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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!