Thursday, July 02, 2015

Washing Day


                                           (Painting: Washing Day by Alf Cooke, 1905)




This year, I decided to try and achieve a few things I have always thought of doing, or wanted to do. Since white muslin fabric is available in 108 inch widths, the size of a king size sheet, I decided to make a set of sheets.  I have thought of trying this because some muslin fabric feels so soft, and I wanted to see what a set of sheets would be like, when used in hot weather. Above, you see the sheet set and two sets of pillowcases.  I don't know if this idea works, because I made it for someone else and I haven't got a review of it yet.



It takes three yards of 108 inch fabric for each sheet.  This was a very easy sewing job, because there is no measuring of the sheets if you get the sales clerk at the fabric store to cut it into three-yard pieces. No pattern is needed.   After that, it is basically machine-hemming the two raw edges. I rounded the corners of the fitted sheet, made casings and inserted elastic.  I really enjoyed making these but this was just a one-time experiment to see what it would be like, and I won't be making another set and it won't be one of my interests. At least I know a set of sheets and pillow cases of all cotton can be made for $20.00 with discount coupons, and that it is possible to make them if, for some reason, they are needed.

This is not the 800 thread-count that makes cotton sheets so silky and luxurious these days, but it certainly might be good for an extra set of sheets, especially since the larger sizes are so expensive. The pillowcases are made with a very nice lightweight cotton called Quilters Showcase and comes in pink, blue, green, yellow and other soft colors. It has the same thinness as the muslin. I think this sheet ensemble will look very pretty on the clothesline.

If these sheets are not comfortable enough, the wide muslin can be used for something else.

Below: this is the American made cotton fabric, a bit more textured, which is perfect for decorative pillows.  I made these to go with the sheet set.


Someone just told me there were 1200 thread count sheets now.  I thought the 800 count was incredibly silky and luxurious. Now I am really curious about the 1200 thread count. Can it get any higher?


Here is another idea: muslin skirt for little girls  with trim, using the 45 in cotton fabric. This was quick and easy since no pattern was needed.  One seam and a casing for the elastic is all you need to sew.  The selvege  can be used as the hem.  The ribbon trim and muslin fabric are from Walmart.

11 comments:

Lynn's Little Cottage said...

I really like this idea.

Lynn's Little Cottage said...

I like this idea! Thank you

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

They look very nice. I hope they are comfortable. I bought some 1200 thread count sheets at a roadside stand and honestly it's like sleeping on air. We've had our mattress for a long time so I bought a gel backed mattress bad and a gel pad to go above it. It's like a new mattress. I'm hoping to get a couple more years out of it. CA King mattresses are not cheap, even on sale.

Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy yourself.

Rhonda said...

They are a very pretty sheet set. I am interested in trying it. I don't like the high thread count sheets. We had a couple sets of them in the past and the threads popped and left tiny flaws that looked like snags or runs.

Years ago when the wide quilt printed muslin was sold for quilt backs, I made just a top sheet for our bed out of a double wedding print, I used a plain store bought fitted sheet. We were very low income at the time and could not afford to keep the air conditioning running those hot Oklahama summers so the pretty top sheet also served as the bedspread.

Christine said...

You sure do know how to sew!
What a great gift to receive, home sewn sheets, pillow cases and matching pillows.
You are going to have someone sleeping well.

anonymous said...

Again you have inspired us to try something different and lovely for our homes and families.

I have wanted to make a pretty and practical set of sheets for our home. Love your sets and feel confident enough to give it a try.

Thank you for sharing, Janet.

anonymous said...

Again you have inspired us to try something different and lovely for our homes and families.

I have wanted to make a pretty and practical set of sheets for our home. Love your sets and feel confident enough to give it a try.

Thank you for sharing, Janet.

Mrs. Cote said...

I love those colors and how the fabrics coordinate without being a matched pattern. Very pretty! I made crib sheets for my little one before she was born and it was a quick and easy project using 45" quilters' cotton. It was also a significant savings as crib sheets are expensive for really no reason!

SharonR said...

When I was in college, majoring in Home Ec, in the 70s, 200-count was the highest and what our professor said we should buy. It is still a very high and nice count. I'm satisfied with 200-count personally. The sheets you made are so pretty. I saw quilt backing in the fabric store yesterday and thought of your sheets. They had several 180-inch in prints, very pretty.

Lydia said...

Sharon I would like to go see the quilt backing. I lived before patterned sheets existed. It was unheard of to have anything but a white sheet.

ForHisGlory said...

These are beautiful! I haven't attempted king sheets (that is the size of our bed). Whenever our bottom sheets got worn out on our king bed, I used the still-in-good-shape top sheet to make crib sheets. I laid the fabric on the floor, traced around the crib mattress, and stitched up the four corners. I used fold-over elastic that I had on hand and put that around the edges for one sheet, and when I ran out of that, I used 1/2 inch elastic that I had on hand to do the second sheet (I serged the unfinished edges on that one. There was plenty of fabric left on hand to make a few toddler-sized pillow cases, too (I could use the pretty top of the sheet as the edge of the pillow cases). It was nice to not have to throw the top sheet out, and we are always needing more crib sheets. The store bought ones don't seem to be big enough, and by the time we wash and dry them, they shrink up enough that it tears them to try to fit them on over the mattress pad. I was able to make the sheets plenty big enough! So inspired by your post! I think I may try this the next time our sheets need replacing.
Kelly

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