Make, Do and Mend

The cyber-diary of what this homemaker makes, does and sometimes mends.
My motto is "if you do stuff, stuff gets done"

Monday, April 22, 2013

Repairing sheets that won't stay tucked down on the mattress corners.

Green, Frugal and Easy!

The bottom sheets on our bed are older but still fine- except for the elastic in the corners that has lost all its stretch.  So they may pop off in the night and that makes for a very uncomfortable way to wake up.

I shopped online to buy new sheets but did not see anything I just loved.  I like old fashioned percale sheets- and don't want those gauzy 200 count sheets, or microfiber sheets or those luxury high count sheets.  We've had 2 sets of those thread count sheets and they did not wear well at all,  the threads popped and gave them an all over snagged look.

Anyway,  it dawned me that I could just try to replace that worn elastic. 

So,  last week,  I added new elastic to the sheets after I laundered them.  It literally just took 15 minutes.  
Those sheets have been used almost a week and are staying tucked under perfectly!  

Since the first project was success,  I decided to repair the rest of the sheets that needed it. 

When I looked in the linen cabinet for the red print set,  I discovered there was a 3rd set of  queen sheets, that fit our bed,  also needing elastic.  

from the right side
You want the elastic to look like this,  with gathers,  so it will curve around the under corner of the mattress.  

from the wrong side

that is some worn out, sad looking elastic on the corner of this sheet.  

To repair the elastic,  you need 4 pieces of elastic- I used 1/2 inch and 3/8 inch because that is what I already had- and cut each length about 1 foot long.  
Then pin the center of each strip of elastic to the corner of your sheet.  
Now, holding the center of the corner, stretch one end about 6 more inches and pin.  
Then machine sew- stretching the elastic as you sew.  


then, pulled tight whiled I sewed.  

shown from the right side.
This is a set of vintage-y sheets,  just bought a few weeks ago at the $1 a bag rummage sale.
They are full size and would never work on a real thick mattress but they will be great on either bed in our 2 guest rooms.  

Elastic is sold several different ways.
You may be able to have a clerk cut and it buy it by the yard.
There should be small length packages with the notions,  usually about a yard, enough  for one  garment.
But the most economical way I have found is to by a big package of it.
This package is 6 yards and I think was about $1 at Walmart.

And if you don't sew and still want to fix your sheets,  you could buy a set of sheet garters that fasten around each corner.  I saw them at Joanns Fabrics for about $4 for a set.

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  1. Thanks for the suggestion & instrutions! I have about 4 fitted sheets that need new elastic. I'll put this on my 'to do list'.


  2. Now that is a great idea! Thanks for the instructions, too....that will come in handy! I think I have some sheets that could use this...Taylor's are always popping off his mattress!

  3. the elastic is really cheap and it goes a long way. Definitely better than having to replace sheets or dealing with sheets slipping off the mattress.

  4. I realized while reading this that I truly am addicted to old/vintage sheets. You have a great tutorial Rhonda, but my eyes glazed over at the mention of sheets...LOL
    blessings, jill

    1. Jilly, I always think of you when I see vintage sheets anywhere. :)
      you are the Queen of Vintage Sheets.

  5. What a great idea, why buy new sheets when you can repair your old. I am like that too, and I love the old percale sheets, too. They have substance to them.
    Have a great day.
    Hugs, Cindy

    1. exactly Cindy, I just like the way the older percale sheets feel.

  6. Good idea!

    I've used those sheet garters before and they work really well.

  7. I love our old sheets!! Thanks for sharing, breaking in new sheets is for the birds

  8. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I think I could even do this.

    1. it really is easy Precious, and no one will ever see it either since all the sewing will be hidden under the corners

  9. I've gone online this week to look up how to make one of my two top sheets into a fitted bottom. I can buy new sheets in the future, but this would at least allot us a second pair for right now. I even pulled some really really old sheets (fifteen years!) from the barrel in the shed to use just to help piece out what we have. I didn't get to choose these last sheets and I am mightily disappointed in them. Mama believes the higher the thread count the better. I like percale myself in no more than a 220 or 230 count. Certainly these 'better' sheets haven't proven to be anywhere near the value of those older sheets.


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