Author Topic: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet  (Read 19340 times)

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Offline spinslj

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Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« on: April 11, 2010, 12:08:35 AM »
Hi all,

Has anyone tried to replace the worn out elastic on a fitted bedsheet?   I've noticed that some of my favorite fitted sheet elastics have lost their
stretchiness.  I'd like to replace the elastic since the sheets are still crisp and bright and I still love the patterns.  I've been removing slowly the current worn out elastic and I don't think the task is too difficult to replace the elastic.  My concern is I don't have enough of either the right size elastic or won't be able to economically find enough of the length that I need for at least 4 fitted full sheets.. 

Does anyone know of a supplier, preferably discount.  I hope this will not become a very costly project.  Any ideas out there?

Thanks.
Laurie

Offline Pipsy

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2010, 02:16:36 AM »
I have.  I used elastic that is used for bathing suits, the off white stuff - chlorine resistant. This is actually the only type of elastic I buy.  I can't recall how much I used (1 1/2 pkg / db sheet rings a bell but I may be off by 1/2 pkg). The elastic is not really costly. I used shanks as, at the time, I did not have access to that elastic on a roll. I can't recall how much is on a shank and can't check as I take the wrappings off and preshrink it as soon as I purchase it. I purchased the elastic at my local fabric shop, which unfortunately has gone out of business. I did 2 sheets and did not find it difficult, just time consuming sewing the new elastic on and trying to keep it even.  If I were to do it again I think I may just replace the corners depending upon the amount of elasticity gone on the rest of the sheet or do it in sections.
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Offline Serious Sewing

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 06:32:37 PM »
It shouldn't be too hard to find the right elastic for just a few dollars. Another easy way to handle this problem is with a "mitten clip" -- those elastics with clips on each end to hold kids' mittens to their jacket cuffs. Works like a charm to hold fitted sheets in place. I think they also sell the same things specifically for fitted sheets.

Good luck!

Offline Shadowe

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2010, 08:18:11 PM »
Laurie,

If you check in the thread I started about cotton panties I posted a link to a gal on eBay I buy almost ALL my elastics from.  Her prices are downright cheap, and quality and service absolutely awesomeness!




Namaste and Bright Blessings,
Shadowe

Offline justgail

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2010, 05:31:22 PM »
Instead of replacing all the elastic, I just added some sturdy elastic (narrower waistband elastic?) about 1 foot from the corners.   The same as using those mitten-clip type bands, but no clips to work with.  It worked fairly well, I still had to tuck in the sides and ends of the sheets, but they stayed tucked better.  This also works for those fitted sheets that don't fit over the fluffy mattresses.
Gail
U.S. - eastern Iowa
Justgail

Offline Pipsy

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2010, 11:13:58 PM »
Another easy way to handle this problem is with a "mitten clip"
Until I replaced the elastic in my sheets I actually did use 'the mitten clips' and a type of garter for cross corners.  I found both awkward to put on and get the sheets even but I have arthritis in my fingers so that may have been the problem. It was also the reason I resorted to replacing the elastic.  That was so much easier to do once than trying to put on and keep on the clips and garters every wash day.  ::)

Does anyone else have the frustration I have of only being able buy sheets in sets or those that come in singles not being great quality? I use duvet's on my beds and have used 2 sets to make the flat sheets into a duvet cover, but the fitted sheets seem to wear out more often than the flat sheets.  I can only use so many duvet covers, but would like to purchase fitted bottom sheets more often. I can tuck sheets in to tight you could bounce a penny, but fitted sheets are so much easier!!  I still have a few flat cotton sheets that are 40+ years old with little signs of wear.  How I wish I could find some like those these days.  But I don't expect to life that long!!   ;)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 11:25:07 PM by Pipsy »
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Offline AliceB

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2010, 01:39:18 AM »
I've replaced the elastic on many a fitted sheet over the years.  Not being very scientific about such things I grab whatever 1/4-3/8" elastic available and zigzag starting about 18" down the side around the top and bottom ends, a shallow u shape.  This does the job.

