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DIY Tutorials Sewing

Custom Ikea Crib Sheets

May 20, 2015

This is the second post about sewing in two weeks (first one here). I mention this, because it’s a bit unbelievable to me. I’ve used my sewing machine in the last 6 weeks more than I ever have – and I’ve owned it for something like 6 years! Moreover, I believe I’ve mentioned that straight lines and me just don’t understand each other. (More on that later.)

Today I’m sharing how I made two crib sheets for Eleanor’s Ikea crib. FYI, this is not the “proper way” to do things. I am definitely a rebel when it comes to sewing. Washing the fabric before sewing? Didn’t happen. Ironing the fabric before sewing? Didn’t happen. Pinning? Fuhgeddaboudit! I didn’t wash the fabric, typically done to preshrink it, because in the past all it did was make the fabric really wrinkled. I didn’t iron, because the fabric wasn’t wrinkled. I didn’t pin, because I ain’t got time for that!

Custom Ikea Crib Sheet |

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 boxes of fold-over elastic (you need about 2 – 3 yards of elastic per sheet)
  • 2 yards of cotton fabric preferably 45″ wide (x2 for 2 sheets)
  • white all-purpose thread
  • Singer sewing machine set on zigzag stitch with the width set at a little past 2

First, I laid one of the fabrics on the floor, then I put Eleanor’s mattress on top of it. There should be enough fabric around the edges to fold over the sides of the mattress (think wrapping a gift.) This is how I determined where to cut the squares that would make the corners. You can use a ruler to draw a square in each corner, but I just eyeballed it. I cut the first square leaving about half an inch of fabric between the edge of the square and the corner of the mattress. There are tutorials out there that will tell you how to find actual measurements to use when cutting, but doing that is how I completely ruined my fabric the first time I ever attempted this. I’ve found it’s easier, and more accurate, to just lay the fabric on the floor, put the mattress in the center of the fabric, and cut the squares in the corners at equal distances. After cutting the first square, I used it as a template to cut the other square on the same side of the fabric. I did not use it to the cut the squares on the opposite side of the sheet, just in case my mattress wasn’t completely centered. I did repeat the same steps on the other side, though.

(Don’t mind Louie. #professionalphotobomber Please forgive the lighting in these photos. It was storming outside when I was taking them, so I had to use the overhead light.)

Custom Ikea Crib Sheet |

After cutting the squares on the first fabric, I laid out the second fabric and put the first fabric on top of it to use as a template. With both fabrics cut, it was time to sew. I typically don’t bother changing the thread on my machine; 1. because I always forget how to do it and have to bust out the manual, 2. because I knew it wouldn’t be visible on the finished product.

The next step was folding the corner so that the sides of the same square met.

Custom Ikea Crib Sheet |

With the sides folded, I sewed the fabric together making the box corner for the sheet:

Custom Ikea Crib Sheet | here-lately.comI repeated this on the other 3 sides.

After all 4 corners were sewn, it was time to add the elastic. I prefer using fold-over elastic. It’s a bit like stretchy bias tape. You simply fold it over the edge of your fabric and sew; rather than having to sew a hem and then fish your elastic through the hem. I purchased the elastic at Hancock Fabrics for about $6 each.

Custom Ikea Crib Sheet |

The elastic has a crease in it. This helps it fold easily and helps line up the elastic evenly around your fabric. Great for the straight-impaired, like myself.  You can see the crease in this photo:

Custom Ikea Crib Sheet |

So, I folded the elastic over the edge of my fabric, and then stitched it all the way around stretching it as I went. I used a zigzag stitch, and I did a reverse stitch (Stitched normally and then without removing the fabric, held the reverse button my sewing machine to pass back over the same stitch.) at the beginning to give it some extra strength.

Custom Ikea Crib Sheet |

See how the fabric is puckering behind the stitch? (Note: I am not stretching the elastic in this photo, because I was using both hands to take the photo, but you definitely want to stretch it as tight as it will go.)

One strip of the elastic was not long enough to go all the way around the sheet. It was short by just a few inches.  So, I cut a piece from the other strip of the same color, folded it over the fabric – partially overlapping it on the previous elastic.

Custom Ikea Crib Sheet | here-lately.comI used the reverse stitch, mentioned above, to finish the elastic. (I’m sure you noticed that the pictures switch between the two fabrics. The steps were the exactly the same for both fabrics.)

I still have issues with straight lines…

Custom Ikea Crib Sheet |


…but, it’s still secure and the elastic doesn’t show at all when on the mattress, so it’s okay if that part doesn’t look perfect. One corner is slightly off-center (probably should have used a ruler to make the squares), but it doesn’t affect the fit of the sheet at all.

The finished product looks like this:

Custom Ikea Crib Sheet |

Custom Ikea Crib Sheet |

Sew So much better than those plain white Ikea crib sheets!  Now, if we could ever get around to actually decorating / setting up Eleanor’s room. After 4 years, it still looks like we just moved in.

Eleanor's room in the raw |



DIY Tutorials One Room Challenge Sewing

Sew Easy

May 13, 2015

** 5/15/2015 Hey! Hey, friends! I’m feeling under the weather today, so unfortunately, we won’t have a Friday post this week. See you Monday!**

First, I would like to say thank you for all the kind words that many of you have expressed over our little playroom. Thanks, guys! I also have to say, I’ve been surprised by how much attention our pillows have been getting.

