Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fitted Sheets

So yesterday I showed you the sweet little cradle that we're borrowing from Noah's sister for the baby to sleep in. Once she starts sleeping through the night, or outgrows the cradle (let's hope she starts sleeping through the night first!), we'll move her to the crib in Abe's room.

Since we didn't use a cradle or bassinet for Abe, we needed some sheets for this one. Being too lazy (or forgetful) to walk all the way back to the baby section at Target to buy sheets, I just decided to make some instead. Weird how laziness sometimes leads to actually doing something creative...

I bought this flannel toile a few years back for a project that I never even started! It's cute and sweet, and I figured the flannel will make the cradle warm and cozy for these last few weeks of winter.

I picked up this polka dot cotton on my last trip to the fabric store. I figured the colors sort of coordinated with the knitted blanket I made for her awhile back.

Abe really wanted to get in on the action...

...so I let him test out the cradle with a "baby sister" stand-in. 

To make your own sheets, you'll need:

3/4 yard of 44" wide fabric (prewashed to prevent shrinking!)
1 yard of 1/4" elastic
safety pin

1. Lay your cradle mattress on top of your fabric. You'll want at least 6 inches of fabric to work with on each side.

2. If your mattress is rectangular, cut a square from each corner that ends about 1/4 inch from the corner of the mattress. If your mattress is oval, trim the corners so you're left with an oval piece of fabric that is at least 6 inches larger than your mattress all the way around. (Then if you're making an oval sheet, skip to step 5.)

3. At each corner, bring the cut edges together and pin. Sew a straight line, starting at the top where the fabric will be folded, down to the unfinished edge. Repeat on the other three corners. 

4. Trim and press those seams open (if desired).

5. Fold 1/2 inch of the unfinished edge of the sheet to the back and press. Fold over again, press, and pin. 

6. Stitch along this fold all the way around the sheet, leaving a 1-2 inch gap (between where you start and stop stitching) to insert the elastic. Make sure to stitch far enough from the edge for the 1/4" elastic to fit through!

7. Attach the end of your elastic to a safety pin and feed it through the pocket created by the fold, stretching the fabric as you go. (Hang onto the other end so it doesn't get pulled in!) 

8. Sew the ends of the elastic together.

9. Pull the elastic into the fold and sew up the gap in the seam.

10. Stretch the fabric to even out the elastic and try it on your mattress. Your sheet should fit snugly with the mattress lying flat.

This fabric was left over from the picnic blankets my sister and I made for my wedding five years ago! I'm working on a plan for some of the other special fabrics I have lying around. Stay tuned for updates on that project...

Oh, and if anyone follows this tutorial and it seems like I left something out, please let me know. I'm not sure my pregnant brain is making any sense these days!


  1. The sheets look great! Thanks for the tips. I have a new niece who is in a little cradle like this right now and I think they just wrap the mattress in a blanket - I might need to share this with my sister :)

  2. Thanks for this! Made an oval sheet for my Stokke Sleepi Mini last night. So easy :)

  3. Thank you for the awesome and easy-to-follow tutorial! I made one today for my sister and it turned out great:)

  4. I LOVED this tutorial!! We have a cradle that doesn't fit a normal sized mattress so I needed to get creative and this was the perfect tutorial! I made one chevron striped sheet and one giraffe patterned one! When it came to adding the elastic, I didn't have a saftey pin, so instead I used a crochet hook. The first time I tried knotting the elastic to the hook part and putting it hook first.. I was almost all the way through and the elastic slid off the hook on one of the corners. The next time, I put the other end (not the hook end) in first and it was AMAZING! It was so quick. The corners were hard to get the elastic around, but I expected that!!
    Thank you so much for the easy to follow tutorial and pictures!

  5. Thanks for the tutorial. I am just finishing up a cradle sheet using your instructions. They were perfect. I just have one teenie tiny question. My cradle mattress measures 34 x 18”. How do I know how much elastic to use

    1. My cradle mattress was about the same size. Three feet of elastic should work for yours too. It will look funny once it’s in, but it will stretch around the mattress and hold the sheet nice and tight!