achievement unlocked: queen-sized fitted sheet

this is a project that has been on my to-do list for many a moon.


jared is very relieved that it’s finally done.

we were down to our last fitted sheet, & the elastic on it was completely worn out. on more than one occasion, i inadvertently tucked myself in under the fitted sheet in the dark because it had come untucked, & then wondered why i felt so constrained. (it was because jared was asleep on the other half of the sheet.) jared washed the sheet the other day & asked if i could put in some new elastic. i decided that, rather than do that, i’d just make us a new sheet like i’d been promising to do for like six months.

this sheet required about six yards of fabric. i had to sew a seam down the middle to achieve the correct width, & i had to piece the lower left quadrant because i didn’t have quite enough yardage. one thing i will say: making your own fitted sheets is a pretty great stashbuster project. i never really loved this particular colorway of melody miller’s viewfinder print fabric, & now all i have left is a few scraps. i mean, sure, now i’m technically seeing it everyday because it’s on my bed, but i’m usually asleep when i’m in bed, & i’m a big advocate for making your bed when you’re not in it, so i never really have to look at it.

so. you cut your enormous length of fabric & you cut boxes out of each corner. you hem any unfinished edges (just the top & bottom here because the sides were selvage, which doesn’t unravel & hence does not need to be hemmed), sew your boxes together to make corners, apply elastic to the corners, & done! it’s honestly a pretty fast project if you don’t have to piece much. making crib sheets would be especially easy, because the required width is about 44″–same as the width of fabric from a lot of manufacturers. you wouldn’t have to piece at all! in half an hour or less, you can impress your parent-to-be friends with custom handmade crib sheets. makes a great baby shower gift!

but of course, you can customize your sheets to any size using the following formula:

length = depth of bed x 2 + length of bed + 2

width = depth of bed x 2 + width of bed + 2

square = depth of bed + 2

& then four 12″ pieces of elastic to sew to the corners.

i did flat-felled seams for every seam where i had to piece together the required fabric, to make sure the seams were really flat & strong. a lot of people online are like, “ugh, who wants to have a seam running right down the middle of your sheet?!” well, really, you can put your seams anywhere. you can run them across the width of the sheet instead of the length. you can make the middle of the sheet one big width with two narrower widths sewn to either side. you can be creative with it.

but also, who are these princesses who can’t handle a seam on their sheet? obviously i share my bed with jared, so neither one of us sleeps in the middle. we are each on our own sides. but i sleep in the middle when he’s not around (like if i’m napping) & the seam doesn’t bother me at all. i don’t know if i’m weird or other people have been brainwashed by Big Sheet or what.

the corners should be zigzagged together so they have a little stretch to them. the elastic should be stretched & zigzagged in place, aiming for 10″ or 11″ on either side of each corner.

making this sheet was not particularly complicated, but it wasn’t the most fun i’ve ever had with a sewing project. i kind of felt like i HAD to do it so we’d have a functional sheet to sleep on, like, that night, rather than it being something i wanted to do. & i felt like i was working against the clock because i was trying to get it done during ramona’s nap. i worked super-fast & didn’t really bother to be super-precise with my cutting & stitching. (you will note that some selvage is visible in my piecing. whatevs!)

but you know what? it fits our bed PERFECTLY. we have a lot of random memory foam pads & mattress toppers & stuff on top of our mattress, so we have a deeper-than-average mattress. because this was custom-made to our mattress’s exact measurements, it fits better than any sheet we have ever had. jared even said he thought the mattress was more comfortable with this sheet on it. i will almost certainly make more. i mean, making a sheet is not the most glamorous sewing project, & i was definitely wishing i had an industrial straight stitch machine while i sat there mindlessly sewing a nine-foot seam. even with my foot pedal pushed all the way to the floor, it seemed to be going sooooo slooooooowly. but it’s still a nice feeling to go to sleep every night on something you made yourself! i’ll probably make flannel sheets next, because jared & i just realized like last week, after more than eight years as a couple, that we both like flannel sheets & had been working under the assumption that the other person didn’t.

there you go. 900+ words on sewing a sheet. they said it couldn’t be done, no one could generate that kind of word count over something so dull, but i proved them wrong.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: queen-sized fitted sheet

  1. The funny thing is, I was at Bed Bath & Beyond the other day to pick up my niece’s birthday present and I was totally checking out the sale section to see if they had any flat sheets that I could use for the top/back of a quilt I’m making for LJ that uses hexies that you sew down to the quilt top. I figured it would be easier than cutting and sewing big pieces if I just need a solid colored piece of fabric. So… sort of like the reverse of your project. :p

    Apparently nobody sells individual sheets anymore.

    1. plus sheets are so expensive! i mean, i guess so is buying like six yards of fabric to make a sheet. i’m sure you’ve thought of this, but…thrift store? i got a big pile of flat sheets from a thrift store in lawrence last year for like $1. seriously like six sheets for $1! i’ve been using them for muslins, mostly.

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