Thursday, January 5, 2012

Toddler Bed Sheet Downsize

Buying a toddler bed wasn't one of the best purchases we ever made.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have opted for a twin bed when Hannah outgrew (or more like outmaneuvered) her crib.  But a toddler bed is what we have, and so we are left with the task of buying bedding for it.  Up until now, Hannah has used (a) a crib sheet with no top sheet, or (b) some bright red Elmo-in-an-airplane sheets. 

When we bought the Elmo sheets, he was Hannah's obsession.  (What is it with that guy?  Having watched hundreds of episodes of Sesame Street - or rather, dozens of episodes hundreds of times - "Elmo's World is definitely my least favorite part of a show that I otherwise really enjoy.)  Little did we know that we would move into a new house and re-create her room as a girl's pink princess extravaganza!  But the red airplane Elmo sheets lived on, because they were what we had.

I wanted to buy a new set of sheets, but they don't make a set of sheets for toddler beds.  They made four piece sets, that consist of a flat and fitted sheet, and regular-sized pillow case, and a comforter.  Really, people?  Kids need lots of sheets for middle of the night changes (you know what I'm talking about), but how many comforters does a kid need?  We didn't even need the Elmo comforter; thanks to lots and lots of really nice grandmas and church ladies, we have about a dozen beautiful, hand-made toddler-sized quilts that are so much more wonderful and meaningful than any comforter sold in stores.

So...what to do about the sheets?  I saw this wonderful tutorial about how to make your own crib sheet.  Perfect!  I ran out to the fabric store, ready to buy four yards of something really cute, maybe even in flannel.  Then Jonathan did the math (why is it that it never occurs to me that $8 times 4 yards is way too expensive for little girls' sheets?), and that was abandoned. 

And then one day, I was in Target, and I found a set of really cute, really pink twin sized sheets on clearance for nine dollars.  Aha!  All the fabric I would need, plus a pillow case, and some of the seams were already sewn!  A win-win-win.

I started by picking out the seams of the fitted sheet.  This was super tedious, but I was able to salvage the elastic, which made the project even cheaper since I had originally counted on buying elastic.  I wish I could say that I made this nice little opening, and then pulled the elastic out, but it was sewn in along the entire edge, meaning I sat for an entire evening ripping out stitches.  I am happy to report, however, this was the hardest part of the whole project.

Something, maybe being tired of the tedium of picking out all those stitches, emboldened me to rip the fabric instead of cutting it.  Oh boy!  I would recommend buying some cheap sheets just for the sheer joy of ripping them in half.  What a cool feeling!

The bad news was, in my sheet-ripping euphoria, I didn't measure very carefully, and ended up having to sew the fitted sheet "sideways," with the pattern running long-ways instead of top to bottom.  But other than that, I am so very pleased with the way they turned out.

The tutorial for the fitted sheet was very easy to follow, and came together in no time.  The top sheet was even easier.  I kept the existing top, with the nice finished edge, and one of the finished sides.  Then I ripped (!) the bottom and the other side to size, and stitched them up.  Done!

So the Elmo sheets are retired (at least unless needed for middle of the night sheet changes) and the total pinkification of Hanhah's room is complete.

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