Friday, 24 August 2012

The frugal seamstress strikes again

Three days ago I put my foot through one of our two double fitted sheets.

It had been looking sorry for itself for some time (three holes and a patch that was nearly a hole). But putting my foot through it confirmed its demise. The tearing probably had something to do with two years I've spent trying to squeeze a normal double fitted sheet over a super-thick orthopedic mattress (hey, what's a girl supposed to do?)

In our random mismatched pile of laundry - the one that's in the bike-helmet-sheets-n'-pillowcases-washing-powder-and-shoe-polish cupboard - we have two double flat sheets.

I don't like them.

Firstly, one is a remnant of the 1980s (or possibly 70s) and is the colour of pale coffee.

Or rather (once you've experienced the pleasure of children) the colour of post-coca-cola-party-child-vomit.

Although I don't like it, in the budget-limited state we are in at the moment, and having just wrecked one of our two 'good' sheets 'not liking the colour' isn't a decent enough excuse not to use it.

But I do have another reason. Our mattress is heavy. Flat sheets are tricky. Trying to get hospital corners, or tbh ANY corners using a flat sheet on our mattress requires hiring an Olympic shot putter with six arms (that's three to hold the mattress up, the other three to tuck the ends in). Average housewife-power just doesn't cut the mustard, particularly when it belongs to a weedy women with a bad back and a predisposition to loathing any form of housework.

Fortunately while browsing the internet for something completely different I came across this tutorial to make a flat sheet into a fitted sheet.

I already have a bag of random bits of elastic from our local scrapstore. My sewing machine is functioning and we are (for now at least) on reasonably good terms . (Admittedly it does sound like a bag of spanners being dragged by a tractor because I don't give it the tlc it requires, but we'll glide over that one). It even likes ONE of my reels of cotton (all the others, it eats) that just happened to be an ok colour, and the needle wasn't broken. We had lift off.

We came, we sewed, we conquered.

The tutorial worked. The maths was a bit iffy (surprisingly all those quadratic equations I did in my A level maths don't teach you how to turn flat sheets into fitted), and I didn't have a fancy cutting square measuring thingy (or whatever they say you need) and one sheet was much  bigger than the other, (so if you plan to have a go, DO measure your sheets and don't assume they are all the same size). But with a bit of botching it came right in the end.

I cut and pinned the four corners. Then I found it easiest (i.e. I learnt by my mistakes) to sew two neighbouring corners before doing a quick fitting just to check whether there is any need to adjust the other two corners to fit. Then I finished off with a sort of elasticky stitch on my machine that I didn't even know existed until my friend at Orange and Green gave me some instructions on how to sew stretchy material. I used longer pieces of elastic than the flat sheet tutorial showed, because to me 6 inches didn't seem long enough. [No. Don't go there.]

I was going to take a photo, but then thought what kind of nutter takes a photo of their bedsheets?
It was one of those sane days, so I didn't.

If interested, just google and you'll find plenty more tutorials online, (such as this one)

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