Fancy Sheets Tutorial

I am NOT a sewer (uh, seamstress?).  I’m barely a knitter.  But knitting blogs meld into sewing blogs and all of a sudden, I’m writing a tutorial.

Okay, let’s be honest.  I’m writing the how-to for this project before I do it so that I don’t just jump in without planning, mess it up, and waste my fabric.  If someone else wants to use my instructions, it will probably be more because the project itself turns on a lightbulb in someone’s mind.

So you want fancy sheets.  You have a color scheme in mind.  And you troll the internet searching and searching and searching for the perfect sheets.  After hours upon hours, you have found… nada.  Here’s what you do:

1. Order some plain white sheets (or buy them in an actual store; I suppose some people still do that!)

2. Go to the fabric store (or order online!) and be completely overwhelmed by the options.  Find a quilting fabric that suits your color scheme.  Or hey, splurge and find two fabrics! (Only do the second if you’ve ordered two sets of sheets.)

  • For twin bed sheets you will need: 2 yards
  • For full: 2 1/2 yards
  • For queen: 3 yards
  • For king: 3 1/2 yards (You need 3 yards and an inch for king.)

3. Do all the things you are supposed to do with fabric before you sew with it. (Wash, iron.)

4. You are ready to cut your fabric.

  • For each pillow case, cut a strip of fabric 6″ by 41″
  • For a twin sheet, cut a strip of fabric 6″ by 67″
  • For a full sheet, 6″ by 82″
  • For a queen sheet, 6″ by 91″
  • For a king sheet, you’re probably far beyond the handcrafted sheet phase.  If not, 6″ by 109″

5. Fold each of the long edges over, wrong side to wrong side, about 1/2″, and pin.  (The reason why the measurements don’t add up right in my picture is because somehow I managed to cut crooked. Not that this is a huge shocker. I also managed to cut strips for two sets of sheets at once, even though I only meant to cut for one. Maybe you shouldn’t be following my instructions!)

6. Machine baste each of the edges. (For sewing novices like me, this means to make your stitch length as long as you can on your sewing machine, and also sew without backstitching on either end.)

7. Take your pillowcase fabric. Fold it in half, right sides facing, short edges together, and sew 1/2″ from the edge.  Press the seam open.  You now have a 40″ circumference.

8. On each strip of fabric, fold one edge over about 1/2″. Pin, press, and then remove the pins and the thread from basting that edge.

9. For the sheet, pin your strip of fabric along the wide hem of your store-bought sheet so that the 1/2″ fold from step 7 covers the edge of the sheet.

10. Topstitch across both edges of the strip of fabric.  Remove the basting thread that hadn’t been removed already.

11. For the pillowcase, line up your strip of fabric with the pillowcase opening, again with the 1/2″ fold overlapping the edge of the pillowcase.  Make sure to line up the seam in your fabric with one of the pillowcase seams.  Topstitch around both edges of the fabric.  Remove your basting thread.

Voila! Fancy sheets.

(Pictures would be helpful. I took pictures of the first few steps while doing the prep work, then the sheets didn’t come in the mail in time, so I had to go to the store after all, and then my parents were with me so I didn’t think about pictures, and well, no pictures. What can I say.)

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