Tutorial: Make your own Fitted Sheet and Pillow Cases

This crash course will make you an expert on making your own bed linen set. It is pretty straightforward and takes an hour, give or take a few minutes. It will also free you from the ‘bed linen spell’ cast by the bedding companies (yes, the one you were under when you purchased that luxurious master’s bedroom set).The only downside is that you may be overtaken by an urge to churn out fitted sheets and pillow cases  and may find yourself with more bed linens than you can chew (sew?). That said, bed linens do make nice presents.

Anyway, on to the tutorial.

Project: Bed Linen Set


  • Fabric – depends on your mattress size but start with 6 metres of 60″ width fabric
  • Elastic – 1 metre is more than enough as we’re only doing the four corners
  • Matching (or contrasting, if you’re in an adventurous mode) thread

Construction – Fitted Sheet

Step 1.  Measure up!

Measure the dimensions of your mattress: Length, Width, and Depth and refer to the illustrations below.

Step 2. Cut fabric and create corners.

Fabrics are usually long enough but not nearly as wide. If your fabric is wide enough for your mattress size, cut along the dotted lines in Figure 1. If not, measure the right length + depth and  stitch in additional side panels. To create the four corners, simply bring the short sides together (see Fig. 2) and stitch.

Tip: This is especially true for patterned fabrics. Most patterns run along the lengthwise grain so there is only one way to cut the fabric, i.e., following the lengthwise grain. And since most fabrics come in 45″ or 60″ widths, additional side panels are needed to fit a queen or king-sized mattress.

Fitted Sheet 101

Step 3. Hem the edges to make elastic casings.

Fold the edges 1 cm twice to the wrong side and stitch all around. When you get to the corners, leave a .5 inch gap 8 inches on either side of the corner seam. This is where your elastic will go in and out.

Elastic casing

Step 4. Gather the corners.

Measure 8″ (half of distance between the gaps) of elastic and cut. Secure one end of the elastic with a safety pin or a bodkin. Without gathering, slowly ease the elastic through one gap until the whole length is in. Stitch one edge of the elastic in place, gather, and stitch the other edge in place. Stitch gaps close.  Do the same to the other three corners.

Gather corners

And you’re done!

Construction – Pillow Case

For the pillow case, refer to the illustrations below.

Making the case

And you’re really done. Now make yourself a cup of tea and treat yourself to a slice  of cake while you’re at it. That was hard work, after all 🙂

See you again soon!


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