August 10th, 2010

All my kids have odd size beds. Our bedrooms are quite small, so to fit all the kids in them we got two extendable beds from Ikea. My son has the leksvik and my daughter has the super cute minnen.  They start out about toddler size and then you can make them longer as the children get, well, longer.  The baby has a wooden travel crib, sort of like this, that I got off craigslist for next to nothing. He is just about to outgrow it, which sucks because it fits perfectly in the corner of our room.

The Ikea beds are kind of awesome and kind of annoying (that pretty much describes everything at Ikea, doesn’t it?).  The only sheets that fit them are of course at Ikea and they are uncharacteristically boring: I think the options were red or blue. This past week I finally got around to making some fitted sheets for everyone. I made them out of vintage sheets I picked up at the thrift store:  sheet from sheets–not my most creative moment.

There are a bunch of tutorials out there on how to make fitted sheets, so I won’t bore you with how I did it (though, if there are a lot of you out there with these Ikea beds I could rustle up the measurements I used).  Between these sheets and the thousand pairs of elastic waist pants I’ve made, I am done with the whole pushing the safety pin through the casing crap. I know there is a tool out there that makes this bearable, isn’t there? When I find it I’m going to retire my extra large, sad, bent up safety pin.

Posted in sewing.

32 Responses to sheets

  1. Jamie says:

    Yes, there is a tool to help with that– it’s called a bodkin. Probably $4 in the notions section of any fabric store. You still have to feed it through the casing, but I think it’s a lot easier. I have two since I’m always looking for one!

  2. meg says:

    yay! thanks jamie!

  3. Monique says:

    So this is maybe a little archaic, but I use a 1/4 inch dowel with a thumb tack on the end to hold the elastic to the dowel. The dowel is slender enough to go through nearly all of the casings I make. It’s a 26 cent investment and works very, very well. I’ve also used it as a tube turner.

    I have a hardware store nearby, but not a craft store, so I just make due with what I can find!

  4. Monique says:

    p.s. I do not use a full length dowel — I broke it into two pieces. I have one short piece that I use on things like waist bands and other circular items that don’t work well with long sticks. The longer piece works best with straightish projects.

  5. Cricket says:

    I’ve thought about getting a pair of minnen beds for my girls. Our bedrooms are tiny, and there are only two of them. There’s no way to fit two twin beds in either one of the rooms. And while I could justify buying the bed, and the new mattress – reluctantly – buying those ugly sheets for the beds just put me over the edge. I finally bought one kid a toddler bed and called it a day. But she won’t fit in it forever, so I will keep your idea in mind.

    Incidentally, I had a set of those rainbow sheets when I was a kid. I’m kind of anal and it drove me crazy that the colors were in the right order, but yet not.

  6. melissa says:

    meg, I made a set of sheets for my bed from a very fancy duvet I found- and I just hemmed the edges of the fitted sheet, including the corners, then zig-zagged skinny elastic to the corners- about ten inches from each side so that it got nice and tight, you know? I didn’t bother running elastic through, and it’s worked fine.

  7. Hashi says:

    Oh my, I love the wooden chinese checkers board on the wall. I have one that belonged to my mother as a child. The ‘marbles’ are made from painted quandong seeds ( It’s one of my prized possessions :-)

  8. Sascha says:

    We use a mini crib for the baby (12 months old) and am I crazy to hope he will fit in it until he is ready for his big boy bed? This crib fits in our room perfectly. I’ve had to make custom bedding for the crib but it’s not so bad. At least it’s a lot of straight lines!

  9. julia says:

    sheet from sheets! i think that’s pretty clever.

    and i always wondered what a bodkin was.

  10. Valerie says:

    We have an Ikea bed–I hate their sheets too!!

  11. Antoinette says:

    Yeah, I was also going to suggest to skip the casing and zig-zag the elastic right to the perimeter of the sheet. You could also turn that under and zigzag again to enclose the elastic if that bothers you, provided you have enough in the seam allowance. My mom made a couple of changing pad covers for my son when he was a baby, and she sewed right onto the sheet and it looked great from the right side!

  12. amanda says:

    1. Love your linens.
    2. Love your walls.
    3. You, my friend, need fold-over elastic. It’s the best! :D

  13. jen says:

    that rainbow pillowcase! it’s mine from when i was 11! i’m suddenly transported by my bedroom, where the walls were lined with duran duran posters and my fingernails were neon green.

  14. Dana says:

    Seriously. Ikea. Awesome and annoying. Perfect description. I love what you did. Beautiful sheets. Way more character than store bought. Thanks for the link Meg!

  15. Timshel says:

    This is SO great! I have been collecting a bunch of old vintage sheets and this is a great idea to replace the crib sheets I can’t seem to find in my basement :). Does anybody know of a tutorial for the simpler way (of zigzagging the elastic) for crib size sheets? Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. samlamb says:

    great sheets-from-sheets. and we have that same xylophone/piano thingy too.

    milo just moved out of our room into his own room, which is super small. small houses do make for some interesting furniture (and people) arrangements!

  17. Stephanie says:

    We have the minnen too. We just extended it to add an extra third when I discovered my daughter’s feet AND ankles hanging out through the bars. Now the bed looks comically long even though there’s still room to grow. I think I’m not ready for her to be too big for the toddler bed yet!

  18. Jodie Davidson says:

    Love your linens. I have never attempted fitted sheets, but I have done dozens of elastic waist garments and I never thread elastic through, I insert elastic and make the casing in one step. Cut the elastic the size needed, allow for about a 1 inch overlap, try it around the garment owners waist to check, then overlap the ends and sew together (I zig zag back and forth about a dozen times. Neaten the raw edge of the top of the trousers/skirt. Mark the elastic into quarters, then the waist of your garment into quarters (with trousers you already have side and crotch seams). Then you put your ring of elastic inside the garment, fold the casing down over the top and pin the two bits of fabric at each quarter. Then sew down your casing as normal, but hold and stretch the elastic out flat as you sew. Work you way around back to the beginning. Casing is done and elastic is inserted. Hope that makes sense.

  19. profesora 13 says:

    i love the vintage sheets you used to make the sheets :) and about elastic in the casing, ha! i don’t even bother half the time, I just stretch the elastic to what i think is good and just sew it down with a zig-zag stitch, then fold over, iron down the extra/fold under (so it goes under the elastic or creates) and sew along the edge (top stitch), making sure I get the folded under part (did that make any sense?). oh well, it actually looks pretty nice and works for me.

  20. amy says:

    thank u so much for this! I’ve been trying to get the math right to make these sheets! so useful and much appreciated!

  21. emily says:

    that pillowcase! it’s from my childhood. my daughter uses it on her bed now. but i wish i could steal it back. because i love it so.

  22. Mom says:

    When Hamlet talks about ending one’s life with a “bare bodkin,” it’s hard to picture him threading elastic.
    (sorry, Meg)

  23. Becky says:

    Sheets from sheets is a great idea!

  24. Amy says:

    Great sheets. I always hope to find some lovely vintage ones, but I only seem to come across the polyester blend ones that are pilled. Bleck.

  25. Timshel says:

    thank you everybody for the help and tutorials! I love this idea and can;t wait to do some of my own tonight!!