I hate flat sheets! I hate the way they always come loose and end up tangled around my feet. And I especially hate hospital corners that turn hotel beds into straightjackets. However, I do like the look of them. And they do have practical advantages, like protecting the duvet covers so that they look good for longer. This is especially true when you have white bedlinens that are prone to becoming dull or yellowed over time. However, with a bit of creativity, I have found a way to get the best of both worlds.
It involves sewing a band of fabric along the top edge of the duvet cover so that it looks like a flat sheet folded over the top. I find that the top edge of the duvet cover is the first part to deteriorate, mostly thanks to my nightly application of "lotions and potions", as Hubby dubs it - moisturiser might be good for your face, but it certainly doesn't do any favours for bedlinens. So this is a great way to rejuvenate old bedlinen that looks tired and grubby, or as way of protecting lighter-coloured bedding by using a darker fabric as your "flat sheet".
- Duvet cover
- Fabric for faux flat sheet (see below)
- Quilt Ruler
- Marking chalk/fabric pencil
- Sewing Machine
- Stitch Unpicker
Dressmaking and craft fabrics generally do not come in appropriate widths for bedding, so the best way of getting fabric for your faux flat sheet is to repurpose other bedding, using another duvet cover or (ironically) a flat sheet as a "donor". You can also use fabric from a bolt by turning it sideways.
By cutting a donor duvet cover into horizontal bands, you can get enough fabric to customise three other covers. (The top piece is the easiest to use because the top seam is already sewn. For subsequent pieces, you will need to sew the top closed.)
I decided that a band of about 36cm would look good at the top of the duvet cover to create the flat sheet effect. So I cut that amount minus the seam allowance (of about 1cm) off the top of the toile duvet cover ...
... and then cut that amount plus seam allowance off the top of the grey (donor) cover.
In other words, for a 36cm band with a 1cm seam allowance, I cut 35cm off the top of the good duvet cover and 37cm off the top of the donor duvet cover.
Remember that when you cut across the seams of bedding that you want to re-use, you will need to tie off the stitches at the cut ends to prevent the seams coming undone.
I pinned the two pieces with right sides together, and then stitched them all the way around, back and front.
Then I finished the raw edges with a zig-zag stitch to prevent them from fraying.
And that's it!
It doesn't take long at all and means that the bedding will look fresher for much longer - all the advantages of that elegant turned-down look without the annoyance of getting tangled up in the bedclothes!