syndrome will do to your brain?!?

So where do you start when you want to make your own bedding? Head to Pinterest of course! On there I found a tutorial for for making a fitted crib sheet, and figured I could make a flat sheet no problem so I was all set. Then it hit me - why start from scratch when I can start with a pre-made sheet set. That way I would know that I was getting quality material for bedding so that it would stand up to washing wear.

This is what I found at Walmart to start with. I love the fushia sheets and they work well with her room as it is already an accent color in the room. I decided to get a double set and that way I will have enough material to make two matching sets. I also got the double sized flowered blanket and will use it to make two thick blankets for the bed instead of a quilt or comforter. As soon as Lucy saw the blanket she wanted to hug and cuddle it so hopefully it will make it easier to lure her into bed at night?!?

The next thing I had to do was set it in my sewing room for about a month. Sitting there tempting me and always at the back of my mind - it kept me motivated on my other tasks that had to be completed, but man what a tease!

Finally the time came when I could get started. Below you will find the steps and pictures to show you how I tackled the fitted sheet. (If you are an avid sewer you may want to stop reading now as my method is far from conventional and/or correct.)

Step 1: I cut the double fitted sheet in two. I was lucky that the elastic parts of the sheet were the whole width of the mattress and coincidentally the length of a crib mattress is almost exactly the same length. 

(This isn't a great picture but hopefully you can see that the bottom elastic is intact.)

Step 2: From there I put the sheet onto the crib mattress inside out and pinned the two corners. This was to make the sheet fit right to the mattress - the same as when you buy them in the store. You have to do it inside out or you will end up with an exposed I almost did! 

(Corners pinned and ready to be sewn.)

Step 3: Sew along the pinned line, trim threads, turn right side out and put back on mattress to examine handiwork - yay it looks professional :)

(Nice seam if I do say so myself!)

Step 4: Take sheet back off mattress and notice that the ends aren't even close to matching up. Take a break to think about how to handle this. (I recommend a short break - I took a few days and it really wasn't necessary!)

(See how they didn't line up... scissors can fix that!)

Step 5: Cut the excess off to make them line up (see picture above). At this point I will remind you that I am NOT a professional, but it worked and in the end you will never actually see this part as it will be tucked under the mattress.

Step 6: Make an elastic casing down the whole length of the sheet. I made my casing go a bit beyond the corner seams to give a nice snug fit. I then sewed the casing, fed the elastic through and sewed the elastic in place.

Step 7: Trim any threads and put your new fitted sheet on the mattress.

(Little wrinkly but it fits!)

Step 8: Repeat steps 2 through 7 with the other half of the sheet. Pat yourself on the back because you are well on the way to saving money and giving your little prince/princess a personalized bedding set :)

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