My husband and I are putting together the baby room. We've got shelves, a bassinet, a comfy chair, a cradle and as of last week, the crib that all four of the children in my family used. It's a gorgeous maple crib made in Sweden in 1971. My father bought it in England when he was going to school there before my brother was born.
I love being able to use family heirlooms. Our family doesn't go very far back so means even more to me to keep things that have history.
I soon discovered the downside to this priceless piece of furniture when we tried to find a sheet at Babies R Us. Looks as though the crib mattress (which thankfully is in pristine condition) is an irregular size and stores just don't carry a fitted sheet in its dimensions.
So let's sew one! It was pretty easy. The hardest part was cutting, honestly. Here's how to make a fitted sheet for your crib mattress.
Two yards of 100 per cent cotton fabric (length depending on dimensions of mattress)
36 inches of 1/4-inch wide elastic
Prewash your fabric to make sure it's preshrunk.
Measure your mattress' width, length and depth. Ours was 23"x48"x4". I decided I wanted the sheet to wrap around the mattress by three inches, making the depth of the sheet 7 inches. I didn't take into account seam allowance and hem, but it seemed to work out just fine for me. You may want to consider adding 3.5 or 4 inches to the depth to compensate.
Since the depth on each side of the sheet will be 7 inches, I added that length to each side of the sheet, or rather, added 14 inches to the width and the length, thus making the dimension of my sheet 37"x62".
Cut your fabric to the proper dimensions.
Cut 7"x7" squares out of each corner of the fabric. Discard the cut squares.
Turn under and iron the edges of the sheet. Turn under and iron again so you have no raw edges. Pin and sew hem on all sides.
In the areas you cut out the squares, pin the fabric right sides together where the raw edges still are. Sew each corner. You should now have a somewhat baggy fitted sheet.
Place on the mattress to make sure it's a good fit. If it's too baggy, increase the seam allowance of all four corner seams.
Next, cut your elastic into four 9-inch lengths. Find the center of one piece of elastic and line it up with one of the corner seams. Pin or hold in place. While holding or pinning the middle part of the elastic to the hem, stretch the elastic on the right edge as far as it will go and mark where the end of the elastic hits on the inside of the hem. This is where you'll start sewing the elastic.
Sew elastic in place and backstitch. Now stretch the elastic along the edge while you're sewing. The fabric should ripple up behind the sewing machine foot as you sew. Sew the length of the elastic, stretching it all the while. When you get to the end, backstitch in place.
Repeat this for the three other corners.
That's it! It's not quite as snug as a store bought sheet, but it does the job and you can pick whatever fabric you want.