I thrift a lot, and I sew a lot. When I sew, I try to use primarily thrifted or recycled or otherwise unwanted materials, and when I thrift, a large part of what I’m searching for is material to sew with–T-shirts, button-down shirts, pants, sweaters, pillowcases, curtains, sheets, etc. If I find any of these items in good shape and at a good price, and if they sport an especially appealing pattern or image, then I add them to my fabric stash for later crafting.
One of the trickier components of sewing using these thrifted items, however, is knowing how much fabric there actually is there, and therefore what you can sew with it. I know from experience that I can sew one skirt and and one pair of matching leggings for my three-year-old from one adult-sized stretchy cotton or acrylic sweater, but is the queen-sized sheet that I picked up at a yard sale last summer enough to make matching pajama pants for me, my husband, and both our girls?
Questions like that are much easier to answer when you know the standard yardages for standard-sized sheets.
Here are the standard sizes of flat sheets (easier to work with and always less worn than the fitted sheet) and their translations into yardages:
- Crib Flat Sheet: 42″72″. This equals two yards of 42″-wide fabric.
- Twin Flat Sheet: 66″x96″. This equals a smidge over two and two-third yards of 66″-wide fabric.
- Twin Extra Long Flat Sheet: 66″x102″. This equals a little over two and three-quarter yards of 66″-wide fabric.
- Full or Double Flat Sheet: 81″x96″. This equals, lengthwise, a smidge over two and two-third yards of 81″ fabric. The fabric is wide enough, however, that you can turn it the other way if the print works sideways. Widthwise, the fabric equals 2.25 yards of 96″-wide fabric.
- Queen Flat Sheet: 90″x102″. This equals a little over two and three-quarter yards of 90″-wide fabric. Used sideways, widthwise, the fabric equals 2.5 yards of 102″-wide fabric.
- King Flat Sheet: 108″x102″. This fabric is longest when turned sideways. Widthwise, the fabric equals three yards of 102″-wide fabric. Used lengthwise, the fabric equals a little over two and three-quarter yards of 108″-wide fabric.
- California King Flat Sheet: 102″x110″. This equals a smidge over three yards of 102″-wide fabric. Widthwise, the fabric equals a little over two and three-quarter yards of 110″-wide fabric.
Whew! Now you can invent your own projects using sheets, or apply this yardage to an existing pattern to see if your sheet will work.
P.S. A queen-sized flat sheet turned out to be enough to make one adult and two children’s pairs of pajama pants, although one child’s pants had to have the pattern turned sideways on one side to fit. I made the children’s pants very roomy, however–with a better-fitting pattern, I might be able to squeeze in all three pants going the right way.