Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Tutorial: How to sew kindy sheets WFMW

I've been sewing kindy sheets for about 12 years and making a little bit of money along the way*.

The kindy I sew for needs sheets which have a finished size of 65cm by 125cm, with a drawstring bag which has a finished size of 45cm by 45cm. The sizes don't need to be exact, but should be fairly close. If in doubt with the bag it can be a bit bigger.

Finished sheet sets

These sheets are good for two reasons. Firstly, the bottom sheet with the open elastic corners is much easier for young children to put on and take off by themselves than regular fitted sheets (such as cot sheets). If you wanted to encourage your young child to make his or her own bed at home, bottom sheets like these would be easier to put on and take off than regular sheets while your child is still learning. Secondly, the bag is big enough that the children can put the sheets in themselves.

There are two main ways to make the sheets. Firstly you can make the top sheet and the bottom sheet as one piece each, either from two separate pieces of coordinating fabric or all from the same fabric. The second way is to add a strip of coordinating fabric to one or both sheets. If you do this it is usually a more efficient use of fabric and can make for a really cute set, but does take more sewing.

I've used both an overlocker (serger) and a sewing machine in this tutorial. You can just use a sewing machine if you don't have an overlocker - indeed, that's what I did for a long time before I had an overlocker.

Making the sheets
1. Cut out the two sheets. In this case I have cut 127cm x 67cm as I will be using an overlocker to do a rolled hem on the edges. If you want to use a sewing machine to hem the edges (with a fold over hem) then you will need a bigger seam allowance depending on how deep you want to make your hem. For sheets with a strip see step two.

2. If you are adding a strip of fabric to one or both sheets, then your total length needs to be 125cm + seam allowance for the strip joining + hem allowance for top and bottom.

Two sheets cut and pinned to add a strip to the top

3. Sew the strip on if you are adding one, then hem all four sides of the sheet. Repeat for the other sheet. Tie off threads and trim. Iron sheet if you feel so inclined.
Sewing the strip for the top of the sheet

4. On one sheet only (which ever one you want to be the bottom sheet) stitch a 20 - 25cm piece of elastic across each corner. Make sure stitching is secure.

Stitching the elastic to the bottom sheet corner

Sewn elastic on the corner of the bottom sheet (wrong side)

Making the bag
The bag can be made from smaller pieces of fabric sewn together or from a larger piece.

1. If you are stitching smaller pieces together - pin, sew and iron them to get two 50-ish cm squares or one piece which is 100cm by 50cm (ish). It's ok if the squares are a bit bigger. Pin right sides together.

Front (and back) of pinned bag - wrong side out

2. Sew three sides (or two sides plus the fold) leaving the top open.

3. Zig zag or overlock the raw edges on the opening. If you have the selvages on the opening (like I do in the photo) then you can skip this step.

4. Fold the top down 2 - 3 cm, iron and pin. Stitch the drawstring closed leaving a 2 cm gap.

Pinning for the drawstring pocket
Stitching the drawstring pocket

5. Cut a piece of ribbon or cord which is 5 - 10 cm longer than the drawstring pocket. Pin a safety pin through one end and feed it through the gap from step 4. Remove the pin and tie a secure knot in the ribbon or cord.

6. Tie off and trim all threads and turn bag right side out. Pop sheets inside and enjoy!

If you are making mutiple sets, make sure that each bag is different so that the children can recognise their own.

* Kindy sheet sets don't make much money when you factor in your time, however if you are looking for a way to finance your hobby, you make a small profit if you don't take into account your time. I actually enjoy the sewing so I'm happy to count it as recreation which works for me.

Since I never waste a scrap of fabric, I've also linked this to Waste-not Wednesday.


  1. Do you have a picture of the finished sheet set?

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