Sew Easy - throw pillow tutorial via

Especially, this guy:

Sew Easy - throw pillow tutorial via

So, I thought I’d share about how I made the pillows. Most of them we made either from discount fabric or with scraps from other things. Let’s sort through that, shall we?

Sew Easy - throw pillow tutorial via

  1. Feather Pillow: The front of this pillow is made from the same cotton fabric as the poufs, which was leftover from a DIY curtain project that went wrong. The backside is made from fabric leftover from recovering the seat of the desk chair. The feathers were made with my Silhouette and paint.
  2. A-Z Pillow: Made with fabric I found at Hobby Lobby for 50% off
  3. Mustache Pillow:  Made from no-longer-used crib sheet, Silhouette cut file and iron-on vinyl
  4. Cloud pillow: Bought from Ikea
  5. Eagle Pillow: Made from one of Michael’s old t-shirts
  6. Hello Pillow: Pillow cover bought from Hobby Lobby for 50% off  (Pillow insert was one we already had.)
  7. Geometric Pillow: Pillow cover bought from Hobby Lobby for 50% off  (Pillow insert was one we already had.)

Now, this is not going to be some ground breaking tutorial, so brace yourselves. This is more the… logical and easy way to make throw pillows. I actually found this sewing machine (case, instructions, accessories and all) on the side of the dumpster at our old apartment community. Bonus: There was nothing wrong with it! I’ve used it quite a bit, but mostly to sew straight lines (e.g. hem curtains, make a few pillows), nothing fancy. Which is why, this is not going to be a complicated tutorial.

So, what shape is a typical throw pillow? Yep, square. For all of the pillows that I made, I cut two squares at a size that looked appropriate. That’s right, I didn’t even measure. After cutting the squares, I turned both pieces right-side in.

Sew Easy - throw pillow tutorial via

I used the straight stitch on my sewing machine to sew all 4 sides together; stopping before completely sewing the 4th side closed.

Sew Easy - throw pillow tutorial via

Next, I turned the fabric right-side out. After that, I cut open a pillow that we were no longer using and used the stuffing to fill this pillow.

Sew Easy - throw pillow tutorial via

I used my hand to shove it through the hole and distribute the stuffing evenly.

Sew Easy - throw pillow tutorial via

Closing the pillow involves hand sewing it closed. I attempted to follow this tutorial and use a blind stitch to close the hole. It’s basically only sewing through the seam allowance, which hides your hand stitching. You can see what I mean in this picture:

Sew Easy - throw pillow tutorial via

See how I’m not sewing through the fabric that shows? I only passed the needle through the fabric that will be on the inside once the pillow is closed. My blind stitch still needs a little work:

Sew Easy - throw pillow tutorial via

It puckered in a few places, I suppose, because I didn’t evenly space my stitches. Nonetheless, it was closed, so I just made that corner the bottom. You can’t see that it’s not perfect when it’s on the sofa.

As for the very popular mustache pillow, I followed the same steps as above when it came to sewing the pillow form. As mentioned, the fabric was a former crib sheet, which I found at Target about 3 years ago. The mustache + glasses were made with my Silhouette machine. Silhouette has an online store where you can download graphics to be cut (or drawn) by your machine. I had a store credit, which I used to purchase the mustache + glasses graphic for $.99. Basically, I downloaded the file, sized it in my Silhouette software, and then had it cut on iron-on vinyl.

mustache plus glasses

After it was cut, I pulled the backing off of the vinyl, put it on the pillow form, passed the iron over it a few times, and that was it!

I use the free printable to make the feather pillow. I downloaded it to my Silhouette and turned it into a stencil. I was out of my removable vinyl, so I used contact paper. It did not work out as well. It was flimsy and did stick to the fabric very well. It took me about 1.5 hours to pull all the negative space away from the stencil.

feather pillow 1

Once I finally got it on the fabric, I used paint samples and fabric medium to paint the feathers.

feather 2

Anytime I paint on fabric I use fabric medium. It keeps the paint from being hard and scratchy on the fabric. Honestly, I’m not thrilled with this pillow. I love the feathers, but I don’t like the way the yellow one turned out. It’s a bit too light. I don’t mind enough to remake it, however; at least not right now, anyway.

feather 1

As for the poufs, I did not use my Silhouette. Surprise! No, I cut a potato and hand stamped that thing. After pulling negative space from that feather stencil for almost 2 hours, I just couldn’t anymore.

potato stamp

The potato was easy, but also time consuming. The color is a paint sample of Savannah Moss by Ben Moore. I used fabric medium, and the same method of de-stuffing other pillows to fill the poufs. Although, I did have to buy some stuffing from JoAnn’s to finish the second pouf. As for the construction of them, I used this tutorial. The measurements for our poufs were slightly different than that in the tutorial. I did 20″ squares (the tops and bottoms) and 10″ rectangles (the sides). I was really apprehensive that making the poufs would be complicated and difficult. If you’re in that same boat, I can say, it was really simple!

I’m pretty sure I’ve used my Silhouette and sewing machine more in the last 6 weeks than I have the entire time I’ve owned them, which is about 3 years. Crazy!

Well, that’s my little pillow sewing tutorial for you. What about you guys? Did any you do any sewing or crafting lately?