About flat sheets, CompanyStore.com and GarnetHill.com both sell single sheets in a variety of fabrications.  I routinely purchase king size top sheets which I cut down by about 10-12" to fit over my super deep queen mattress and use over my duvet.  I've stopped using the duvet cover envelop style because it is just too hard on my poor shoulders to get the comforter inside.  I now use a top sheet over my duvet which is washed weekly with my sheets - my little dogs sleep with me so I want to wash the beast out of the cover weekly.

Good luck getting that extra life out of your saggy bottom sheets. :)
Alice

Offline Pipsy

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 08:04:53 AM »
While the general topic here is fitted sheets I giggle when I think of top sheets under the duvet and on top of bottom sheets.  I have got to be the most restless sleeper in the world.  Sometimes I wake up with pillows and sheets everywhere in the room. I know what you mean about changing duvet covers.  I have given up washing them weekly as I don't sleep on them and I sleep alone and the way I sleep sometimes not even with the duvet.  When I am a guest at someone's house and they have top sheets under the duvet I am quite embarrassed as sometimes I can't find the sheet when I am ready to leave. I was in hospital last week and I have never seen so many blankets and sheets (and I am a retired RN). Every time I moved they seemed to be bringing me warm flannel sheets, never taking the last away. One time I told my roommate I felt I was drowning in sheets and could never find the tops, bottoms or sides.  I guess it comes from many many years of sleeping under a duvet.

I don't like being so restless (and warm, not hot) at night but that's the way I am.  I travel with a cousin. I am constantly surprised how I can watch her climb neatly into a folded back sheet and blanket and it is in exactly the same place in the morning.  Aren't we as people an interesting species!  ::)
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Offline Betboyd

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2010, 03:20:02 PM »
I have replaced elastic in several sheets, I just did the same thing Alice did, worked fine for me... I had some fitted sheets, that I never used, and the elastic just lost all the stretch, so I figured the regular 1/4 inch could not be any worse.  I just sewed iit the same as Alice did...and it holds the sheets fine.. 
   I have also, bought flat cream or white sheets and added  extension to the deepness of the pockets , because after adding a feather bed and thick mattress cover , they were not deep enough , So I just took off old elastic and added new to the sewn on extension. It worked fine, the strip you add too, is under your mattress anyway.

Offline Pipsy

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2010, 12:35:10 AM »
Thanks for the tip on adding an extension. I have a pillow top mattress and it is very difficult to find sheets deep enough. I sleep on a double bed and have wondered about buying queen size sheets, but fear they may be too loose. Does anyone know it this would work?

Lately I have been buying sheets that are sewn with a seam at the bottom and the top of the sheet that look like what side mitered corners look like when folded. They seem to fit better on the bed and are easier to put on. I purchased some gorgeous king size sheets at a gorgeous price which I intend to cut down to size but have been holding back and playing with pencil and paper to figure out how to cut them down and maintain the type of bottom and top.  Actually, I just have too many other things and thinking about it all is making me procrastinate on everything  :-[
If I stitch fast enough does it count as an aerobic exercise?
My soul is fed by my needle and thread.

Offline Betboyd

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2010, 02:08:46 PM »
Pipsy , my Mom tried buying queen sheets for a very deep full size mattress, it really did not work that well, They just don't fit right.
 I would prefer adding a extension to the full size for the depth.
 I have taken king size top sheets and made queen size fitted..but, haven't experimented with cutting down a fitted king to fit the queen.  There all thicknesses of mattress, so that will just have to be a custom fitted thing for each mattress.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 02:11:30 PM by Betboyd »

Offline Liana

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2010, 03:46:07 PM »
I haven't tried this, but if I wanted to make a fitted sheet fit a smaller mattress, I'd put it on the bed, with one side in the proper position, and then mark where I needed to put the elastic on the other side, and then apply it there.  Unless your fitted sheet had some kind of centered design, this should work.  If it was centered, you'd just apply elastic in new spots on all four corners instead of only two.  I really think this ought to work.  I've replaced elastic on fitted sheets with success, just doing it pretty much as AliceB says.  :)  HTH!

