Thursday Thoughts #16

Book Quote:  
"You always a wise-ass?"
"No. Sometimes I'm asleep."

Today's thought:  Bedsheets

Years ago, bedsheets came in pairs or sets, two flat sheets and two pillowcases for double beds, two sheets and a single pillowcase for single beds.
When laundry day came around, mums would strip the beds, wash the sheets, put fresh ones on the bed. 
It didn't matter which sheet went on the bottom, they were all the same. All got even wear and tear.
Some clever mums would only wash the bottom sheet, rotating the top one to the bottom and putting a fresh one on top. 
In this manner, sheets also got even amounts of wear and tear, because we all knew the bottom sheet was more likely to wear out faster, if always placed on the bottom, with top sheets often getting kicked off the bed entirely, especially in summer.

Then some smart-aleck invented fitted sheets. The elasticised sheet could only go on the mattress, where it wore out faster than its top counterpart. 
When you buy sheet sets these days, you cannot get two flat sheets. One is always elasticised to "fit" the mattress. Supposedly to remain in place through the tossing and turnings of the night.

They never do. Stay in place that is.
And they never properly fit the mattress they are bought for. 

Because there is no standardised measurement for mattresses or sheets. Different companies vary in their manufacture of such things. 
(Same with quilts and their covers, buy a quilt from one manufacturer and a cover of the "same" size from a different manufacturer and they won't properly fit together.)

So I prefer to have two flat sheets. This means I have to buy individual sheets. Fair enough. At least I can swap them around for even wear and tear. 

But now there is a new problem. Because manufacturers believe that flat sheets are for the top, they are not made long enough to fit a mattress. 

There is plenty of width to tuck in on either side, but nowhere near enough length to tuck in top and bottom ends. 
Unless you have a mattress which is only a few inches thick, and who has one of those these days? My mattress is 23cm thick. That's nine inches! oolllooolooooooooo oh, hello Angel, get your paw off the keyboard. Good boy. (pesky furball)

I keep telling myself I will buy extra sheeting fabric and lengthen these annoying sheets, but so far I haven't gotten around to it.Mostly because I can't match the colour, also because I can't be bothered setting up the sewing machine.
oh! oh!
Now I've just had an idea!
Next time I buy sheets, instead of two, I'll buy three. Then the colour will match and I can cut the third one in half and stitch the halves to the other two.


  1. To solve that problem, I bought four elastic bands with the old time "garter belt fasteners" that pull the corners of the sheets TIGHT. You can google for it as "how to secure the corners of sheets" or somesuch, but I got mine at...of course...Walmart, but I've seen them at Walgreens too.

  2. If you are talented enough to sew extra length on the bottom of sheets, why not just buy sheeting material and make your own to start with.

  3. There you go. I believe that counts as being a smart-ass.

  4. I remember fitted sheets not fitting well, but mine does, very tightly. Sounds like a good idea to make your own sheets.

  5. The problems are sent to try us...and try us they do!

    And talking about "trying"...trying to fold a fitted sheet neatly is impossible...well, it is for me, anyway.

    If I had to make my own sheets, I'd probably end up going sheetless...and that would give me the sheets!!!

  6. Because my mattress is as hard as a rock and freezing in winter I have a thin foam one on top , it is easier to make with fitted sheets and the foam grips the sheet so it doesn't fall off but in summer when I often remove it as it gets too hot I have all those problems again.

  7. Blimey, what a palaver!

    I can buy sheets which fit the mattress, well, approximately anyway. Long enough sheets too.

    Perhaps you should search the internet for longer sheets? Search for them by measurements?

    I find bedmaking hard enough with all that heaving and turning over and covering of duvets; I really couldn’t be bothered to faff around with short sheets.

  8. lotta joy; I've seen those here for ironing board covers, I didn't know they were available for sheets too. maybe not here in Australia though. Buying over the internet incurs extra fees too, so that's out.

    Delores; I've thought about making my own, but then I'd have to lug home acres of fabric and make matching pillowcases. On the other hand, a couple of days worth of steady sewing could see me folding up a half a dozen sets. Maybe I should check how much the fabric is.

    Joanne; ha ha.

    Andrew; you got lucky. Probably you don't shop at the cheap shops like I do. Making my own is beginning to sound like a fine idea. Adding length via half a readymade would be quicker though.

    Lee; I can fold a fitted sheet. Mind you, it takes more than a few minutes. I might have a go at making my own, it depends on the fabric cost and if I can get the colours I like. Raspberry, sage green, a certain shade of beige. White just won't do.

    Merle; separate pillowtops are now available to add to a mattress, for people who don't want to buy a whole new mattress with pillowtop attached. It would be more comfortable than foam, may be a bit pricey, you'd have to check. Or, in the summer, put the foam under the mattress so it still grips the sheets.

    Friko; I don't turn my own mattress, I get a friend in to do it for me. I could search the internet, but any sheets would have to come from here in Australia and be within my budget, including delivery.

  9. Why don't you just buy some fabric and add length to the bottom of the sheet. At least you would have solved that problem. As for matching--why? Who actually sees your sheets that will disapprove. A solid color on solid color of printed sheet would be fine.

    I am considering buying some fabric to lengthen blankets that cannot stay tucked in because I am trying to keep my shoulders warm. I am not going to get blanket weight fabric because the fabric I add will be for tucking under and for covering the end of the mattress. I have longer blankets to go over those, so there will be no seeping of air at the end of the mattress from the thin fabric.

    I love fitted sheets. The best set of sheets I ever owned was ruined but not a real loss. The fitted sheet split. I took that to make extra pillowcases. Then, I just used the top sheet with other bottom sheets.

  10. lottajoy has a good idea!

    I don't mind my sheets much, but I do prefer them line-dried. And the way the weather is going, I may squeeze in another load or two before it becomes too cold for them to dry!


  11. Linda, buying extra fabric was my first idea, I may still do that. I remember my mum making pillowcases from old sheets where the middle wore out and the sides were still good. I haven't used blankets in more than twenty years. I have two quilts. One on the mattress under the sheet and one over the top sheet. It's like sleeping in a cocoon and so very warm.

    Pearl; good to see you here! I LOVE line dried sheets, here in Australia we get enough sun to line dry almost all year round, but there's an extra special smell to them when the sun is hot, like our summers are, as you know.

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  13. solve the bottom sheet worn out first problem, I usually just buy 2 fitted sheets and 1 flat sheet.
    It is easier than lengthening the flat sheet.

    October 19, 2014 at 4:23 PM


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