How to Make Sheets

You don't have to limit your choices for bed sheets to what manufacturers offer--you can make your own. This can save you money if you find fabric on sale and always allows you to custom-make sheets in a wide choice of prints and fabrics. The biggest drawback to making your own sheets is that all sizes other than a twin fitted sheet will require a seam or seams. However, if the seams are pressed open and stitched down, they are not uncomfortable to lie on. Appropriate fabric includes fine cotton, cotton blends, flannel, jersey knit (T-shirt fabric) and satin. Jersey knit often is sold in 60-inch widths, but most woven fabrics are available only in 45-inch widths. This article will teach you how to sew fitted bottom sheets and flat top sheets for conventional mattresses.

Fitted Bottom Sheet

  1. The finished measurements for fitted bottom sheets are: twin, 39-by-75 inches; extra-long twin, 39-by-80 inches; full or double, 54-by-75 inches; queen, 60-by-80 inches; and king, 76-by-80 inches. To the desired finished length for all sizes, add 2 inches. Cut to length.

  2. For twin sizes, cut the fabric to 41 inches wide. For full size, cut two pieces each 28½ inches wide. For queen size, cut three pieces 21½ inches wide; for king, cut three pieces 26¾ inches wide.

  3. If needed, sew pieces together to create the correct width. Zig-zag each edge individually to finish raw edges. Press open the seam or seams and topstitch through both thicknesses on either side of the seam(s).

  4. Round off each corner to create a gentle curve. Turn under ½ inch twice on all sides and stitch down.

  5. Cut a 6-inch length of ¼-inch elastic. Stretch to 9 inches and pin to each corner. Zig-zag through elastic and sheet.

Flat Top Sheet

  1. The finished size for flat top sheets are twin, 66-by-96 inches; extra long twin, 66-by-102 inches; full, 81-by-96 inches; queen, 90-by-102 inches; and king, 108-by-102 inches.

  2. To the desired finished length for all sizes, add 6 inches. Cut fabric.

  3. Cut the width of sheets as follows: For twin, cut two pieces 35½ inches wide; for full, cut two pieces 43 inches wide; for queen, cut three pieces 32 inches wide; for king, cut three pieces 38 inches wide.

  4. Piece strips together to create the appropriate width. Sew, press and topstitch as described for fitted sheets.

  5. On each side and at the foot of the sheet, fold under 1 inch twice and stitch down. At the top, fold under 1 inch, then another 3 inches. Stitch across the bottom of the 3-inch hem.

About the Author

Deborah H. Schreiben is a freelance writer and an editor with more than 15 years experience in the field of journalism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Almeda University. Her writing has appeared on various online sites and in Midwest newspapers.