If you have kiddos, you may be like me in feeling like there aren’t a lot of cute cot sheets out there. It may seem like a minor thing to focus on, but babies can’t sleep with anything in their crib except for a sleeping bag or one blanket, so you really notice the sheet! Like most baby things, there’s a lot out there for you if you want animal prints, or stars, or whatever else people think babies like, but if you want something a bit cooler, you’re going to need some £££. Two shops making beautiful sheets are Kip and Co and Little Dreamer— coincidentally, they’re both based in Australia, but Little Dreamer ship worldwide, and Kip and Co has retailers worldwide.
If you can’t afford to spend crazy money on sheets, I don’t blame you, and I have a tutorial for you to make your own fitted cot sheet. It’s affordable and unique! I recommend looking for fabrics on Etsy– there’s so much out there. I promise making this is not as hard as it seems like it will be. You can do this!
2 metres/yards of pre-washed fabric (make sure it’s wide enough for measurements below)
120 cm of 6mm thick elastic
thread to match fabric
2 safety pins
First, you need to make the calculations for your sheet size. My son’s mattress is from Mokee— it’s L120 cm x W60 cm x D8 cm. If your mattress is the same size or very close, you can use my measurements in the tutorial below, otherwise you’ll need to calculate your own. My measurements will work for most IKEA mattresses in the UK as well. **Make sure you measure before you start.**
To calculate what size fabric you need, quadruple your mattress depth (in my case, 8 x 4= 32) and add this to your length and width (L: 120+32= 152 cm and W: 60+32=92 cm). Now we need to account for our seam allowance, so add 5 cm to your length and width (L= 157 cm and W= 97 cm). Cut your fabric to this size.
Now you want to fold the fabric so that we can cut out even squares in the corners. Fold the fabric in half, then in half again in the opposite direction, making sure that edges are lined up and even. Double the depth of your mattress (in my case 8 x 2= 16 cm) and cut a square in that measurement out of the corner without folds (so for me, a 16×16 cm square).
With overlocker: With right sides together, bring the angles of one cut corner together to sew. Overlock the two sides of your corner together. Then go over the same corner with your sewing machine for extra strength– I kept my sewing foot against the inner edge of the overlocked stitch to help me space the seams, which was about a 1 cm allowance total. Repeat for all four corners.
With sewing machine: With right sides together, bring the angles of one cut corner together to sew. Sew corners together with a 1.5 cm seam allowance. Then sew the edges with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying. Repeat for all four corners.
Now we need to sort out the edges. Again, I have two sets of instructions for with and without and overlocker.
With overlocker: Overlock around the edge of the sheet. Then, with wrong sides together, iron down a 2 cm fold around the edges of the sheet. Now with your sewing machine, sew a straight stitch around the edge leaving space for your elastic. Don’t close the stitch, so you can thread through your elastic (I left a 8 cm gap). I kept the foot of my sewing machine against the overlocked edge of my fabric to help me sew a straight line and ensure I leave enough room for the elastic.
With sewing machine: Fold over 2.5 cm of fabric (wrong sides together) around the entire edge of the sheet and iron down. Then fold that in again and iron, so that your raw edges are now folded away. Now with your sewing machine, sew a straight stitch around the edge leaving room to allow for an elastic band. Don’t close the stitch, so you can thread through your elastic (I left a 8 cm gap).
Now cut a 120 cm length of elastic. safety pin one end near the gap you’ve left, and attach a safety pin to the other end. Now, take the free end and thread it through your seam. Unpin your the ends and overlap by about 4 cm. Sew this overlap together with a zigzag stitch, stretching the elastic as you sew. Now close the gap you left with a straight stitch.
You did it! You’ve just sewn a sheet with your very own hands! This works for larger bed sizes as well as long as you can find wide enough fabric.