Offline Ambimom

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2010, 03:52:37 PM »
I discovered that the corners in some fitted sheets are not sewn correctly.  A set of Martha Stewart fitted sheets that I once I bought were sewn with flat felled seams in the corners, making them impossible to fit over my mattress.  Interestingly enough, the elastic was folded over too.  There was plenty of fabric, but the corners were folded over so the sheets didn't even reach the edge of the bed.  I had to use a seam ripper to undo the stitching and then rewsewed them with a flat seam.  Voila! the sheets fit beautifully.




Offline Pipsy

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2010, 09:48:35 AM »
Lianna - I tried that when I first purchased the sheets, but I didn't realize when I bought them that king size sheets are longer as well. And they had that odd pleated top and bottom. I played around with them on the bed for some time, then as it often does something else came up I put them away, promptly forgetting them.  I really didn't need new sheets at the time but there was a very good sale on.  I also purchased sheets for a roll a way cot at the same time which I also haven't completed. The sheets were all sets so I plan to make duvet covers out of the top sheets and I just may be able to get pillow cases out of the side of the king size sheets when cut down.  One more thing on my expanding list of things to sew  ::)
If I stitch fast enough does it count as an aerobic exercise?
My soul is fed by my needle and thread.

Offline Bojangles

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2011, 02:13:01 AM »
Spotlight has a special fitted sheet elastic which folds over the edges perfect for repairs and replacement and at only .79 c per metre, I used about 5 metres for a queen size fitted sheet, well worth it, and just did a wide zig zag to hold in place.  The swimmers elastic is $1.49/$1.79 per metre but not as good for this job.

Offline gmaz

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2011, 03:25:07 AM »
As the mother of 4, many years ago I discovered a cheap, easy,  quick and foolproof way to keep fitted  sheets on beds.
Who else remembers climbing on that  top bunk to change the sheets?
I cut triangles out of some  fabric from my  stash and sewed it on the corners of those fitted sheets that insisted on popping off beds in the middle of the night.  I have used this method on twin sheets, queen sheets, king sheets  and sheets for deep mattresses. Works like a charm, Cost 0.00 and it takes less then 15 minutes per sheet! I generally cut   2 squares of material about 12 inches and then cut them in half. I have used  cotton, old sheets, even a piece of denim I had laying around. No one ever sees it once the sheet is on. Try it, I guarantee it will work!

Offline Elona

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2011, 09:55:32 PM »
gmaz, you have posted an intriguing idea, but I sometimes have trouble visualizing things, and I cannot quite picture how these triangles are applied to the sheets or what the effect is.

Offline Betboyd

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2012, 11:26:32 PM »
The effect of making the triangled corners by using extra fabric, makes a deeper corner that goes under the matteress to hold the sheet on, I have did this , when the sheet pockets are not deep enough.

Offline Bunny

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2012, 01:13:04 AM »
I was in Joanns this week and they had a major clearance on elastic. Many were ten and twenty five cents a yard, FWIW. There was a huge selection of these clearanced items.

Offline Laurie H

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2012, 02:55:37 PM »
I'm so glad I found this thread.  I have a set of sheets that I no longer use on my bed, but on my old mattress that.....don't laugh now.....I prop up in DD's old room when I want to use that room for quilting, but drop down when she, DSIL and grandson are visiting.  I noticed when I was putting the sheets back on the mattress that the elastic has really stretched out of shape and doesn't stay put. 

Good ideas for fixing it.  I just might go with the extra piece of fabric instead of the elastic, although I do have packages of elastic around somewhere. 

