Thursday, June 23, 2011

Patchy Cot Sheet Tutorial and a giveaway!

So the stars all aliged yesterday, with sewing mojo in abundance, 'helpful' 3 year old and nothing major scheduled, to enable me to do this tutorial. This is a tutorial for the cot sheet I showed the other day, which I made for my friend's new little baby girl, and I had such fun making it, and it was so super easy, and such a fabulous way to use up scraps, that I thought I would share the secret with you all. Now this is my first ever tutorial so I hope it is ok! Its picture heavy, but that is how I learn best so hopefully it works for you too.

Oh, and because I am feeling generous today, I will make this a giveaway too. Are you excited? To win the sheet in this tutorial, you simply have to comment under this blogpost in the next week.

You can get up to 2 additional entries by:
1. becoming a follower (or add me to your reader, I'm not fussy) and leave a second comment letting me know, and/or
2. Share this giveaway on your facebook or blog page, and leave a 3rd comment here letting me know you have done this

A winner will be picked randomly on 28th June. Good luck!The winner will be announced here on my blog and also on my facebook page.

So, on with the show:

Patchy Cot Tutorial (so easy even a 3 year old can (think they can) make it)

What you need:

  • (Note: this is to fit a standard cot mattress, 70 cm wide x 130 cm long x 10 cm deep)
  • Scraps of wonderful fabric (enough to make a strip that is 114cm long and about 20 cm high)
  • 2 pieces of cream (or whatever takes your fancy) flanellette, 114cm x 88cm and 114cm x68cm (annoyingly, the flanellette at Spotlight (insert swear word here) comes in 110 cm widths, 112 cm widths and 88 cm widths, making for some quick Year 10 maths conniptions at the counter....)
  • Around 150cm of elastic, 6-8mm width
  • Coordinating Thread
Now I must admit I did most of this on an overlocker. It makes it so much easier and cuts out heaps of steps. BUT you could easily do this whole thing on a standard sewing machine. You would just need to add 2 cms all round for extra seam allowance and hemming.

Step 1 - creating your patchwork strip
Cut out 20cm long strips from your scrap stash. You can choose to coordinate, or be radical and just go for it. Whatever. I chose a basic theme of red and just picked out stuff that went well together. Each strip should be 20 cm long. The width is less important, and I quite like the look of varying widths. You will need enough scraps to make a strip that is 114cm wide when they are all sewn together. So to be safe, make it about 120cm. (A tip: put the strips from fabric you don't LOVE the most (I know you love all your fabrics equally) on the ends, as these will be tucked under the mattress on the finished sheet).

Join all your strips together into a loooong strip. You can either overlock or sew them. I chose overlocking.

Arlo pressed the pedal for me. He is good at stopping and starting on command. Does rev a bit too much though....

Then press down the seams so they all face the same way.

 ("This is the boring part", says Arlo, knowingly.)

Could not agree more little fella....ironing sux.

Step 2 - attaching the patchwork strip to the sheet body
Now you are attaching your long patchwork strip to your two pieces of flanellette. If you are now cutting out your two flanellette pieces, you can make sure you get a 'true' (ie straight) edge by ripping rather than cutting. 3 year olds are good at this.

(Look at that face. "You mean, I'm allowed to rip this? Awesome! What else can I rip Mama???")

Place one long side of the patchwork strip against the long side of the first piece of flanellette (it doesn't matter which one you start with). Make sure both pieces of fabric are right sides together. Line them up edge to edge and overlock them (or sew). Repeat for the other side of the patchwork strip.

Press both seams down and topstitch them - I used a contrasting thread (red) and a decorative stitch.

(Man! Check out that dust....!)

Step 3 - creating corners
Now lay the whole sheet down and fold it in half lengthways. Measure a 20cm x 20cm square from each corner and cut out (so you are cutting through two layers of the flanellette in one hit).

Now take the two cut sides of each corner, and overlock or sew them right sides together. Repeat for all four corners. (Sorry I didn't get a shot of this step).

Step 4 - elasticising
Overlock around the entire perimeter of the sheet (or, if using a sewing machine, hem by folding in half a centimetre, press, and then fold in another half a centimetre and sew).

OK slightly tricky step here. (But this'll be a breeze if you've ever made a cloth nappy!) Change your sewing machine stitch to the elastic stitch, aka the 3 step zig-zag stitch. On mine it looks like this (number 6 stitch):

Now measure 30cm from either side of the corner seam, at the perimeter of the sheet. Use your fabric marker to put a little dot at each point (on the wrong side). Place the elastic slightly to the left of the edge (on the wrong side), and tack it in place at the first dot. (Don't precut your elastic, just feed it off the roll as you sew). Now stitch the elastic down all the way to the second dot, pulling it as tight as you possibly can with your left hand, and using your right hand to pull it fairly taut behind the needle. (or vice versa if you are left handed). When you get to the second dot, tack it down again, and cut. Repeat with all four corners.

Sewing the elastic a bit to the left of the overlocked (or hemmed) edge gives it a nice little ruffle. You can just see it in the blurry back part of this picture:

Add a  label, if you are so inclined. Trim all your threads. Admire your work. Congratulate your 3 year old helper, and put it on his cot to model. Then patiently explain that actually after all that it is not for him after all but for some kind stranger on the internet....(a small chocolate biscuit works well here).

I hope this all makes sense. And I would love to see if any of you make one.

So, once again, you wanna win this? here's how:

Leave a comment under this blogpost in the next week.

You can get up to 2 additional entries by:
1. becoming a follower (or add me to your reader, I'm not fussy) and leave a second comment letting me know, and/or
2. Share this giveaway on your facebook or blog page, and leave a 3rd comment here letting me know you have done this

A winner will be picked randomly on 28th June. The winner will be announced here on my blog and also on my facebook page. Good luck!


  1. Love.. and what a great gift idea. I have decorated some muslin wraps as gifts before, and well received.

  2. The sheets look so funky! I love them :)

  3. I just become a follower of your blog..

  4. and i shared this with some friends on facebook :)

  5. i try to follow ur blog but something is not working only said followers but nothing appears snifff

  6. Very nice! Would like great on my son's bed ;)

  7. And I am also following your blog! :)

  8. Judith I'm not sure why the followers link isn't working - it seems to be a bit of a blogger-wide issue....I can't even see who my followers are!

  9. This looks just gorgeous!!!!!! Yes, I am following your blog, and I love all the fabrics you have blended awesome tutorial1!

  10. just shared your link on my FB profile aswell.

  11. I follow your blog :)
    Amanda T

  12. dearest anna... what a gorgeous sheet. perfect for new [due] baby! imagine! what a modern way to share the news. see you next week. lots of love. ally

  13. how super beautiful Anna, and sounds super easy, I think this may just be the perfect entry to the sewing world for me.

  14. oh it's lovely! So much nicer then the the super childish stuff you buy at the stores!

  15. Hi Anna, I love the new sheets ... just wish that I was somewhat competent with a sewing machine and could make them myself. Anyway, all the more incentive to win this one!!!

  16. Great tutorial and idea for plain sheets. Thanks :)

  17. I love this sheet, I will have to learn to sew :) I tried to become a follower but I cant seem to! Michelle

  18. Now I know what to do with my small off cuts!

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