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Repairing Elastic in Fitted Sheets

How much elastic do you need to replace the old on twin bed sheets?

By Debbie W

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April 9, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer

It always amazes people (like my husband and children, lol) when a fitted sheet with 'tired' elastic can be repaired! I save a lot of money on sheets because I can replace the elastic. So often the elastic is the first place to go on a bed sheet and it's a real savings to be able to replace the elastic.

Use a flexible tape measure and measure the length of the elastic in the sheet without stretching it. Use the flexible feature of the tape to follow the curve of the fitted corner. Add an inch to that measurement, and that should provide a measurement for the correct length of replacement elastic.

If you have a deep pocket sheet, you may want to add another half-inch to your measurement to get the proper fit when you put the repaired sheet on the mattress. You may have to experiment-keep your seam ripper handy:)

You can also unpick (using a seam ripper) the elastic from the sheet and measure it. Even if it has stretched a bit (it will look 'rippled' and several elastic threads may have popped out too), you will be able to get a good enough measurement from it to measure out a new length of elastic-if you do this you will NOT need to add an inch or inch and a half, and you still will not need to stretch the elastic to get a proper measurement.

Stretching to measure will result in too much elastic and then it won't 'pull-up' enough when sewn in to provide a proper fit when you go to put the repaired sheet on the bed.

If you have a stretch stitch feature on your machine, use it. Be sure not to stretch the elastic when sewing it in using the stretch stitch feature. The stretch stitch feature is designed to automatically do the stretching for you. It's always best to check your machine manual as using the stretch feature may include other special instructions like tension settings and the correct needle to use.

If you don't have the stretch stitch feature, use the zig-zag and DO stretch the elastic as you zig-zag over it. Remember to loosen the tension at least one notch, and be sure to use a new needle so that your tip is 'factory sharp', for the best results.

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