BTW, I do know about Murphy Beds, but this is a temporary thing.  I don't want anything permanent in this room.  I'm trying to make a point to DH about how silly this is.  So far, it's not working.  :(
Laurie H

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Offline Pipsy

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2012, 05:07:27 AM »
When you add triangles to the corners, which seems like a good idea, how do you manage with the elastic on the corners?  I am having a hard time getting my mind around this.

You know what drives me crazy - the 'pockets' don't seem to be standard size, even in th same brand.  I have a deep pillow top mattress and some new sheets fit tightly, some you really have to tug to get under the mattress and a few so sloppy I am convinced they are labeled incorrectly!
If I stitch fast enough does it count as an aerobic exercise?
My soul is fed by my needle and thread.

Offline Elona

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2012, 06:41:15 AM »
Quote
When you add triangles to the corners, which seems like a good idea, how do you manage with the elastic on the corners?  I am having a hard time getting my mind around this.

My problem, too.  My poor brain always does better with pictures.  Anybody got a photo of sheets altered this way?

Offline Houdini

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2012, 02:55:18 PM »
Here's my solution to the fitted sheet problem.  I make eight 4-inch casings and sew two at each corner of the sheet.  I bought a cord that goes all the way around the bottom of the sheet.  I run the cord through the casings, put the sheet on and tie the cord, make a bow and tuck it under the mattress.  That holds the sheet in place until I change it.  Here's a picture.  It takes a while to make the bed, but it stays really nice.

Ellen

Offline returntosewing

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2012, 12:32:29 AM »
Houdini, what a great idea.  I have been replacing old elastic with new on my fitted sheets, but I want to try this.  I learned about replacing old elastic on fitted sheets at the forum.  I was thrilled to learn that trick.  I am getting so many ideas from here, I may never get through with projects.
Sue

Offline SuziQz

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2012, 12:55:55 AM »
Houdini - I like that way.  It looks pretty easy to do. 

I like your quilt.  I think it is the "storm at Sea" pattern, isn't it?

Elona - It took me the longest time to figure out the triangles-in-the-corner method, but the light finally dawned.

Think of a fitted sheet as an open box - like a shoebox with the top off.  Put the triangles in the open corners where the top would go.  Does it make sense now? 

Offline Houdini

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2012, 01:12:47 AM »
Yes, SuziQz, it is Storm at Sea.

Me too, returntosewing, I get lots of good ideas here, but this was my own.

Ellen

Offline datcat23

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2012, 05:14:06 AM »
After making a mountain of modern cloth nappies, I used FOE (fold over elastic) to repair my fitted sheets recently.   one of my fabric suppliers had a great special on medium weight white FOE (150 yards) and I got all impulsive and bought it.  Of course it doesn't really work well for nappies, so I have been using it for undies, singlet top straps, and as regular elastic, as unfolded it is a perfect inch wide.  I didn't bother unpicking the old elastic, I just folded the FOE over the top of the existing elastic, hold stretched, and stitched it down in exactly the same way that I do nappy covers.  Its worked well, and stands up to washing and drying far better than the stuff that was on the sheets to begin with. 
Dani from the wilds of Canberra Australia.
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Offline Elona

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2012, 05:19:27 AM »
Elona - It took me the longest time to figure out the triangles-in-the-corner method, but the light finally dawned.

Think of a fitted sheet as an open box - like a shoebox with the top off.  Put the triangles in the open corners where the top would go.  Does it make sense now?

Ah!  OK, that works.

Thank you.

Offline looie36

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Re: Replacing the elastic on a fitted sheet
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2013, 04:45:50 PM »
I have an answer for making a fitted sheet fit a smaller mattress. I have also used the method of putting new elastic on all four corners when it is stretched out. I have had deep pocket sheets that were too loose on a thinner mattress. I put the sheet on the mattress wrong side up. I then pin the corners to make them fit. Then I sew the seams. I do not cut the sheet as later I wanted to put it on my new thicker mattress. This was an easy way to make the sheet fit tight. Hope it works for you!

 

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