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Repairing the Elastic on Fitted Sheets

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October 2, 2009

ElasticOver the past 5 years I have enjoyed the "luxury" of Egyptian cotton bed sheets. I have always bought them on sale, but they are still not a cheap item. The fitted bottom sheet has ripped and is a bit on the thin side. (My husband's side of the bed of course.) The rest of the sheet (3 years old at least) is still in fantastic condition.

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I don't want to throw it out and wonder if a patch would be uncomfortable. I would love to hear from any of you clever people out there with any suggestions.

By Di from New Zealand

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October 3, 20090 found this helpful
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I think you can put a patch on it, but use soft material and place it on the underside of the sheet. The secure it by sewing over the hole and patch in multiple rows (over the rip) so that the rip is securely held. That's one idea.

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March 23, 20112 found this helpful
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Ok girl, just last month, I had the same problem. So I looked in my sewing box and found a big size iron on patch. Flipped that sheet over to the wrong side, ironed it on and it's now on my bed.

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No problem at all! Good luck with yours!

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9 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 1, 2021

I'm replacing the elastic on my fitted sheet. I know I need 1/4inch and I know the length. But I'm finding elasticity descriptions that say "highly elastic" or "heavy stretch." Any guidance on what's best? My main goal here is NOT having the sheet come loose at night, even if it means a little more effort when I make the bed. Thanks for the help!


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
April 1, 20210 found this helpful
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I would use a regular elastic, not the heavy stretch. What makes the sheet slip is it not being deep enough. They have clips that look like old fashioned garters.

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I used them for awhile before I got sheets that were deep enough for my new mattress.

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Bronze Post Medal for 2021. 31 Posts
April 14, 20211 found this helpful
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"Heavy stretch" elastic is designed for use on heavier fabrics. I don't think your sheets are made of heavier fabric. Use a good quality regular elastic or an elastic for bathing suits, the off white stuff - chlorine resistant.
By the way, you can try mitten clips - elastics with clips on each end to hold kids' mittens to their jacket cuffs.

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October 22, 2010

How much elastic do you use for a queen size fitted sheet?

By me from Milford, PA

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August 27, 20130 found this helpful
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Hi.. I am a Textile Designer... I know buying fitted sheets is not easy as sometimes it is not available or you may not get the perfect fitted sheets size. So here's a solution for all who wanted to make a fitted sheet or who wants to repair the elastic.

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Step 1 - Take your bed sheet and measure it from all corners in inches. Then measure the size of your mattresses because it may vary.

Step 2 - Then write the size of your mattress on a paper like
Length -76" (May vary)
Width -64" (May vary)
Depth -4" (May vary)

Step 3 - Then on the back side of your bed sheet mark with a pen and scale all the inches. Then make a line by joining all those marks and make a square box. Now cut the sides from corners.

Step 4 - Join the corners by stitching them. Now repeat with all 3 corners also. And you will see your bed sheet has become round from corners.

Step 5 - Now take bed sheet from one side and fold it from a corner side a little. Fold your bed sheets corners by leaving a little space to put the elastic inside that.

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Step 6 - When you are done with folds. Where from you started and where you gonna end just stop a bit before, you join both ends.

Step 7 - We didn't join the both ends so that we can put the elastic inside that through this vent we have not stitched.

Step 8 - Now take a plastic stick attached with a thread already at its back. Knot the elastic with that thread at the plastic stick and put the elastic in that space we have made.

Step 9 - Take elastic by measuring the all 4 sides now. According to the above measurements you take 10 meters of elastic. After putting the elastic before cutting it and making a tight knot.

Step 10 - Put the fitted sheet by the help of someone over your bed. Make it fit properly. Now tell to hold the elastic from the side you started putting it inside. And start pulling the elastic from another side and at last when you feel that its enough then make a tight knot with both ends. Cut the extra elastic.

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# Your fitted sheets is ready and you can also replace your elastic easily with this. And note never wash your fitted sheet in warm water otherwise after every wash you will need to change your elastic.

Thank you

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May 15, 2015

The elastic in a Cal king bottom sheet is to short. It came undone. My question is what is the length of the elastic used, in inches, for a Cal king bottom sheet?


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January 4, 20160 found this helpful
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There isn't any standard. Better quality sheets might have elastic the whole length of the edge. Very cheap ones might have very little. If it came undone, can you measure the piece that came off? That might not even work, if the new elastic is not the same stretch, it might be better to stretch both elastics and then measure. Or stretch the new elastic and measure it along the edge of the sheet where the old piece came off.

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April 8, 2013

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

By Debbie W

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 282 Feedbacks
April 9, 20131 found this helpful
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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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December 11, 2014

When replacing the elastic in a fitted sheet, what size, type, and style elastic should I use?

By Claire T.

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 282 Feedbacks
February 15, 20150 found this helpful
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Is there any of the old elastic left on the sheet? If yes, use that as your guide. If not, generally even deep pocket elastic is usually no more than 3/4 wide.

Buy a packet of 'general' elastic - usually about three yards/metres length, and that's plenty to cut a 4-6" per corner strip for sewing back into the sheet.

Be sure to use the right sewing needle, elastic thread, and the stretch stitch on your machine. If you don't have a stretch stitch on your machine, use the zig-zag stitch that matches the width of your elastic piece, and pull the fabric slightly from before and after the needle to stretch the seam, fabric, and elastic strip whilst stitching.

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December 5, 2018

How do I measure the elastic to be replaced on a queen fitted sheet? The elastic goes all the way around the sheet, not just the corners.


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 5, 20180 found this helpful

I would sew a piece of elastic a few inches from the edge of the corner you are repairing. No need to have the elastic go all the way around.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
December 9, 20182 found this helpful

You could try to do just the corners before going the full sheet.

You would need to channel the elastic at least 2 feet on each side of the corner to make sure you have a good balance.
That means about 2 1/2-3 feet of elastic on each corner.
If that does not work then you can always go the full sides/ends.

Here is how to measure elastic:
"In general, you can figure the stretch allowance and cut elastic one-third shorter than the total length of the fabric to be gathered onto the elastic.

Here is a good site to check out:

homeguides.sfgate.com/repair-elastic-sheets-103097.html

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October 11, 2019

One way to adjust the size of too big fitted sheets is to take in the corner seams. Try this fix if your sheet is ill fitting.

Adjusting the Size of Fitted Sheets - sew a wider seam if needed

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 7, 2009

How to fix bed sheets? I need general instructions on how to fix elastic that is stretched out on the edges of a fitted bed sheet.

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October 22, 2010

I need to replace elastic in some queen sized fitted sheets. Does anyone know how much elastic I will need per sheet?

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