02 Jul A Different Kind of Sheet Organizer
Ever wake up and feel like you were the filling in the burrito?
That was happening to us on a regular basis as the fitted sheet would decide to pop off in the middle of the night.
I think it’s a combination of slightly loose elastic in the sheet combined with slightly sweaty (and hence sticky) bodies. On Que Tal, it happened all the time in the V berth, with it’s strangely shaped mattress. Even on a regular queen mattress, we’ve had problems.
I first looked into some of the “sheet clips” that go diagonally at the corners, but there were two problems: they wouldn’t do much of anything on the v-berth’s odd shape (and even our mattress at home really needed something that went from side to side, not just at the corner) and reviewers kept complaining that the clips popped off the sheet.
But that gave me an idea for a solution that has worked very well and took less than 15 minutes to implement.
And while a sewing machine is helpful, you can easily do it by hand although it will take slightly longer . . . maybe 30 minutes?
I made two elastic straps that go under the mattress and hook onto loops I added to the fitted sheet at the edges.
I used women’s swimsuit hooks and they haven’t once slipped out. Yet it’s a simple matter to unhook them when I want to wash the sheets.
I leave the straps under the mattress and it’s a simple matter to re-hook them on the clean sheets. The two reasons for making them removable are (1) so they don’t tangle with the sheets in the washer or dryer and cause a big knot and (2) to avoid damage to the elastic from the heat of the dryer.
- Swimsuit hooks — 1″ wide is best; get plastic as metal will rust; you need 2 per strap. I got mine on Amazon since there’s no local fabric store — see on Amazon.
- Elastic — 7/8″ wide is best (but hard to find), you can use 3/4″ or 1″ wide also. Get the “firmest” (hardest to stretch) you can find. Length will be determined by your mattress, but in general you can make the strap and loops out of an unstretched length of elastic equal to the width of the mattress where you want the strap. (I used a total of 52″ inches of elastic for each strap and loop set for a 60″ wide queen.) I got mine on Amazon — it’s a little stretchier than I’d like, but it works. See on Amazon (I was doing several sets, so 10 yards was good for me — you can get 3/4″ elastic in 3 yard packages, but for some reason there’s no 1″ white elastic in a 3 yard package).
- Thread — it’s won’t be visible so don’t worry if you can’t get a matching color.
- Marking device — pencil or permanent felt marker is best so it won’t run when you wash it.
NOTE: While you could use webbing for the straps, the elastic allows for some give as people move in bed and less chance of tearing the sheet. If you have a folding mattress (as we did in the V berth), using elastic means that you can fold the mattress to get to the locker under it without having to undo the straps.
Begin by figuring out where you need straps to pull. As you can see in the photos above, I made small marks with a permanent marker where they needed to go (these will be hidden under the mattress, so no one will see the marks).
On a tapered mattress, such as in a V berth, you may find it best to run the straps in an “X” formation rather than straight across.
Cut two pieces of elastic each 1-1/2″ long. Fold each in half crosswise and sew in place to the sheet. You can sew through the sheet elastic or just inside it, and you can use straight or zigzag; go over it several times.
The length of the strap will depend on how far the sheet goes under the mattress and how stretchy the elastic is. The easiest way to figure out the correct length is to begin with the uncut piece of elastic and sew a swimsuit hook onto one end of it: pull about 1/2″ elastic through the loop on the hook fold it over and sew it back on itself.Put the sheet on the bed and hook the strap on one side. Pull the free end of the strap under the mattress. To judge how long the strap should be, pull the elastic to the loop in its “normal” position under the mattress but remember that while you want some tension on the elastic, you don’t want to pull it bone tight. Allow 1/2″ extra to fold the elastic around the loop of the hook and cut the elastic. If in doubt at all about the length, cut it too long, pin it in place and adjust from there.
Remove the strap from the sheet and sew the second hook on. Put the strap back in place. One done!
Repeat with as many straps as you need 🙂