Bedding tutorial #4-a cover (sheet) for the mattress

We are going to make a cover to help keep that mattress clean! You know how dolls can be sometimes–crawl into bed with dirty feet, eat cookies and crackers while they read in bed. The nerve! We want to keep that nice new mattress clean, and this is just the thing to do it with.

This is not going to be like a conventional fitted sheet for one main reason. If you were to try and use elastic like is on a traditional sheet, it would pull our little mattress out of shape, taking away the realism aspect to it. Instead, we are making a pocket or pouch type cover for our mattress. I can’t take full credit for this idea either, this is something I learned how to do many, many years ago from my mom, she used this technique to make covers for throw pillows. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used this method to do the same, it makes them easy to take on and off for laundering purposes.

First you need to decide which fabrics you want to use for the front and the back. Just like with the rest of the project, you have full control. I decided to use the floral fabric for the front side and the polka dot fabric for the back. For your front piece, you will need to cut it the same size as the fabric you cut for the mattress. My mattress pieces were cut 12 inches x 21 1/4 inches, so I cut my floral fabric the same dimensions. You are going to cut two pieces of fabric to make the back piece. To figure out what size they need to be–you’ll need to cut the width the same as the other piece, so the width on both of my pieces will be 12 inches. To calculate the length, take the length of the larger piece and divide it in half (for mine that would be 10 5/8 inches). Round up to the next whole inch (for me, to 11 inches) and then add two more inches (making my total 13 inches). Cut two pieces to these calculated dimensions. Honest, it’s going to make complete sense really soon!

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First thing you need to do is take the two back pieces and on one of the sides that are the same width measurement as the large piece (on mine, 12 inch) , press it down 1/4 inch and then again 1/2 inch:
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Now pin that securely and stitch it down:
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Both pieces should look like this when finished:
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Make sure that you have all 3 pieces pressed nice and flat before going on to this next step. Lay your largest piece on a flat surface, right side up. Lay one of the smaller pieces on top of that, right side down (so that both right sides are facing each other). Line up the piece so that the unsewn end lines up with the edge of the large piece, the stitched part should hit somewhere just past the middle:
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Now pin those two pieces together, pinning the bottom part the entire way and the sides about 2/3 of the way.
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Now take the other small piece and do the same at the other end. This time pin the sides the rest of the way, making sure to pin where the two pieces overlap securely.
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Now sew a 1/2 inch seam allowance around the outside of all four sides.
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Where your two pieces overlapped, you should have an opening–you can reach through there and turn the piece right side out now!
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Here you can see both sides, I love these two fabrics together!

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At this point I recommend putting it on the mattress just to make sure that it fits. It’s a whole lot easier to adjust this if it doesn’t fit at this point rather than later! If it seems loose, you may need to re-sew the whole way around, just making a bigger seam allowance. If it’s too tight, you may have to get the seam ripper and take out the seams and re-sew with a smaller seam allowance. If you’ve done everything right as far as measuring and sewing though, it should fit nicely. I didn’t pull it super tight and push out the corners just yet because we aren’t quite done.

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Remove it from the mattress and turn it wrong side out again. Now zigzag stitch around all four sides, farther out towards the edge of the seam. This will prevent raveling if you have to launder this piece. As you can see from this picture, my fabric already has a tendency to ravel!
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You don’t need to trim the corners on this piece because it isn’t a super tight fit, nor is it being top stitched. Once you have zigzag stitched around all four sides, trim any hanging strings and turn it back to right side out. This time you can use something to make sure your corners are pushed out the whole way. (I personally love a clean chopstick for this, it is pointed without being sharp).

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Put your cover on your mattress and you’re done!

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Here it is on the “bed”:

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The “flip” side!  I love making this and the blanket reversible because it gives you so many options.

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Here I made it up two different ways so you can see how versatile the pieces are by using two different coordinated fabrics:

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I hope you enjoyed this part of the tutorial!  Next week I will be showing you how to make a fitted cover for the box.  See you then!

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