Fleece isn’t a natural fabric, but it is vegan, is often (although it’s just as often nearly impossible to tell when) partially to completely made from recycled plastic bottles, and has many of the same qualities of wool, in that it’s breathable and wicks moisture away from the skin. It doesn’t readily hold stains, doesn’t ravel, is thin and light and yet soft and plush, and can be washed easily.
It’s one of the staple fabrics that, as a cloth diapering momma, I bought every time it was on sale. Only now? All my babies are toilet trained, and I still have, pardon my French, a butt-load of fleece.
One of the things that I like to do as an eco-friendly crafter and that I like to teach my children as a natural parent is to remember to have respect for our stuff. We should keep only what we can use or enjoy, and we should use and enjoy what we have. Thus I need to either use or lose my fleece stash, and that’s my goal this week.
Fortunately, the same qualities that make fleece an excellent material for cloth diapers also make it an excellent material for a light and comfortable matress pad. Additionally, it comes in a width that’s perfect for my queen-sized bed and workable for my daughters’ full-sized bed, and the sewing on it will be absolutely minimal because fleece doesn’t ravel–just cut it to shape, throw on some elastic, and we’ll be good to go. Here’s how:
First of all: FLEECE IS NOT FLAME RETARDANT. DO NOT SMOKE OR HAVE A ROMANTIC CANDLELIT DINNER IN YOUR BED, WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE A FLEECE MATTRESS PAD ON IT, BUT ESPECIALLY NOT WITH A FLEECE MATTRESS PAD ON IT.
Please tell me you knew that already.
Anyway…you will need:
- fleece fabric from your stash, as wide and long as your bed
- 1.3 yards of elastic, 3/4″ wide or wider
- fabric for scissors
- straight pins
- gridded cutting mat that also has angles marked on it
- sewing machine with regular needle and matching thread
1. Lay your fleece out over your mattress. Don’t worry if the fleece is a little wider than your mattress–if it’s super-wider, trim off the extra width. Trim the fleece to fit the length of your mattress.
2. Cut four 12″ lengths of elastic.
3. Measure 12″ from each corner of your fleece, on both sides at all four corners.
4. Twelve inches from each corner, pin one end of one piece of elastic, with the elastic angled at 45 degrees towards the corner. The other end of the elastic should be pinned to the adjacent side, 12″ from that corner, and again angled at 45 degrees toward that corner. You’ll be stretching this elastic underneath each corner of your mattress to hold the fleece pad in place.
5. Using your sturdiest stitch and matching thread, sew the elastic to the fleece where you’ve pinned it.
6. Try it out, revel in its comfiness, and remember:
To make a waterproof mattress pad and to use up more of your diaper fabric stash, you could line the underside of your fleece with a PUL fabric. You can also use up any other soft or plush stash that you have–old blankets, velvet (yum!), even terry cloth, although you’ll have to hem the whole dang shebang if you choose a fabric that ravels.
Now to figure out what to do with my old Snappis…