Beautiful crib, right? Notice something different from a regular crib? That's right, it isn't a rectangular mattress! It is super cute, and space saving, but it also means sheets are harder to come by. Not any more, because now with little more than a trip to the fabric store you can have sheets in any print available to you. Don't let the shape scare you away, in fact, it seems to be less work than that of a regular sheet! Let's begin...
-Pre-washed fabric (We'll talk about how much is needed in a moment)(Pre-washed so that it has a chance to shrink)
-1/4" elastic (Again, we'll talk about that in a bit)
-Coordinating thread (or not, sometimes that is just as fun)
-Fabric chalk, pencil or pen
Now, we're gonna need to do a bit of math before we run off to buy fabric. Don't worry, it isn't much math. The mattress I fitted for a sheet is ~48" at its longest and 27" at its middle. There is a 4" depth. What this meant for me was that I could easily use a regular 45" cotton fabric for this project. Let the diagram below help to explain (and please excuse the sub-par drawing)...
So the diagram shows that with 45" fabric I have plenty of room to work with. The mattress is 27" wide, and two "sides" of the mattress equal 8". This adds up to 35", the difference from the width of the fabric is 10". That means, split between the two sides you're adding 5" to the 4" depth of the mattress and measuring out 9" on all sides of the mattress. (Side note, yes we have done all of this math, but once you've washed your fabric it may turn out you only have 44" of width after all. Just go with what you have!)
Now to figure out how much fabric we actually need! Because our fabric has shrunk, we'll say that an 8" give on all sides is what we're doing. The mattress length is ~48" plus two "sides" of 8" give comes out to 64". This is how much fabric we actually need, 1.78 yards. But, because of how much the fabric might shrink and cutting loss from non-straight cutting, I rounded up to 2 yards of each of my fabrics.
OK, you've purchased and washed your fabrics. I recommend ironing them just so everything lays out flat. You'll need somewhere to lay everything out when you're ready to measure and cut. I just made some carpet space, a large table would probably make things easier. Lay out your fabric, place your mattress on top and try your best to center it between sides of the fabric. Take your ruler and verify you've found your center, you should be approximately 8" away from the width of the fabric. This would be a good starting point, measure from the side of your mattress to the edge of the fabric at the side and assuming it is about 8" you will make a mark every inch or so around the mattress at that measurement. Once cut it will look something like this.
I made more than one, for obvious reasons, and used my first one as a pattern piece to cut out the rest of the fabrics. To make it easier on myself I folded the first one twice so that it was a quarter of its actual size and folded the others this way as well. I laid the first one on top of each and cut along the edge.
Now to the sewing machine! As I went along I would fold over about 1/4" and used a straight stitch. This part was fairly easy, but take your time because it could go awry very quickly. Once that is all done I folded over about 5/8" and stitched down, leaving an opening for when I insert the elastic. This part was a little more tricky, with the curves and all. You'll need to make some folds to accommodate for the rounding of the ends.
As for the elastic, many sources for bassinet sheets suggest starting out with a piece of elastic the same length as the fabric you are working with. In this case that would be about 64". Pin one end of the elastic to the opening and use another pin to feed the elastic through the pocket you've sewn up. Once you've done that you can pin the ends together and try it out on your mattress. If maybe you want the sheet to be a little more taught you can take in the amount of elastic. I ended up having about 60" of elastic for this sheet. I folded in the ends of the elastic and hand sewed it up once this was decided.
At this point all you need to do is sew up that opening you left for inserting the elastic and you've got yourself a nice, handmade crib sheet! Pat yourself on the back for this one! Not only did you make it yourself, in no time at all, but you saved yourself a ton of money!
Have a great weekend everybody!