Flannel crib sheets are one of my favorite baby gifts. Although they're perfect for cold winter nights, flannel crib sheets are hard to find in stores (at least for me!), and even then, your choices are always limited. So I like to make my own!
- 2 yards of 45-inch flannel (or any other fabric) (1 7/8 m of 1.1m wide fabric)
- 48 inches of elastic [I use 3/8 inch] (1.2 m of 1 cm elastic)
- Washer & dryer
- Measuring tape
- Rotary cutter
- Sewing machine
Wash and dry your fabric. I know, I know, I promised you fast and this will take at least an hour. It may not be lightning quick, but sewing with fabric that might shrink later is the fastest way to ruin the project and waste your time! Trim off loose threads on the end if they're too tangled for the fabric to lay flat. Measure the exact width and length of your fabric. If it's longer than 71 inches (1.25m), or wider than 45 inches (1.15m), you'll want to either trim it down to that size or take that into account when you cut out the corners.
Now, fold the fabric into quarters, matching all the corners carefully. Using a rotary cutter, cut out an 8 inch (20cm) square of the corner where all the fabric edges meet.
Zig zag or serge the raw edges. They raw edges are less than 30 inches (75 cm) now. I actually did a 1/2 inch (1 cm) hem, folded twice, in the example and I made the square one inch deeper on the side perpendicular to the raw edge to compensate.
Sew the corners together. In each corner, pin right sides together. If they don't match perfectly, line up the outside corners/edges of the sheet. Sew the sides together, backstitching at both ends. Trim the excess if the fabric isn't even. Serge or zig zag stitch over the edge. Repeat on each corner.
Pin in the elastic. Cut four 12 inch (30 cm) pieces of elastic. Fold a piece of elastic in half and mark the middle. Pin that to a corner seam. Measure 12 inches (30 cm) from that corner down one edge, and pin the elastic there. Repeat on the other side of the elastic. I like to pin all the corners before sewing any of them.
Sew the elastic. With a wide stitch width and a short stitch length on a zig zag stitch, tack down one end of the elastic. Once you have enough of the elastic sewn down, make sure the needle is through the elastic and lift the foot.
Turn the fabric 90 degrees (so the corner seam is closer to you) and lower the foot again. Make the stitch length longer. Hold the elastic and the corner seam where you pinned tightly with your thumb and index finger, and pull the fabric taut, stretching the elastic out.
Sew the elastic to the fabric until you reach the seam, ending with the needle in the elastic. Stretch the other half of the elastic to match the fabric and sew until you're almost at the end of the elastic. End with the needle in the elastic. Lift the foot and turn the fabric 90 degrees. Lower the foot. Switch the stitch length back to short and tack down the other end of the elastic.
Voila! You're done!
Don't want to make your crib sheets quite so fast? Here are some more custom details you can use:
- Hem the raw edges, or all the edges.
- Enclosed or French seams on the corners: pin them wrong sides together and sew a scant seam allowance. Iron. Pin right sides together, and sew a wider seam allowance.
- Full elastic: sew a tube or wide seam around the full length of the sheet, leaving the end open. Get a long piece of elastic narrower than the width of the tube. Stick a safety pin in the end of the elastic for better grip. Thread it through the entire perimeter, often redistributing the bunching. Tie the elastic ends together once you reach the end. Try it on the mattress if you can and adjust the gathers and pull the elastic so the sheet is snug. Sew the ends together and sew up the hole in the elastic casing.
What's your favorite fast baby gift?