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March Mending Month
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How to Mend a Bed Sheet
By Susan Beal
If a sheet, comforter cover, or pillowcase gets torn, you can mend it by hand quickly and easily with a series of tiny stitches. Just grab a needle and thread and a pair of sharp scissors, and in just a few minutes you’ll have a neatly mended sheet ready to go right back in the linen closet!


1. Smooth out or iron your ripped sheet. If your fabric has a right and a wrong side (like a patterned sheet, a garment, a pillowcase, or a comforter cover), you’ll be working, snipping, and stitching on the wrong side. Use your scissors to gently cut away any longer loose threads, so that the tear is as neat as possible to begin your mending.
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2. Thread your needle with a double strand of thread and knot it securely. Trim the thread ends close to the knot. Now fold the fabric, right sides facing, so that the ripped section is on the fold and the wrong sides of the fabric face out. Pass your needle through the folded fabric slightly before the beginning of the tear, very close to the edge, and pull the thread taut. This is your first stitch.
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3. Now bring the needle back over the top of the fold and pass it through again, very close to the first stitch, to mimic the first one, again pulling it taut. As you add tiny, even stitches one by one, the mending will begin to be visible from the wrong side as a small ridge and from the right side as a smooth, even seam that blends into the surface. The smaller and more even your stitches are, the more durable the seam will be.
4. Continue stitching the tear the same way all the way across, snipping any loose threads that come up, and knot securely at the end.
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5. Now turn the sheet over, right side up, and press it. The mend should be smooth and strong. If you see any uneven places or loose stitches, you can use a seam ripper to open the mend and redo a section of it.
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Tips: If you are having trouble matching thread colors to your sheet, use a slightly lighter shade of thread than fabric — it blends into the seam nicely. You can also cover this mend with a few decorative embroidery stitches, if you like!
Another Option: Machine-sew a torn sheet to mend it. Place the raw edges of the tear very close together, slightly overlapping, and use a zig-zag stitch to join the 2 sides of the tear. This will produce a sturdily mended sheet, but it will be much more noticeable and will have a stiffer join.
About the Author:
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Susan Beal is a crafter and writer in Portland, Oregon who loves to drink coffee, sew, and make things with buttons. Her new book, Button It Up, is out now!


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Comments

  1. Martin at PlasticLess says:

    I’ve been doing this kinda wrong up until now.
    I think it’s worth mentioning that proper care of those toenails can reduce the incidence of torn bed sheets :)

  2. Mama Silly says:

    First I baste two rows of stitches round the split and over some soft,tearable stablizer, close but not too close to the rough edge. Then I satin stitch (embroidery stitch) over the basting stitches keeping the stitches smooth and flat. It takes a lot longer than your method, but the results iron flat and are very stable.

  3. Melissa says:

    A toenail is not the only culprit for tearing sheets. I have several sheets torn and ripped by the folding mechanism on sleeper sofas and futons, pets and just wear. For mending holes, trim either a small piece of sheeting from the bottom end of the top sheet and use an iron-on or other seam repair on the area you cut it from so it doesn’t fray. Or, take an entire inch or two from across the entire bottom sheet or edge of a pillow case and stitch a new hem.
    The damaged area then can be mended by using the patchwork-type method. If you are unfamiliar with this, several sewing sites offer excellent instructions.

    1. Linda Ince says:

      Thanks. I have several sheets that are worn very thin in about a 6 inch square area, but I do not want to throw the whole sheet out (it is usually the bottom sheet on my side). I use my heavy foot often to roll over. I will try the iron on patch idea. Thanks.

  4. Gmo says:

    Just tore my sheet and this looks like an easy way to fix it!
    thanks!
    Guillermo.

  5. Home Heating says:

    Thank you amazing blog, do you have twitter, facebook or something similar where i can follow your blog
    Sandro Heckler

  6. Samantha Ruark says:

    Great site! First time sewing, so my stitches don’t look that pretty. These instructions were very easy to follow! Will definitely come back here again.